When hosting an event, developing a plan will allow you to move forward in an organized fashion and create an environment for success.

There are six steps to developing Event Plan:

1. Organization and Community Assessment
2. Goal Setting
3. Planning
4. Implementation
5. Post Event Assessment
6. Administrative Decision Making

Step 3: Planning

Planning team- Establish a small but effective working group with a broad range of skills that is able to function as a team. The team must include members of the target population or others affected by the program, particularly if the target group is not a mainstream group. Brainstorm for the event:

What are the major components of your event? Establish an event committee and then create a sub-committee for each component.

What role will your stakeholder(s) play? Remember organizations Presidents are responsible for the wellness of the organization. This does not mean the management of events.

Establish an Event Coordinator position for this project, this will allow the stakeholders to participate in the program instead of managing it.

Approach- Consider your target population and consider how the group learns, what media is available, what delivery system will be most effective, and whether to use convergent thinking to focus the planning group or a divergent approach to consider different learning styles.

How will the planning committee develop an environment to achieve the goals?

How will the planning committee be organized for success?

Review best practices for Accessibility in event planning.

Help your presenters to be successful by considering these tips.

Initial Extent of the Program- Determine the initial scope of the program: one hour, multiple hours, multiple days, simple or complex (a speaker or a dinner, dance and speaker), etc.

What type of program will allow you to meet your goals?

What scope of activity can your existing resources support?

Does the identified venue (location) allow you to capitalize on seating capacity?

What is your planning committee committed to moving forward?

Training- Compare the skills and abilities of the committee members against the tasks to be performed to determine what training is required. Build in enough time to allow skill development, including training the trainers if appropriate.

What committee members are best suited for what tasks?

Do you need to allow extra time to get your/the committee prepared to move this activity forward?

Time line- Determine a target date and work backward to establish a realistic, week-by-week activity plan. Select a date and time most conducive to the target populations needs and circumstances. Avoid conflicting with major traditional activities, academic events like final exams, religious holy days or other special events observed by different members of the campus community.

How many weeks are there between now and your event? Is their realistically enough time to plan the event?

Have each sub-committee create a backwards time-line for their activities. Use this as a touchstone to track the planning progress.

Budget- Determine the actual fiscal resources necessary to complete the program, including all costs for personnel, materials, space, marketing, food, transportation, equipment, etc.

Does your current available budget cover these costs?

Do you need to identify a plan to generate more money?

Will you be selling tickets? If so what will the cost need to be? Or will the tickets be free of cost?