Sauk Valley Community College

an institution of higher education that provides quality learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of its students and community

Leadership - Event Planning

Event Planning

You are planning a lecture, 100 people are waiting at the door and only 10 chairs are in the room. What went wrong? Event planning can be tricky if you don't look at the big picture. Here is everything you need to know.


Program Concept

  1. Determine the goals of the program. Examples - to educate, to expose individuals to differing viewpoints, to entertain, to socialize, etc.
  2. Brainstorm the types of programs and themes that will match your goals. Examples - speakers, film, dance, fundraisers, trip, food, festival, athletic event, recreation tournament, etc.
  3. Decide on a program within your budget. Discuss the options within your group and make a decision.

Event Planning

  1. Pick a date.
    • Coordinate your program with other scheduled events; it's best not to compete for an audience.
    • Find a convenient day for members in the group.
    • Check on facility availability.
  2. Choose a location.
    • Project attendance.
    • Determine the program needs - chairs, tables, lighting, sound, stage, open space, cooking area, ticket booths, etc.
  3. Decide on a time.
    • Determine a convenient time for targeted audience. Remember: use previous program evaluations to help determine optimal time/days.
  4. Don't forget your budget.
    • Project all expenses and income.
    • Stay on budget.
    • Brainstorm additional funding sources.
  5. Think about the entertainment value of your event.
    • Determine the type of entertainment.
    • Research local, regional and national possibilities.
    • Contact and negotiate.
  6. Food
    • Determine food needs.
    • Design a menu.
    • Make arrangements.
  7. Publicity
    • Consider all publicity ideas.
    • Design publicity strategies for targeted audiences.