Events are a great way for Societies to publicise themselves, get new members, raise money, and have a good time as a group. Events can be anything from having a board games evening, to hosting guest speakers on campus, to going out for dinner, to an end of year ball.
Planning and budgeting are key elements of a successful event.
Purpose – Decide what the event should achieve, what format it should take and who it will be aimed at.
Roles – Who is going to take on what tasks? Think about involving your broader membership in this as they may have skills you can utilise.
Expertise – Is any specialist equipment needed for the event and can the event organisers operate it or does the Society need to bring in external expertise?
Location – Research venues and get quotes for hire. The Society might be able to negotiate prices as you’ll be bringing the valuable student demographic to a business. Campus classrooms can be booked through ENSA reception.
Date and time – Publicise this well in advance and remember to take into consideration exam periods, holidays and event organiser workloads.
Costs – What will money need to be spent on? Venues and publicity are often two big costs, but the Society might be paying bands or speakers, covering transport costs, hiring equipment or providing catering. Once the Society knows how much money it needs, look at income. If it is a ticketed event then how many tickets will the Society need to sell to break even? You might want to consider fundraising or sponsorship as alternative income streams.
Risk assessments – Large events like a gig or anything with non-professional catering may need a risk assessment form. Download a risk assessment and email it to us two weeks before the event. ENSA staff can advise the Society on whether a risk assessment is necessary and how to complete one.
Publicity – ENSA has noticeboards for posters at all campuses and you can drop posters off for distribution to these at ENSA reception. Societies can speak to ENSA about having events publicised on electronic screens around campus. Use social media – create a Facebook event and share it with us so we can publicise it on our platforms. The more people like and share your event, the more it will appear in people’s newsfeeds. You can add events to your Society page on the ENSA website too.
Ticket sales –Tickets can be sold via the ENSA website with the money going directly into the Society Membership account. A guest list can be printed out from these sales. If the Society is taking money on the door for an event, make sure there is a float and a lock box to keep money safe in. Allocate door people to take cash and look after the money. Bring the money you’ve raised to ENSA to pay in as soon as possible.
Running the event – Make sure event organisers/helpers have allocated roles on the night so everyone knows what they should be doing.
Post-event analysis – Arrange a follow-up meeting to discuss what went well, what went badly, and what the response was like.