How to Plan a Successful University Event: Tips and Best Practices for Event Planners

University events are a great way to build engagement with students, alumni and internal stakeholders. They can also be an opportunity for fundraising, recruiting new students, promoting research initiatives and more. Having these goals in mind will make it easier for you to find vendors who can help you achieve them—and keep the costs down while doing so.

Identify Your University’s Goals and Objectives

The first step in planning a successful event is to identify the university’s goals and objectives. Goals are what you want to achieve, while objectives are the specific steps that need to be taken in order for you to reach those goals.

The best way to identify your university’s goals and objectives is by working backwards from its mission statement, which should reflect the institution’s values as well as its vision for the future. Once you have determined what these two things are–and how they relate to one another–you can begin identifying SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based) targets that align with both aspects of this mission statement/vision statement combo (which we’ll call “your big idea”).

Assess Your Needs, Resources, and Audience

It’s important to know your audience, resources and goals before you begin planning a university event.

Know Your Audience: Who are you trying to reach? What do they want from the event? How old are they? What kind of content will resonate with them most effectively? Having answers to these questions will help determine which type of event is best suited for your purposes.

Know Your Resources: What are your budgetary constraints and time frame in which this project must be completed (i.e., weekdays only or weekends)? Once again, knowing what’s available–and what isn’t–will help guide decisions about where this event should take place as well as whether or not it would make sense for an outside vendor like ours!

Know Your Goals: Do we want people coming away from our event feeling informed about something specific like “how-to” tips related specifically towards university students working on their resumes/CVs during summer break before starting back up again next semester in September 2023? Or maybe instead we’d rather inspire them through stories told by successful alumni who’ve gone through similar experiences themselves while attending school here at University Of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) – either way works great because both scenarios require different approaches based on how much time we have available when planning accordingly.”

Find Vendors Who Can Help You Achieve Your Goals and Objectives

When planning your event, it is important to find vendors who can help you achieve your goals and objectives. The following are some questions to ask yourself when looking for the right vendors:

  • What are the vendors I can use?
  • Will they be able to help me achieve my goals and objectives?
  • How do I find them?
  • Do I need to hire them or just use their services (e.g., venue rental)?
  • How much will they cost me per hour/day/week/month (if applicable)?

You may also want to consider whether or not there are any hidden fees associated with using this particular vendor’s services (e.g., security guards have a minimum number of hours required).

Build a Budget that Aligns with Your Goals, Objectives, and Resources

When planning a university event, it is important to understand your budget and how it aligns with your goals and objectives. The first step in developing a budget is defining what expenses you expect to incur during the planning process. These could include:

  • food and drink (if applicable)
  • venue rental fees
  • decorations/furniture rentals/decorations-related supplies (if applicable)

Once you have identified all of these potential costs, determine which ones are necessary for achieving your objective(s). Then determine which ones can be eliminated from consideration based on their cost versus benefit ratio. Once this has been done, move onto estimating how much money will be needed for each category of expense by using averages from similar events as reference points–for example, if an average person spends $10-$20 per hour at conferences or trade shows then estimate how many attendees will attend based on past attendance numbers or estimates based on industry trends/statistics; once this figure has been established multiply that number by whatever hourly rate applies (hourly rate = total cost divided by number of hours worked).

Put the Right People in Charge of the Event

You’ve got to have the right people in charge of your event. This will help ensure that everything runs smoothly, especially if you’re planning an out-of-the-ordinary university event or conference. Here are some tips for finding and training those key players:

  • Find someone who is passionate about what they do–and can communicate that passion effectively to others. If a potential employee doesn’t seem passionate about their job, move on! You want someone who will be enthusiastic about helping you achieve your goals for the event, not just taking orders from above or following along because they have nothing better to do with their time (or because they need money).
  • Make sure everyone knows why it’s important for them to be there and how their contributions will make an impact on the success of your project; then train those individuals thoroughly before sending them out into the field so they know exactly what needs doing at any given time during execution phase(s).

Use Professional Event Software for Universities

Using the right event software for universities like Eventtia is an important part of planning a successful university event. As a planner, you will have to keep track of everything from budgeting to managing attendees and vendors. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the tasks that go into planning an event; however, using professional university event management software can help streamline your process and make it easier for you to achieve success with every new project.

There are many options available when choosing an event management system for your school–and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses depending on what features are most important for your organization’s needs. To find out which program will work best for yours, take some time upfront by asking yourself these questions:

  1. What is the size and scope of our events?
  2. How many people do we need to manage? 
  3. How much money do we have to spend on technology?

Universities Have Unique Needs for Their Events

As a university event planner, it is important to understand that universities have unique needs for their events. They need to be planned with a lot of care and attention to detail.

University events are very important to the university because they help promote school spirit among students, faculty and staff members. They also help recruit new students by showcasing what makes your institution unique in an attractive manner.

The first step in planning any major event is setting clear goals and objectives so you know exactly what you want from it before taking action on any other aspect of your planning process (such as venue selection). You’ll then be able to make informed decisions about where best fit within the budget constraints given all available options based on these criteria rather than just picking one randomly without thinking through whether or not it actually meets those requirements well enough!


We hope you’ve found this guide useful and will be able to use these tips when planning your next university event. If you have any questions or would like more information on how to plan a successful event, please contact us!

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