If you would like to host an event about our student conference festival but you have never run an event before, have no fear!
We have collected our start to finish top tips for planning a successful event.
Choose a topic
Think about what topics are interesting or important to your target audience. If you are planning this event for our student conference, try to think about what women students in STEM might want or need out of an event.
Think about what you have knowledge and experience in that you think would be helpful to others.
It may sound simple, but try to plan an event that you would be excited to attend.
Decide on the aims of the event
Think about what the attendees will get from your event.
Why should people come along to this event?
What is it they will come away with that they didn’t have before?
By thinking about this, you will be able to plan your content to deliver these aims.
Plan your content
Keeping the aims of your event in mind, plan how you will deliver them with a variety of activities.
Remember that it is difficult to sit and listen to someone speak for long periods of time, especially online. Break up presentations with interactive activities, like break out rooms with smaller groups for discussion, short quizzes, polls, Q&As, practical skills sessions, and practice activities.
Think about timings and breaks
Ensure that you time how long you think each section of your event will take. It will probably take a few minutes for everyone to join and to sort out any problems with sound, so add an extra 5minutes just in case!
Expecting participants to be able to focus for long periods of time is unrealistic. Consider putting breaks peppered throughout the events. According to experts, around 60 – 90 minutes is the ideal length to keep participant concentration. However, if you have a full day workshop to deliver, breaks every 45 minutes are recommended.
Choose a time and date
Think about when your target audience might be free and select a time that would work well for them. If you are not sure, why not look at events targeted as similar audiences and see what time they are at.
Choose a title for your event
It is important that people know from reading the title what your event is about. Make sure it is clear, snappy, and inviting. Try to strike a balance between exciting and informative.
Write a blurb for your event
Your blurb should tell the reader everything they need to know about the event.
Make sure you include what the event will cover, what a participant will get from the event, anything attendees need to do before the event, any speaker bios, and a “pull quote” in bold to entice bookings. A pull quote might be something like, “If you’re looking for a career in tech, this event is not to be missed!”.
Create a cover photo for your event
You might want to use a photo, an infographic, or a photo with the title of the event on it.
You might want to try Canva, a free easy to use graphic design website, to make a photo. Canva has lots of templates available at the correct size for cover photos and social media.
Make sure that if you are using text that it is large enough to read, and is in high contrast to the background colour.
Decide if you are going to record your session
If you would like to record your session to publish later, remember that this might affect which event platform you use. You also have to ensure that everyone attending is aware the session will be recorded and that, if their camera is on, you need their permission to use the footage.
You should include this information in the event blurb and booking information, and repeat it at the beginning of the event – allowing anyone time to turn off their camera if they would rather not be visible.
Choose what platform to host your event on
There are many online platforms to choose from including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WebEx, and Google Meet.
Think about what you need from the platform – will you need to be able to share your screen, field questions, mute other people’s microphones, run polls or other interactive activities?
Research which platform will give you access to the features you need – though most platforms have a ‘free’ plan, some features require a paid subscription.
Publish your event
Set up your event on a website to take bookings.
We tend to use Eventbrite, however, there are lots of other options available. If you are using Eventbrite, there are some user guides here: ttps://www.eventbrite.co.uk/support/GettingStarted
Before you publish the event, make sure to double-check the grammar and spelling, and the time and date of the event.
It is always good to do a practice booking to make sure everything is working as you would like it to.
Promote your event
Now your event is online and ready for bookings, you should share it with the world!
Post about your event on social media and put it in any newsletters you have going out.
You can also get in touch with other people and organisations asking them to share it. If you do this, it is always good to send a template message they can share your event with, to save them time.
Run your event
It’s ok to be nervous, but just remember that everyone in attendance wants to be there to hear what you have to say.
Remember to welcome everyone to the event and to introduce yourself before you start.
Then just work through the content you have planned and try to enjoy it!
Get more support
We will also be running training on public speaking skills and how to run a successful online event in February.