Programs and Event Planning
Program Ideas | Event Ideas | Purpose of Event | Location | Budget | Promotion | Other Elements
The following will help you with all aspects of planning successful social, educational or recreational events. Diverse events will cultivate good will and ensure continued growth and financial success of your alumni chapter. It will also provide the opportunity for people to make new friends and renew acquaintances. In order to maintain UHAA chapter recognition a chapter must host and/or participate in a minimum of two UHAA events/programs per year, and provide an annual calendar of activities for its members.
- Career or mentoring events in which your members share their experience with current UH students
- Socials or networking events
- Send-offs for new students and parents
- Congratulatory events for new UH graduates
- Alumni awards and chapter banquets
- Joint-chapter events
- Cultural activities
- Golf / bowling tournaments
- Lectures and receptions
- Homecoming and parent weekends
- Event tied with a visit by a UH faculty/administration
- UH sports-related events
- Alumni jog-a-thon
Purpose of Event
- Be very clear on the purpose for your event, i.e., to promote UH to the wider community, to involve current members or to inform prospective members.
- Set measurable goals for your event so you can evaluate your success.
- If your goal is to raise funds then be very clear on how you intend to spend funds raised.
- Check the calendar to avoid conflicts with UHAA annual events.
- Choose the time and date early.
- Keep in mind the busy holiday seasons and graduations because they have an impact on the availability of facilities and attendance.
- Schedule the promotion and marketing of your event: mailing of invitations/flyers, e-mail broadcasts, posting of event on the UHAA and chapter web sites, media, etc.
- Keep accurate records so that they can be used by the chair of next year’s event.
- Start out with a small event and plan for it to be on an annual basis.
- Event Communication Timeline Guide (Excel)
- Inquire with the local chamber of commerce or convention and visitor bureau for location ideas. Consider using a facility such as an aquarium, museum, winery, or a historic site. Members of your chapter may belong to private lodges or have access to facilities through their businesses.
- Hotels, restaurants, and meeting halls are also possible sites for events.
- Details to consider when choosing a location:
- Capacity (number of people the facility can accommodate)
- Layout of the event: registration, entertainment/speakers, tables, chairs, food & beverage
- Alternative plans in case of bad weather, power failures, and/or equipment breakdown
- Special requirements or restrictions, especially regarding food and beverages
- Special needs for the disabled
- Adequate parking
- Security requirements
- Insurance requirements
- Contacts for events on a UH Campus:
- Select a type of event in accordance with your budget and purpose.
- Budget may include some of the following expenses:
- Fees associated with the use of the venue
- Rental of tables, chairs and AV equipment
- Costs related to the various event planning aspects (see Other Event Elements below)
Promotion and Marketing of Events
- Direct mail - you may submit a data request to mail invitations to alumni and/or your chapter members
- E-mail broadcasts - you may submit an e-mail broadcast request to promote your event to alumni and/or your chapter members
- Web site - you may submit an event posting request form to post your event on UHalumni.org/events, specific chapter page on UHalumni.org or UHAA's quarterly e-newsletter Alumnews
- Other media - you may want to notify your local media about your event with a news release
Other Event Elements
- Program: speakers, entertainment, etc.
- Soliciting and assignment of volunteers
- Tasks: setup, registration, ushers, program / stage management, cleanup
- Decor: centerpieces, favors, room and stage decor, etc.
- Printing needs: programs, name tags, table assignment cards, etc.
- Distribution of invitations / flyers
- Signage: event, directional signs
- Membership tabling
- Miscellaneous supplies