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Genius Expert: How to Plan a Successful College Organization Event

Kelsey O'Malley is a New York University graduate, blogger, writer, and social media specialist at Frank Financial Aid. With a passion for helping others achieve their college dreams, Kelsey shares invaluable insights on planning successful...

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Kelsey O'Malley is a New York University graduate, blogger, writer, and social media specialist at Frank Financial Aid. With a passion for helping others achieve their college dreams, Kelsey shares invaluable insights on planning successful college events. Frank Financial Aid assists students in finding the right college, saving money, and applying for financial aid.

Keys to a Successful College Event

Hosting a successful college event requires a strategic approach. According to Kelsey, the key is to utilize multiple channels to spread the word. The more avenues you explore, the greater the impact you can make. Additionally, adding unique features and elements that set your event apart will attract more attendees. While setting up these aspects may require time and effort, the result will be an event that no one on campus would want to miss.

One effective strategy is to invite a guest speaker. Having a professional who is knowledgeable about the topic being discussed adds value and credibility to your event. They provide fresh insights on complex subjects and bring legitimacy to the occasion.

Food is another surefire way to attract attendees. Offering free pizzas from the most popular spot on campus in exchange for providing their email addresses can entice people to attend. This approach requires minimal effort and expenditure while guaranteeing a decent turnout.

Involving Members in Event Planning

When it comes to involving members in event planning, Kelsey advises against having too many people playing an active role. Having numerous moving parts can complicate matters. Instead, it's best to establish an event committee where members are hand-picked and assigned specific responsibilities.

To involve the general membership, Kelsey suggests leveraging their personal connections to spread the word. Encourage members to inform their friends, share event details on social media, and post pictures and descriptions. If allowed, they can also promote the event in their classes, especially if there is a relevant connection to the club's focus. For example, if the club is related to Model United Nations, members speaking in political science or international relations classes would be most effective.

Advertising a College Event on Campus

Posters remain a tried and tested method for event marketing. Positioning aesthetically pleasing, informative, and straightforward posters in key areas around campus can yield positive results. However, it's also essential to embrace social media as a crucial tool for advertising events on campus. Creating Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for your club and encouraging members and their friends to follow them can lend legitimacy to your organization. These platforms provide a medium to publish information about ongoing activities.

Another effective way to reach potential attendees is by emailing students in your classes and other clubs. However, to stand out, it's important to craft compelling emails. Using communication tools tailored to colleges and student groups will help manage your messages more efficiently, freeing up time to focus on event planning.

Partnering with Other Groups or the University

Collaborating with other established organizations is an excellent way to maximize your event's impact. Find clubs with similar goals and objectives and reach out to their leadership to explore partnership opportunities. Many college students join multiple clubs, making it easier to tap into existing communities.

Fraternities and sororities are another avenue to consider. Engage with a few members from each house and ask them to talk to their chapters about your event. Personal recommendations from members are more likely to generate positive responses compared to cold emails. It may also be worthwhile to approach professional and multicultural fraternities that align with your club's mission.

To maintain a strong relationship with your university, appoint a school-relations chair on your board. This individual can focus on nurturing connections with the student affairs office, which typically decides club affiliations. They can also assist in publicizing your event through the university's website or newsletters and arrange meetings with school administrators who can support your cause.

A special thanks to Kelsey for sharing these genius college event planning tips! For more ideas, check out these 30 community service projects for college groups.