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Event Design and Development

  • This is getting down to the detail portion of event planning. Get a binder and begin to establish a timeline based on the date of your event. Often it is easier to work backwards beginning with the date of the event. Event scheduling, finance, marketing and media strategies, sponsorships, catering, risk management, operation planning, and other details are often overlooked when planning an event.

  • What is the goal of the event?

    The very first step to take in the process of event planning is to determine the goal and need for the event. Without knowing why an event is to take place, there is no reason to continue the process. The goal and need for the event should be written into a mission statement. This statement must clearly and simply describe the purpose.

    Define the event:

    Remember to match your organization’s goals with the goals and objectives of the event.

    Choose a name:

    Remember to give the event a unique identity, one that will separate it from other events. It should be catchy, memorable, and something to be used again. You are creating an identity for your audience. Remember how the look of your event could and should carry the Indiana University of Pennsylvania identity, consistent with the university’s branding strategy.

    Choose a theme:

    The theme should support the overall purpose and goals and carry with it an enticing image or quality that will make people want to attend.

    Define the target audience:

    True to the success of your event, it is of utmost importance to define your target audience. The target audience should be a measurable group with a distinctive demographic that complements the goals and objectives determined for the event.

    Set a date and time:

    Remember, the timing of the event should best meet the goals and objectives of the event. Timing is critical and can be an issue when planning time is cut short. A problem can arise when planners wait too long or do not select a date far enough in advance to allow enough time to properly plan, organize, and implement the event to its fullest potential. Many an event has not met its goals when planning is done in too short a period of time.

    Remember to check the calendars of all speakers and university administrators who need to participate or whom you want to invite to attend.

    Contact the President’s Office at 724-357-2200 if you would like for the president to be a part of your event. Remember, if you are asking that the president attend your event, the sooner you schedule with his office the better chance you will have for him to be there.

    Room selection and reservation:

    Focus on a site that can best meet the needs of the event. Always do a site location inspection. Determine and reserve your location as soon as you determine the date of the event.

    Many rooms can be scheduled through the Scheduling Office located in Clark Hall at 724-357-2652. The Blue Room and Gorell Hall can be reserved through the Office of University Events, 724-357-2145—please call for room availability, and remember to always have an alternative location in mind! A Request for Facilities form (PDF) will need to be filled out and submitted to Judith Hollopeter at Judith.Hollopeter@iup.edu.

    Establishing budgets:

    First you must determine what your financial goal is to be. For the event that you are planning, do you need to make money or break even? Once you can answer that question, you must prepare a thorough and understandable budget. Keep to that budget and monitor it as needed. 

    Planning Budget Summary Template (PDF)

    Sample: Proposed Planning budget Summary Template (PDF)

    Obtaining catering services or meal tickets with university funds:

    For procedures on obtaining catering services or meal tickets with university funds, please visit the IUP Financial Operations website under accounts payable, Procedures for Obtaining Catering Services or Meal Tickets with University Funds, for more information.