Event planning guidelines_final_version_4_april_2009

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Transcript of Event planning guidelines_final_version_4_april_2009

  • INTRODUCTION The University of Oxford is renowned for its diverse and exciting events. Each and every event, no matter what the goal or size, from a building opening to a Sunday afternoon lecture, is an opportunity to promote and reinforce the international profile of the University. Events offer people the chance to experience the University first-hand and it is important that their content and delivery reflect our work and values. The Events Office oversees a wide range of events each year from traditional ceremonies and high profile visits to world-class lectures and topical debates. We work with all departments, divisions and colleges across the University to help ensure that everyone achieves their goals and all events are a success. The Events Office plays a key role in giving support and advice to other members of the University who are responsible for planning and delivering events. We are keen to share experiences and best practice and have compiled the following information and guidelines for developing, planning and running events based on our experiences and those of our colleagues around the University. Events Office University of Oxford University Offices Wellington Square Oxford OX1 2JD T: 01865 280524 E: [email protected] W: www.ox.ac.uk/public_affairs/events/ If you have any queries about the content or resources in this toolkit, or if you need any specialist advice for your event that is not covered here, please do not hesitate to contact us. Event planning guidelines 2008 1
  • EVENT PLANNING GUIDELINES EVENT PLANNING GUIDELINES CONTENTS page GETTING STARTED page EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST Your event proposal 4 Developing your event idea 5 34 DELIVERING YOUR EVENT The run-up to the event PLANNING YOUR EVENT 36 Developing an event plan and timeline Setting up for the event 37 Key areas in your event plan 10 Managing the event on the day 38 Agreeing the budget 10 EVALUATING YOUR EVENT Setting the date 11 Why evaluate? 44 Timings for the event 12 How to evaluate your event 44 Working with VIPs 13 Using your evaluation information 45 Choosing a venue 17 Compiling and managing the guest list 19 Organising the invitations 21 Catering 27 EVENT PROPOSAL TEMPLATE 46 Audio/visual 28 EVENT PLAN & TIMELINE TEMPLATE 48 Event staff 29 EVENT BUDGET TEMPLATE 50 Transport 30 EVENT EVALUATION TEMPLATE 52 Publicity 31 Insurance 31 Table plans, place cards, badges 2 9 32 Event planning guidelines 2008 RESOURCES Event planning guidelines 2008 3
  • GETTING STARTED GETTING STARTED Your event proposal Developing your event idea If you have an idea for an event, a useful first step is to put together an event proposal; a document which outlines the reason for the event and what you are planning to do. Having these agreed early in the planning process provides a focus for everyone involved and a guide for planning and delivery decisions. It also enables you to think ahead in terms of what will be needed and who will be involved in organising and running the event. Discussion and consultation The key questions that your proposal should answer are: Agreeing the aim, objectives and format for the event early on and ensuring that everyone is fully on board, will make the event planning process more straightforward and will put you in a better position to determine the level of resources you will need to make the event a success. It can also give you an opportunity to incorporate positive new ideas for the events at the planning stage and assist in post-event evaluation. What is the event? Why are you having an event? What will happen at the event? Who is the event for? Who will plan and run the event? How much will the event cost and who will pay for it? When will the event happen? Where will the event take place? You can download an event proposal template from the Events Office website and there is a hard copy on page 44 of this booklet. Your proposal will be particularly useful if you are working with other individuals or departments on an event. It provides a summary of the key elements and structure of the proposed event, which can then be discussed in more detail and developed with others involved in the planning and delivery. If you do not have a clear proposal to guide your planning, you may find that the key messages of the event get confused, and that you waste time and energy further down the line changing plans and making decisions that could have been agreed at the start. If you are planning an event which will be of particular interest to other areas of the University, perhaps in terms of the content or target audience, discuss your proposal with them at an early stage, even if you do not need to involve them in the planning or delivery of the event. At the very least they will probably want to attend the event, they may also have useful suggestions or contacts if you are compiling a guest list or looking for speakers or an appropriate venue. Research Resource You can download a template event proposal template on the Events Office website at www.ox.ac.uk/public_affairs/ events/ 4 Event planning guidelines 2008 Try and find out about other events of a similar theme/nature both inside and outside the University. This may give you some inspiration for developing your event in terms of the style, duration or activities that might work well. This is also a good opportunity to ensure that you are not duplicating a similar event that is happening somewhere else. The Events Office has experience of organising and managing a wide variety of events and would be happy to discuss your ideas at the development stage. We also maintain a University-wide events diary to help avoid clashes in the timing or goals of different events. Event planning guidelines 2008 5
  • GETTING STARTED GETTING STARTED Agreeing your event idea Before you begin any in-depth planning for the event, you should discuss your proposal with the appropriate people/departments, for example your line manager, the budget holder and the head of your department, division or College. You can use your proposal to give them a concise overview of the key information about the event. How the University Events Office can help The Events Office staff have many years experience of planning and running events and may be able to help you with advice, information and resources. Among other things, the Events Office can: advise on whether your proposed event will clash with another event in the University calendar in terms of date or aim/content; if appropriate, liaise with the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellors offices if you plan to invite them to preside at the event or if you would like to invite someone outside the University to do the honours; provide information on planning and budgeting, such as venues, caterers and approximate costs; offer examples of and advice on best practice and protocol in relation to your event, such as timings, the order of events and appropriate briefings. 6 Event planning guidelines 2008 Event planning guidelines 2008 7
  • PLANNING YOUR EVENT PLANNING YOUR EVENT Give yourself TIME Developing an event plan and timeline Time is one of the most valuable, and often overlooked, resources in planning events. Start planning well in advance, so you have a better chance of securing your first choice of date, venue, host/speakers and guests. It will also provide you with more flexibility to deal with unforeseen changes or developments along the way. Once you have agreed and approved the proposal for your event, you should put together a detailed event plan in which you break down all the tasks that need to be done and assign responsibility and deadlines for each one. Your event plan should be constantly updated as tasks are completed or changed so that you can use it for regular status reports. Get ORGANISED Start a folder containing all your planning documents such as the proposal, event plan, budget, contact details and quotes. This will be your guide for the event planning process and should be updated regularly. Remember to COMMUNICATE Give regular updates on progress and any developments to key individuals and departments working on the event, remembering to include any interested parties who may not be directly involved in the planning and delivery. Regular communication from the start will help ensure that everyone knows what their role is and feels valued as part of the team. You may also find it useful to create a timeline, linked to your event plan but less detailed, which counts you down to your event and acts as a quick reference guide to help you stay on track and ensure that everything gets done. It is laid out like a month by month planner so that you can see at a glance when your workload will be heaviest and how you can best use your resources. Once you have developed your event plan, check it against your event proposal to ensure that you have made appropriate plans and arrangements for all the key elements of the event. You can download a combined event plan and timeline template with guidelines from the Events Office website. More details on completing the template can also be found on page 46 of this booklet. Resource You can download a template event plan & timeline template on the Events Office website at www.ox.ac.uk/public_affairs/ events/ 8 Event planning guidelines 2008 Event planning guidelines 2008 9