Events can be a helpful way of promoting your student council, raising awareness of the work you have done, and engaging new students with Student Representation. There are several things to consider when intending to put together an event.
1. Establish the event's purpose and objectives
Before beginning with organisation, be clear with regards to exactly why you are holding the event, and what you hope to achieve or gain from succesful delivery of the event
- Is the event's purpose to widen awareness of the reps on your student council, or to gather feedback from a specific group of students?
- Is the objective increased engagement with the representation system, or to gain greater awareness of student needs and opinions prior to your next SSLC or PGRLF meeting?
This will shape the nature, timing, and structure of your event.
2. Identify your intended audience
This should be a natural progression from the first step, while also helping to further define it. This will also have a knock on effect with regards to how you plan timing, date, and venue,as these will have to be suited and adapated to your intended audience.
- Are you intending to invite students, academics, Professional Services staff, or a combination of all three?
- If your purpose is to reach students on a specific module or programme, how are you making sure the intention of the event is relevant to your audience?
3. Think about Budget
Before considering the format and practicalities of the event, identify if there is a budget, or if there is need for one. The majority of the times, it will be possible to put together an event without resorting to a budget, as rooms with computers, projectors, and whiteboards can be booked for free (see the Activities section page on Booking rooms and facilities for more information).
However, if you would like, for example, to provide food and refreshments for your event, we would encourage you to get in touch with your Student Community and Poartnerships Associate or your Director of Education, or your PGR Support Officer or Director of PGR, as they may be able to facilitate this in some way.
4. Decide on the format of your event
Informed by the previous three points, the format of your event should be geared towards facilitating its objectives, and engaging your intended audience. If the objective is facilitation of informal discussion and feedback collection, an event somewhere with food and drink with someone present to facilitate and note down discussions, or flipchart paper with question prompts to allow people to write their feedback down, may be one possibility. If the intention is to update students on progress, a brief open town-hall style meeting during which the reps provide updates, and students are given the opportunity for questions at the end, could be a method of doing this.
5. Consider key collaborators
In addition to your fellow student reps, consider who you will need to be working with to make sure the event is feasible and runs well. This will likely include:
- your Director of Education or Director of PGR, should you choose to invite or involve other members of staff,
- your College Officer or VP Education, should you be looking to work with other reps and officers,
- or one of the members of the Student Voice team, should you want our help in publicising the event.
You should also be looking to collaborate with your Student Community and Partnerships Associate or PGR Support Officer, as they will be key to helping with the publicity and organisation of your event.
6. Map out a structure for your event
Once the above have been considered, it is important to have a clear and detailed idea of the structure of the event. This should include:
- Set up and preparation timings
- Guest arrival and introduction timings
- Event beginning time
- Event progression timings
- Event ending time
- Clean up timing for organisers
it is a good idea to create a clear event programme, including division of responsibilities for organisers, so everyone involved in delivery knows what they need to be doing at every stage of the event.
7. Finalise venue, date and time
Once the rest has been identified, the logistics of the event need to be organised. Consider a venue of appropriate size for your intended audience and purpose. Be aware of any accessibility issues with your venue, and any restrictions in terms of food and refreshments should these be part of your event. With regards to the date and time of your event, be aware of any clashes with events wherever possible (be they internal society or academic society events, or any gigs and performances), in addition to any potential conflicts with AU training sessions/events. Use the room booking systems (details linked above) to book your venue should you wish to run your event on campus in a bookable space. Finally, make sure you can be there!
8. Consider communication, invitations, and attendance
The final step in the process is how you communicate your event and invite attendees. if it is an open event, be sure to publicise the details on relevant social media platforms and via email. If it is specifically for the students you represent, be sure to use the Message Centre and social media to inform those students. Remember to focus on the emotional core of WHY attendees would want to engage with your event, and embed this into your publicity and messaging, in addition to clear details of the event (i.e. time, location, date). Make sure to include any accessibility information if required, and consider dietary needs/allergen information if food is provide.