Successful Event Planning for High Schools


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Presentation at the 8th Annual Alabama Career Development Conference

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  • It may be the gym, auditorium, library or even the cafeteria! Choose a location that is easy to find, has convenient parking and comfortable seating. It is also nice to have an additional area where refreshments can be served, resources can be distributed and students/parents can check-in if needed.
    Try to avoid Mondays and Fridays in general as well as days with planned sporting events and holidays. Keep an open mind – Saturdays may be the best fit for maximum participation.
    The agenda is an important piece of a successful event. It doesn’t have to be a rigid, to-the-minute schedule, but it does ensure that all participants know what to expect and when.
    Of course we know that the students have a limited attention span, but so do adults! Try to limit each speaker’s time with a break in between.
    Make sure to allow time for restroom breaks, refreshments, meet and greet opportunities, etc.
    Have a “PLAN B” for everything – speaker doesn’t show, refreshments aren’t delivered, SNOW on the ground…be prepared just in case!
  • 1. Make copies of each presentation. These can easily be printed in the “slide” format to reduce resources. The option for a “notes” section may prove to be beneficial as well.
    Presenters may have additional resources to be distributed. For example, for a financial aid night, the FAFSA brochure would be a great read for later. If you have any school news that needs to be distributed to parents, this is a wonderful opportunity to discuss that as well.
    Everyone loves to take home something for free – whether it is a pen, pencil, calendar, sticky notes, etc. Again, if you had sponsorships or partnerships from certain individuals or companies, this is an opportunity to highlight their business or service. Of course, something with your school colors would also be welcome!
    School administrators or sponsors may elect to donate door prizes for the event.
  • Successful Event Planning for High Schools

    1. 1. Successful Event Planning for high schools Presented by Laura Holt, Kelli Morris, and Ashley Watts Calhoun Community College
    2. 2. Planning • Choose an accessible, comfortable location with nice flow • Choose the day and time wisely! • When planning the agenda, avoid holding an informational session while another group is browsing or conversing • Try to limit each speaker to 15-20 minutes • Break up the speaker sessions with time for refreshments, meet and greet opportunities and time to gather resources • Have a PLAN B!
    3. 3. Take-Aways • Distribute copies of the presentation(s) • Additional flyers or handouts that pertain to the topic of discussion should also be given away (FAFSA brochures, school calendars, etc.) • Who doesn’t love a freebie? This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase any sponsorship for the event (pens, sticky notes, etc.) • Door prizes may also be an option
    4. 4. Advertising • Word of mouth • Email bulletin/blast • Email tagline • Signs & Posters • Shop windows • Ask for a free ad or free ad space • Chamber of Commerce and other local newsletters/websites • Newspapers: school, local, regional • Radio/TV: local stations/channels, college stations/channels • Tweet it! • Create a Facebook event page • Local blogs
    5. 5. Timing • Check the school/local calendar • Avoid: Holidays, Mondays & Fridays • Look out for games and other organizations’ events • Join efforts with other events that may draw the same crowd • Make a week of it!
    6. 6. Incentives • Offer and advertise giveaways (door prizes, gift cards, scholarships, etc.) • Work with local businesses on giveaways • Provide light refreshments • For students, encourage them to complete a worksheet or activity at an event like a career fair in order to receive a grade, prize or refreshments
    7. 7. Expectations • Before your event and during your promotion, provide clear information about the purpose of the event • State what will discussed and provided at the event • Encourage participants to have questions and topics of discussion • Provide a friendly and relaxed environment to encourage discussion • Hold the attention of your audience: Keep things brief and creative to get your point across and hold their attention