Academic conferences, film festivals, public lectures — they're all examples of public events, and they need careful planning and execution to be successful. Take time to review the information below so your event goes off without a hitch.
Whether you are planning an hour-long lecture or a five-day conference, the starting points for both are the same. Asking yourself the following questions will help you to plan a successful event.
- Designate an event coordinator
- Decide on the purpose of the event
- Decide on a time and date
- Secure a venue
- Develop a budget
- Complete the events form
You’ll need to someone to plan your event and serve as the point of contact. Coordinators are responsible for overall event planning as well the timeline of tasks and other details to help plan the event and ensure the event goes smoothly. If you have any questions or need help planning your event, call 474-2747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
University Relations oversees the management of UAF institutional events and is also the point of contact for community groups holding events on campus. You may find it helpful to schedule an event-planning consultation before getting started. We offer:
- guidance with overall event planning
- event-planning checklists
- protocol guidelines and requirements
- coordination with the Events Committee to ensure that federal, state, local and university regulations and procedures are followed
- UAF brand information
- photography and video information
- templates for invitations, fliers and presentations
- communication tools to help get event information out
A successful event has a clear and concise purpose that plays a role in planning each part of the event. What are you trying to accomplish? Keep your goal very specific to help you keep your event planning on track.
- What kind of experience do you want your guests to have?
- What environment/ambience do you want to achieve?
- What do you want your guests to take away from your event?
- Who would you like to attend your event?
While you might want the entire community to be aware of your event, there are probably specific groups of people whose interests make them your target audience. The more specific you are with your audience, the more successful you will be. Knowing your audience should also help with determining an appropriate venue, the look of the event and the communication pieces you'll need.
More than 800 events are held on the Fairbanks campus each year. Venues are limited so it’s important to find a location before you finalize the date. Consider your proposed event time with other large university events so your audience does not have to choose between them. Check the UAF events calendar and academic calendar before finalizing your date. You should also consider community events that may compete with your event for attendance. Explore Fairbanks and the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce both have community events calendars.
Not every venue is appropriate for every event. Keep in mind the message you want your guests to take away from the event and the feeling you want them to have. Having a formal event in a casual venue or having a casual event in a formal venue can confuse your message. How many people do you expect? The venue you choose should be large enough for your guests but not too large, which could make your event appear disorganized.
There are costs associated with all events. Creating an accurate budget that includes all costs is a critical step in planning successful events. The following are the most common costs associated with events:
- printing (invitations, envelopes, fliers, etc.)
- postage (for print invitations)
- room rentals
- set-up charges
- food and drink
- event insurance
- webcasting and other audio visual needs
- required security
Public events are gatherings or competitions with non-university staff, faculty or students participating in them. All public events on the Fairbanks campus need to be submitted to and approved by the UAF Events Committee through the UAF events request form.
The Events Committee includes representatives from university departments who support events and work together when there are issues with multiple events happening on campus at the same time. All members of the Events Committee receive a copy of the form so it’s not necessary to contact each committee member individually. Events are approved once the team determines the event can be held safely and with the level of support from the committee needed for success.
Members of the Events Committee work closely with event planners and are available throughout the event planning process to provide assistance as needed. The committee includes staff from the following departments: Dining Services; Environmental, Health, Safety and Risk Management; Facilities Services; University Relations; UAF Police and the University Fire Department.