The University of Southampton

Successful Event Planning

Below are some of the top tips from Dr Jamie Gallagher for successfully planning an event, complete with ideas for when each task should be complete. These steps should help you to map out any event successfully and pull it off with fantastic results.

1. Rallying the troops—6 months before the event

The first step is to get in touch with colleagues, partners, or other associates to let them know what you are planning to do, and how they can become a part of it. The best way to do this is to note down lots of names and then meet as many of them as possible . You can then have a chat about your plans, their advice, and if there is a chance to work together.

2. Preparing to share—4 months before the event

Before the event is looming close, you need to prepare how you will share information about it and get it out into the world. Public descriptions need to be snappy, definitely no more than 100 words, and be enough to attract an audience. Partner descriptions are longer with details about format, audience, aims and times, and this will be made available to partners. Images used should be both high quality and relevant to the event.

3. Recruiting— 3 months before the event

Chances are you can’t everything yourself. Most events will need a venue manager to take care of all things surrounding the event, a photographer to document the event and for advertising next time around, and volunteers who help to do odd jobs, and guide people throughout the day (normally 1 volunteer per 25 attendees).

4. Sharing, sharing, sharing—2 months before the event

For a big online footprint, sharing effectively is key. If you want a hashtag create it early, and then try to plan all the posts you will make across different medias. Some social medias will even let you schedule posts (e.g. Facebook) which can be useful. Furthermore, you can pay to promote social media posts, or ask others to promote your event by sharing your posts or by making their own posts.

5. Induction— 2 weeks before the event

This is your chance to get everyone who is helping you together and guide them through the events. Ideally meet at the venue, and then show them step by step how people will arrive, where things will happen, and answers to any questions that you expect attendees may ask. Printing out information for them to take home and read over can help!

6. Event pack preparation— 2 weeks before the event

On the day, you’ll want to have your resources ready, so beforehand make sure you have: a management folder with all the admin information, useful items for presenting or writing down information, and health and safety paperwork.

7. Finally, deliver your event!


More can be found here.

Back to Planning your Activity

…On to Publicity.