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Event planning checklist for staff/administration

Beginning of semester

  1. Goal-setting: Plan out your goals for the year. What do students need? What events aren’t currently being offered? Who is your target audience for each specific event?
  2. Evaluate previous events that we have run. What worked and what didn’t? What sort of feedback did you receive? How might previous lessons shape what you do going forward?

1 month before event

  1. Research
    • View the Gabelli Connect calendar. What events have already been planned by the Gabelli School administration, Career Services and other organizations?
    • Based on what’s already out there, do you really need to create a whole separate event? If your event overlaps with something else that’s already on deck, consider getting together with whoever is running that similar event and co-running ONE thing. Teaming up will make for less event “clutter” and a stronger result in terms of overall attendance.
    • Consider whether a student club might be able to co-run/co-sponsor your event. Students appreciate the opportunity to get exposure for their clubs, and you will get automatic planning help.
  2. Choose a date and time
    • Again, view the Gabelli Connect calendar. Choose a day on which there as few competing events as possible. Double-check the academic calendar to make sure the event doesn’t happen during midterms, finals, holidays or other difficult periods.
    • Check CareerLink (Career Servies) to make sure your event doesn’t coincide with a major Career Services event.
  3. Invite/coordinate a speaker
    • If you are using an outside speaker (an alumnus/alumna, corporate representative, etc.), make sure that person is available on your chosen date. Note: The higher profile the individual, the more lead time you will need to leave in order to get on his/her schedule. One month may not be sufficient in the vast majority of cases. Plan farther ahead!
    • Look up whether the speaker you plan to invite is a President’s Council member. If so, pause everything. First, communicate with Julie Fissinger at fissinger@fordham.edu. She will help you to take the next steps in the right way.
  4. Find a space for your event. Different spaces require different procedures.
    • Hughes Hall
      • TBD
    • Walsh Library: contact Jean Walsh
    • Tognino Hall: contact Kathleen Piekarski
    • All other rooms are reserved through Student Activities. Download the room reservation form here. The form, once complete, should be submitted to Office of Student Life at eventspacerh@fordham.edu.

2 weeks before event

  1. If needed, secure A/V for your event and order catering.
    • For media needs, e-mail the Media Services team. Be sure to e-mail both Francis Katai at katai@fordham.edu and Rafael De León at rdeleon@fordham.edu and let them know when, where and what you need.
    • For on-campus catering needs, you can fill out the catering form here.
    • For off-campus catering needs, you must make arrangements on your own. NOTE:  If you have not ordered via Sodexho, you will not receive additional tables, table cloths, plasticware and clean up service, etc. Please plan accordingly. You are responsible for ensuring the cleanliness of the room after the event.
    • Is your event worth writing about as a news story? If so, give a heads-up to Nicole Gesualdo, the Gabelli School’s director of communications, at ngesualdo@fordham.edu. Depending on how things go, she may be able to help you get your event written up for GabelliConnect. Please know that due to various constraints, this is not always possible, but we will do what we can!
  2. Check in with speaker
    • Does your speaker have a digital presentation? Find out. Depending on the room, it may be easier for your speaker to bring his/her presentation on a flash drive. Ask if he or she might want to send a copy of the presentation in advance for setup and testing. If your speaker uses a Mac, please be advised that Media Services does not provide the converters.
    • Ensure your speaker has directions to campus. Here is a link you can provide.
  3. Promote
    • GabelliConnect
      • In addition to posting the event to Gabelli Connect, you can submit your information for consideration for GabelliConnect news. Please e-mail all relevant information to Nicole Gesualdo, director of strategic communications, at ngesualdo@fordham.edu. She will then contact you if there is an opportunity to promote your event via GabelliConnect in advance to increase attendance.
    • Fliers and posters
      • Note: All fliers must be approved for posting by the Office of Student Life. Visit the Office of Student Life (OSL) suite on the 2nd floor of the McGinley Center.
      • Please note that you may NOT post paper fliers just anywhere in Hughes Hall, so as to not damage the walls of the new building. You may only use areas specifically designated for fliers. If you need to know where you can and cannot post, please ask Doreen, Susan, Liz or Valerie.
      • Be sure to delegate poster-making to a student, either a club member (if you are using a club as a partner in running the event) or a Gabelli School student worker. All poster materials are available in the OSL suite.
    • Digital screens
      • Advertise your event using the digital display/TV screens around campus. E-mail Jeff Haynes at jhaynes@fordham.edu a soft copy (.doc, .docx, .pdf or .jpg) of your flier in standard U.S. letter size. Indicate whether your event is relevant to (a) the Gabelli School community only or (b) the full Fordham community.
    • Social
      • Have your students use their personal networks and ask them to post about the event to their Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Note: Internal “Facebook events” can be helpful, but if you are requiring people to register for your event via GabelliConnect, sometimes creating a Facebook event causes confusion. Students think that RSVPing via Facebook is enough, and it is not. We recommend that students put a link to the GabelliConnect registration in their social media posts.

24 to 48 hours prior to event

    1. Reminders
      • Send a reminder to event attendees/club members, tweet and post on Facebook.
      • Send a reminder to your external speaker if needed, including driving and transit directions and your cell number in case of emergency.
      • Ensure that your speaker will be able to enter campus. E-mail John Carroll, director of security, at jcarroll@fordham.edu with the name of your speaker and the date and time he/she will arrive.
    2. Details
      • Make sure someone is assigned to take pictures, and that the person has access to a decent camera. Cell phone pictures are NOT sufficient. Please ask someone to bring in or borrow a real digital camera. It is worth the extra 15 minutes of effort to plan ahead for this.
      • If necessary, arrange to have the event videotaped by Media Services (see contacts above). Make sure you have gotten permission from Donna first if you are requesting videotaping, because this service costs money and will need budget funds to back it up.
      • Ask a few students to come early to help with check-in and other tasks.

Day of event

  • Get to the room at least 15 minutes early to set up and make sure that the door is open, that all A/V is set up, that refreshments have been delivered and so on.
  • Greet your speaker and make sure that he or she has water (and food if available) and that his or her A/V is set up, if needed.
  • Have a sign-in sheet for student attendance. Collect name, e-mail and class year.
  • Make the evaluation web form link available (link and/or QR Code) if necessary.

Day after event

    • Send an evaluation form to students who attended, if you want their feedback. Be aware that students most often do not take the time to fill out post-event evaluations.
    • Send a thank-you note to your speaker. In some cases, you may want to provide Donna the contact information (as well as relevant information about the event) so that she also can thank the speaker directly.
    • Send pictures, video, and an event recap (as packed with facts and details as possible) so that Nicole Gesualdo can include something on either GabelliConnect and/or the Gabelli School Facebook page and Twitter feed.

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