Engineering | Event Planning Guide

Invitations

Invitation Basics

What kind of invitation you send is determined by the kind of event it is and the budget you have. Meetings usually only require an e-mailed invitation, while major celebrations might require hard cover invitations designed by a graphic artist and printed by a printer. Cost of printed invitations can be between $1-5 per piece, depending on the paper, size, colors and amount ordered. This does not include the cost to design the invitation.  Using the social media such as Facebook and Twitter has become more popular lately; be careful using these if you would like selective audience.

You should send out invitations no later than three to four weeks before the event. If possible, send out a “Save the Date” invite at least six to eight weeks before the event. It often takes a few weeks to gather the information on who should be invited and how to contact them, so give yourself plenty of time on this. You never know how many people will attend an event, but you can estimate that at least 25-30 percent will not be able to make it.

What to Say in an Invite/Registration
Include all of the information necessary, but nothing extra. A good rule of thumb is to provide: what, where, when and why. Include a map of the area that highlights location, recommended parking location and major streets around the area. Make sure the font is well readable for people with eyesight problems. Ask if people have any accessibility requirements or dietary needs. If you have a speaker(s) that you would like to highlight, include information about them on the side or back of the invitation as well as an itinerary.

e-mail
Sending e-mails to promote or adverse an event is very effective IF you consider a few key details:

  • Event date/time/place
  • Event title
  • Speaker(s) name and brief biographical information
  • Brief description of the event
  • Image
  • Link to website (always drive them back to your website)
  • Consider including a link to the RSVP page, if relevant

VIP Invites

If you would like to invite the governor, legislators, ABOR members or other high profile people, you have to notify Office of University Affairs before you send out an invite. Certain people have been assigned contact from ASU to these individuals, inviting them only to a selected few high profile events to help increase the possibility of their attendance. In addition to University Affairs contact the following people for invites.

Governor/legislators – Steve Miller’s assistant Shawna Moore 480-727-7392 in Office of Governmental and Community Engagement.

ABOR  –Lori Briese in Office of the President at 480-965-1334.

City Governments – Angela Creedon, 480-727-2463.

Always copy Tye Thede or Laura Rutherford when you contact any of the above people, because if you don’t hear back from them, Tye and Laura can help follow up on your request.

Inviting Donors
The Engineering development office values your relationship with alumni and friends. Please contact the Donor Relations Manager or 480-965-9646 at the Fulton Schools development office when you are planning an externally focused event. They will help you invite alumni, friends and donors, as appropriate, to attend an event. The benefits of this partnership is to enhance your supporters’ experience with stellar students and world-renown faculty and also to deepen our connections with supporters.

 

Registration

There are many different Registrations sites available online.  Below is a list of few below:

Google Docs
Google Docs may be an easy option for your internal invites for smaller meetings.  It is free and you can make it private to those that are invited only or open to public.  It can be used for multiple sharing opportunities as it lets you create different kinds of online documents, work on them in real time with other people, and store them in your Google Drive online.
More information can be found at Google Docs

Eventbrite
Eventbrite is an online platform that allows you to create, promote, and host events – no matter how small or little – for free! You start with customizing your event page with the event details and registration questions of your choosing, select which ticket type you want, even do reserved seating, and make it live.
Promote it by sending your invitees a direct link, customizable URL, or send messages directly through Eventbrite. Let your attendees spread the invite with built in sharing tools, like Facebook and Twitter, on the event page. Establish custom deadlines and email announcements.
As the host you need to check you event dashboard regularly to see who is coming and see if you need to activate that waiting list. Stay organized with customizable event reports on attendees. Stay technologically savvy on event day by checking-in your attendees on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, or go old school and print an attendee list! The choice is yours!

For further information and answers to your questions, please visit the Eventbrite Help Center

Regonline
If you are charging your attendees for entry fee, ASU recommends using RegOnline to collect registrations and online payments with credit cards.  RegOnline Tech Support, 888-351-9948, is friendly, helpful and available most of the time to help you with your setup questions.

RSVP

Make sure you know the last day that you can change your food order, as well as the date you have to give guarantees (day your final count is due). Design your RSVP date accordingly, leaving three to five days before your earliest deadline. It is recommended to send out a reminder the week that the RSVP is due.

Forgot to RSVP
You can always guarantee that you will have several people that show up that did not notify you in advance. This is especially true for students, faculty and staff.

No Show
No shows are as certain as the people that don’t RSVP. On most occasions the no shows balance out the people that show up unannounced. If it is urgent that you know the exact number ahead of time, try contacting everyone to confirm their arrival the day before the event. Also call those that have not sent an RSVP to make sure they got the invite.

Website for your event

It is very important to create (and regularly update) a dedicated website for your event. For promotion and for historical archiving, it’s very helpful to have a permanent place where guests can go to get information. You always want to drive your guests to your website with more information.Include some basic details on the website:

  • Event date/time/place
  • Event title
  • Speaker(s) name and brief biographical information (consider linking to a lengthier speaker bio or CV)
  • Description of the event (what to expect if attending)
  • Photo of speaker(s)
  • If it is a lecture series, include past speakers and titles, as well as a brief explanation of the lecture series- how/when did it get started, and if it’s a named lecture, share a brief bio of that person.
  • Contact person where they can call or e-mail for more information
  • Parking information (a link to a campus map with directions)
  • Cost and/or RSVP details (and link to an RSVP page if relevant)

Promoting your event

Develop a plan for promoting the event–create a timeline for rolling out waves of promotion. Consider using a variety of methods, including, but not limited to:

  • Posters or fliers
  • Electronic mailing
  • Postcards or letters
  • Invitations (ideally should be mailed out no later than 3-4 weeks before the event; don’t forget a parking map)
  • Tickets
  • Signage for the actual event
  • Website

You can design the materials yourself in-house or hire a designer. If you design yourself, Microsoft Office has tons of great templates and clipart available.  Be sure to maintain communications standards and use the correct ASU logos, fonts, etc. An ASU Communication Guide has been created with important information and resources.

If you cannot produce promotional materials in-house, allow time to send designs to a printer- usually 1-2 weeks is needed, sometimes more.  The following ASU services might be able to help you.

Nametags

Nametags are recommended at any event to help others remember attendees’ names. Many people like to greet others with their names, and having name tags is helpful for this. The best person to do your nametags is the person taking RSVP’s. Don’t forget to have nametags for anyone overseeing the event as well as volunteers, speakers and special guests.

Make sure you always have plenty of blank nametags (at least 30 percent of your intended attendee numbers) for unannounced attendees. Having a printer at your registration desk is necessary for high profile events. This allows you to print name cards on the spot for those that did not RSVP. It makes people feel great to have a printed nametag, even though they forgot to send an RSVP.

Borrow your event décor!

The Fulton Engineering Dean’s office events team has linens and décor items available for loan to others in Engineering.

Engineering Events Inventory