Below is the suggested timeline for event planning and outreach. This timeline may be shortened for virtual events.
3-4 MONTHS BEFORE THE EVENT
- Discuss event with the Office of Alumni Relations, decide on an ideal date, location and venue.
- NOTE: Check dates for possible conflicts with other college events, holidays and peak vacation times.
- Secure date and venue.
- Send contracts and any event-related documents to Alumni Relations staff liaison. Confirm any speakers or panelists.
-NOTE: Alumni volunteers do not have the authority to sign any contracts. All contracts must be submitted to the Office of Alumni Relations well in advance of the event to be signed by university officials.
2 MONTHS BEFORE THE EVENT
- Send details to be included in email invitation to Alumni Relations staff liaison.
- Work with Alumni Relations to determine ideal geographical area to include on invitation list
- Staff liaison will get event information to communications team to trigger email schedule configuration
- Registration page built and opened
- Event created on region’s Facebook page
5 WEEKS BEFORE EVENT
- Send first email invitations
- Provide venue with menu and drink selections
- Alumni office will prepare event materials package
ONE WEEK BEFORE EVENT
- Reminder email sent to registrants
- Event materials package sent
- Assign members to event roles (check-in desk, speaker if applicable, photographer, ticket taker, directional support, etc.)
AT THE EVENT
- Host a registration/check-in table to obtain contact information for walk-ups
- Utilize your leadership committee, board and other volunteers to personally welcome all guests
- If the event program/agenda allows, address the crowd with a welcome, information, thank you and announcement of upcoming events. Here is an event script example to consider for your in-person or virtual event.
- If it is a networking event with an appropriate size group, allow for personal introductions (limit to 30 seconds each – think “elevator pitch”)
- Track attendees and then send your registration sheet to the alumni office
- Assign the role of photographer to someone during the event.
AFTER THE EVENT
- Complete the event wrap-up by submitting to the Office of Alumni Relations:
- Expense Reimbursement form
- Sign-in sheets
- Contact updates
- Review the event with volunteers and staff liaison
- What worked and how can we incorporate that into future programs?
- What didn’t work and how can we fix it for next time?
- Did we identify any new potential volunteers or ideas for new programs?
- Follow up with participants —say thank you and let them know of upcoming activities
- Share photos via social media and tag participants