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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.

Select a Location

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. This office can be reached at 724-357-2652. The Blue Room and Gorell Hall can be reserved through the Office of University Events at 724-357-2145. The Crimson Event Center is scheduled through ARA, which can be reached at 724-357-5709. But remember to always have an alternative location in mind! A Request for Facilities form will need to be filled out and submitted. These forms are available through Central Stores: contact number 724-357-2515.

Fair Market Value

There are many methods that can be used to estimate the fair market value of a particular item or property. One is the market comparable method. For example, if a real estate agent wants to estimate the value of a house, she or he examines the sale price of similar houses with similar features in the same neighborhood. Although an identical house may not be available, the agent estimates the value by looking at similar or comparable houses. Charities may use the market comparable method to estimate the goods or services provided to contributors as long as they do so in good faith. Often, when planning an event, our office is asked to provide a dollar amount for fair market value. In calculating this amount, we take into consideration a value of what a willing buyer and a willing seller would exchange on the open market. One example is our annual Legacy Gala; in order to come up with a dollar figure for fair market value, we would have to take into consideration the cost of the dinner at the gala, the cost of the music, the flowers, and the linens.

Establishing Budgets
Determine what your financial goal is to be.
Marketing and Communications
Establishing a relationship with our associate vice president for Communications and Community Relations should be the first thing you do.
Sponsorships
For some events, you will want to incorporate sponsorships into the picture. Most events, even small ones, could not survive without contributions from commercial businesses and individuals.
Risk Management
Risk management is the process of anticipating, preventing, or minimizing potential costs, losses, or problems for the event, organization, and guests.
 
  • Office of University Events
  • Sutton Hall, Room 230
    1011 South Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2145
  • Fax: 724-357-3121
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.