Set a date. Check for scheduled conflicts with other events on campus at https://calendar.wvu.edu.
If your event program or attendee list includes leadership from WVU, Health Sciences, and/or WVU Medicine, plan 4-6 months in advance. Consult with Joanna DiStefano in the HSC Office of the VP and Executive Dean to coordinate calendar inquiries. Before any request is made, the VIP function at the event should also be determined, i.e. speaker, guest, ribbon cutter, etc.
Reserve space on campus through http://facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu/25live. Technical equipment can be reserved at the same time. For public spaces (HSC Commons, Pylons Area, Fukushima Lobby, outdoor areas), contact Cathy Patterson in Health Sciences Facilities at 293-1811.
When setting an event start time, consider the schedules of your target attendees. In general, events between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm often receive the most media coverage. Events after 5:00 pm are generally better attended by clinical staff (after clinic hours).
Form a planning team. A planning committee should be formed by an administrator or representative from the applicable department or unit and members could include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Administrative representative from the college or unit
- Chief Business Officer, Health Sciences Vice President/Dean’s Office
- The communications officer for the school involved
- The development officer for the school or unit
- The committee should initially meet at least three months prior to the date of the ceremony.
Designate one main contact person/event organizer within the Department who will be responsible for coordinating all event logistics.
Prepare an event binder to house all paperwork, invoices, correspondence, etc. for reference.
Form a budget for the event and determine who will collect and pay all invoices.
Plan your communication strategy with attendees and key constituents in mind. More wide-scale coverage through traditional and social media channels is not always better. Reaching your target audience is.
For events that have an external element, work with your school communications officer to devise a promotional strategy.
For events that are primarily internal to Health Sciences, event coordinators can manage postings to WVU E-News (http://universityrelations.wvu.edu/communications/submit-enews), WVU Hospital Connect (http://connections.wvumedicine.org/submit/, not for students), and social media accounts (tagging other Health Sciences identities).
If you will be sending out invitations to your event, be sure to include the following information:
- Hosting Entity
- Who is invited (you and a guest?)
- Event Name
- Day and Date
- Time Location
- RSVP (phone number and/or e-mail address of person designated responsible for RSVPs)
Electronic “Save The Date” notifications should be sent to invitees approximately two months in advance of an event. Invitations by email are preferred, and they should be sent no later than 2 weeks in advance of an event.
One exception to the email invitations is the in the case of external VIPs, donors, etc. Work with your school communicator or Philanthropy to design a hard copy invitation and pull a mailing list.
Designate a contact person and method of contact to handle incoming questions and track RSVPs as they are returned. This person may also want to send a reminder to RSVP (sent ONLY to those that have not sent in an RSVP) approximately 5 days in advance of the event.
RSVPs should be tabulated on a spreadsheet generated from the Invitee List. Be sure to include any guests that may attend with the person invited and indicate “regrets” on the spreadsheet. Also, make sure to indicate any special needs or dietary preferences, if a meal will be served.