ANNOUNCEMENT: Most spring 2021 classes will once again be offered online/remotely. Learn more about the spring 2021 semester.

How to plan an event

Use this checklist to assist your Student-Led Organization in planning a successful event.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Brainstorm a list of programs that your organization would like to provide for the campus community. Ask other students outside of your organization about programs they would like.

 

Step 2: Choose an idea

Make sure you have consensus and a broad range of members that are committed to the idea.

 

Step 3: Develop program goals

Who is your target audience? What are your organization’s goal(s) in having this event? What are your objectives? Etc.

 

Step 4: Delegate Responsabilities

Involve the members of the organization in the various tasks needed to ensure the program is successful. Depending upon the size of the event, you may need committees or just committed individuals. Make sure new volunteers understand what the responsibilities are, and use people’s talents and interests to your organization’s benefit.

 

Step 5: Establish a Budget

Determining your budget will help you decide if you need to seek additional funding, or if your organization can cover the expenses. Make sure to utilize funding options available through the Student Government Association. Refer back to the Finances section of the Student-led Organization manual for details about the process of requesting funds.

 

SLOs are funded by student fees, which are allocated by SGA. Please complete the following form if your SLO wishes to receive funding from SGA: Apply for Funding

 

Step 6: Reserve a program location

Contact Denise Oakeley at Denise.Oakeley@ccaurora.edu for classroom space or Erma Sampson at Erma.Sampson@ccaurora.edu for conference room requests before submitting your Official Function Form. First determine the following:

What size room is needed?

How much time is needed for set-up?

Depending on the room and desired set up you will have to work with Facilities to meet your needs. Work with Andrea to determine this, as she will need to submit a work order on your behalf.

Should a rain date/location be reserved?

Tentatively book dates (are multiple needed?)

 

Step 7: Complete an Official Function Form

Whenever your student-led organization plans an event, you must complete the Official Function Form (OFF). An Official Function Form needs to be filled out for any activity that is held on campus that is not a regular meeting. Examples: events, movie screenings, workshops, speakers, etc. Submit to the Office of Student Life at least 3 weeks prior to the event. You must email your OFF to Student Life at student.life@ccaurora.edu.

Official Function Form

Learn about the Official Function Form process

 

Step 8: Marketing Strategy

Consider how you’re going to make your event stand out through marketing and promotions. Do you want a banner, flyers, signs, other materials?

Making a flyer or poster

Now that you have your meeting and events planned, you have to promote your event or meeting to gain attendance. Whether you’re adverting for a fundraiser or organization meeting, you need to remember that your flyer has to be striking enough to be picked up and looked at. The information on it also has to be clear and concise enough to convince that person to attend your event. Here are some things to keep in mind when you create your flyer.

  1. Keep the information concise—edit the text content down to the essential information only. A flyer reader’s attention span is super-short, so make what they read in that split-second count.
  2. Make information easy to read—make sure your font sizes are large. And don’t be afraid to let a big, bold header dominate a large part of the flyer. This information must be on the flyer.
    1. Name of your organization
    2. Name of event
    3. Time of event
    4. Location of event
    5. Date of event
    6. Contact information

Design Tools

The Department of Communication and Marketing does not create flyers and posters for Student-Led Organizations. We highly encourage that you use Canva.com to create your flyers. It is a free online tool you can use that makes it easy to create flyers!

Timeline

If you want your flyers and posters printed by the Office of Student Life, you must first get it approved at least a week before your event.

Getting approved

Once you have your flyer finished. Email it to the Office of Student Life at student.life@ccaurora.edu for approval. Approval of flyers should be done one to two weeks prior to your event.

Printing and Posting

Once your flyers is approved, you are ready to print and have it posted around campus. NOTE: Posting is only allowed on bulletin boards and other approved areas. Flyers on walls, doors, and windows will be removed. All student organizations get free printing services from the Office of Student Life. Please email us at student.life@ccaurora.edu and let us know how many posters you want printed and posted. Our staff will post your flyers up within 48 hours of notice.

If you would like posters printed, please submit a Poster Printing Form online at least 1 week before you require the posters to be displayed.

Social Media

Before creating any social media accounts, you must contact CCA Marketing and Communications at Kristine.dorame@ccaurora.edu. If you have a social media account, keep your social media active. If a group is going to have an account, it needs to be well received and consistently be updated with new and fresh content. Multiple social media outlets are wonderful (Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram) only if they are being used to their full potential. When it comes to branding an organization, no social media content is better than weak social media content.

 

Step 9: Purchasing

Determine if you are making any purchases and what supplies are needed.

  • If no, then all you must do is send a list of attendees to Student Life at student.life@ccaurora.eduUse this sign in sheet.
  • If yes, determine how you are paying for the purchase. Make a list of all the supplies, materials, and food that are needed for your event. There are three ways you can make purchases:
  • Student Life staff member: If you require a staff member to meet you at a store to check out, please submit a request via email to either Jorge or Erma at least two weeks before you need the supplies. We will not be walking around the store with you while you shop, so the time you give us to meet you will be when you are at the register and ready to check out. We can be reached by email at jorge.velasquez@ccaurora.edu or Erma.sampson@ccaurora.edu
  • Invoice: An invoice is a bill that is sent to you after an event. For example, Cici’s Pizza sometimes invoices us for events. This means that you can order pizza for your event without paying up front. Once the invoice is received, you will submit it to Erma, along with a list of attendees and an event flyer or agenda. If you are using this method of payment, contact Student Life at student.life@ccaurora.edu.
  • Payment with your own money: You are allowed to purchase items with your own money, however no tax will be reimbursed. Submit a list of attendees to Student Life. When you do this, we will have additional paperwork for you to complete so you can get reimbursed. Please note that it can take up to 4 weeks to receive your reimbursement check. 

If you are ordering food from an external vendor make sure the following steps are completed first.

  1. There is a list of vendors CCA prefers to use. Use this Preferred Vendors List.
  2. Make sure the vendor knows CCA is tax exempt
  3. If you need a copy of the tax-exempt certificate, contact Student Life for a copy
  4. Ensure that Student Life knows which vendor you are using because there is additional paperwork that needs to be completed. Student Life will help you complete the necessary paperwork to process the invoice
  5. We highly recommend that you use vendors who can deliver
  • Want to bring someone to campus? Want to bring a speaker or performer to CCA? First, complete the official function form three weeks prior to your event, and indicate that you would like to bring a guest. Then, give Student Life the contact information for your guest, and she will contact them to obtain the necessary paperwork for payment. After the event, send Student Life a flyer of the event and sign-in sheets. We will help you through this process, so don’t do it alone!
  • Clothing/Promotional Purchases:It is highly recommended SLOs go through Specialty Incentives for their clothing or promotional purchases. You must include CCA, Community College of Aurora, or the CCA logo somewhere on your shirts or promotional good. The Office of Student Life must approve all designs prior to ordering.

  

Step 10: Review responsibilities and materials needed

Review the roles and responsibilities for each members or volunteer in your organization. Doing this before the event will ensure everyone is on the same page and coordinated. Pre-determine what type of materials you will need for the event. Student life has a variety of materials you can rent for free! Please make sure you visit our Equipment Reservation site and request your materials 1 week before the event. This allows the Student Life staff to have your materials ready on time.

 

 Step 11: The day of 

Create a sign-in process, you can use this template. NOTE: You must collect the names and signatures (only) of everyone in attendance and then submit it to the Office of Student Life. After the work you’ve put in, remember to enjoy the program.

 

Step 12: After the event

Give event flyer or agenda, sign in sheets, invoices, and receipts to Student Life for processing.

Whether they are members of your organization, people on campus, or outside organizations or departments who provided assistance, thank people personally and/or in writing.

 

Step 13: Evaluate the program 

Ask participants what they thought of the event. Find out from your planning group what went well and what could have gone better. Create a survey and send it out afterward to gain feedback.

 

Step 14: Keeping record

Save information in a program planner or binder to pass on to the next generation of your organization. Program planning is made easier when you can build on the success of those who came before you.

Student Life will send you copies of completed pay requests and signed official function forms. Keep copies of Official Function Forms, receipts, invoices, emails, etc. for you own records. This will help you keep track of your budget.

Honorarium

Is your SLO hosting a free guest lecturer or performance? Want to give them a small monetary token of appreciation? Consider providing them with an honorarium. Pass along contact information to Jorge Velasquez at least 3 weeks prior to your event and she will obtain the appropriate information from your guest. You will also have to complete the Honorarium Request Form, or contact Student Life student.life@ccaurora.edu to assist you.

 

TOP 5 WAYS TO PROMOTE EVENTS ON CAMPUS

  1. Flyers/Posters/Banners
  2. Fox Times
  3. LCD Screen Displays
  4. Online events calendar (CCA Communications)
  5. Tabling around campus

 

TOP 5 EVENT PLANNING TIPS

  1. Start planning early! 5 weeks before your event is ideal 
  2. Consider your budget and determine whether or not additional funding will need to be secured.
  3. Check with the Office of Student Life to see if an event of similar nature is being held around the same time so that you’re not competing with other organizations on campus.
  4. Reserve your space before you submit your Official Function Form.
  5. Consider how you’re going to make your event stand out through marketing and promotions.
  6. Services- The Office of Student Life has a variety of services for your Student-Led Organization to utilize. Examples include flyer printing, a popcorn machine, water coolers, trays for food, etc. For a complete list of services and to reserve items, visit the Equipment Reservations, Poster Printing, and Flyer Posting page. Some services will have a fee for use.

 

Important Contact Information

Jorge Velasquez, Director of Student Life: jorge.velasquez@ccaurora.edu

Sydney Pedregon, Assistant Director of Student Life: sydney.pedregon@ccaurora.edu

Erma Sampson, Administrative Assistant of Student Life: erma.sampson@ccaurora.edu

 

 

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