Designate a host or project lead
Establish one or two people who will take the lead on your project, either for all events in a series or for each individual event. Leads should have authority to make planning and financial decisions for the group and be available by email for questions as they arise. The lead also serves as the main host of the event and the primary contact/handler for the incoming guest.
For each event, forecast what you are likely to need and how much travel support you hope to provide. Will you want refreshments? Will you host the guest at lunch and/or dinner? Do you plan to cover airfare, hotel, ground transportation, honorarium, etc? Once we know what type of service you want to offer, we can help you estimate the costs for the event.
If you will host multiple events throughout the year, you may want to establish event baselines for us to follow. For example, “Always (or never) order catering.”; “We prefer to use a particular room/time.”; or “Pay each guest a $250 honorarium.” Baselines can help streamline the event planning and keep your project on budget. You can also request periodic budget updates or other information, as much or as little as you need.
Planning ahead helps ensure that rooms and staffing are available and that travel expenses are as low as possible. The ideal lead time for small events is 12 weeks; Conferences and symposia planning begins at least 6 months prior to the event.
View our event planning timeline
A full audience is the perfect ‘Thank you!’ for your guest. Your group is best situated to know who the likely audience will be—and your target audience will respond best to invitations from someone they know. To help support your advertising efforts, we will post events on our website, promote them on social media, circulate events to the college and campus, and send out weekly digital newsletters to our email list. In addition to this, we encourage you to invite your graduate seminars and undergraduate classes. (Let us know ahead of time if you will require your students to attend so that we can set up extra seating as space allows.)