We’ve been planning events in our section for many years and have collaborated on this guide to make sure our best practices can be easily accessed. If you’re planning an event for our section, designing a flyer, publicizing, or bringing supplies on the day of the event, check out the guide. It’s based on our collective years of event planning experience and will help you address all the questions before they’re even asked.
Planning questions to consider
- What will we be doing?
- What’s the dress code for your event? Business casual is typical, but note that some factory tours require hard-soled shoes.
- Are there door prizes or raffle items? (There probably should be… we love door prizes!)
- Who is invited?
- Who would find particular interest in the event?
- Are guests, non-members, families or kids invited?
- What are the headcount limitations?
- Is RSVP required? If so, when?
- What is the cost?
- Are prices different for member, non-member, guest of member, collegiate?
- Where are we meeting? Does the address map correctly on most websites?
- Is there a specific location in the building? Which entrances are handicap accessible?
- Are we going anywhere afterwards?
- What is the date, start time, agenda and end time?
- Who can help? What volunteers are needed? For big events – what are the help deadlines, when it’s too late to submit names/requests/changes/suggestions/sign ups?
Spreading the word
Be sure to think about who you want to advertise this event to, and work with the communications committee to get the word out. Depending on the event, invitations frequently go to:
- Wichita Council of Engineering Societies (WCES) – includes AIAA, IEEE, etc
- Employee network groups – like Cessna or Spirit women’s groups
- NAWIC – women in construction. We do lots of events with them.
- YPW – Young Professionals of Wichita
Also for events with very broad appeal, we sometimes try to get it into the Wichita Eagle or other papers.
Facebook is helpful, but they don’t allow us to invite page fans to events. We can message fans about the event, and post it to our wall and hope they notice, but individuals can only invite their individual friends. With that in mind, once the event is posted it helps if you personally invite your friends who might be interested.
Activities to Complete – One Month Before Event
- Review budget
- Get the latest SWE Logo to design a flyer (societyofwomenengineers.swe.org/new-logo)
- Create flyer and have it reviewed by the chair
- Post event on website
- Make sure all event info is in the text of the post.
- Don’t make people download a flyer to learn the details.
- An image is great but repeat the event info in the text so people can copy/paste if they want.
- Like all posts, use a descriptive title with what we’re doing, not just “networking event”.
- Make sure the post is set up as an event so it shows up on the calendar. The calendar data is entered on the right side of the post editing page.
- Post on facebook as an event
- Invite collegiate sections
- Invite other WCES organizations
- Check email regularly to answer questions from potential attendees
- Quickly confirm each email RSVP that you receive especially if there’s a first come first serve headcount limit – let people know they’re in!
Activities to Complete – Prior to event
- Arrange for speaker gift
- Arrange for door prizes
- Bring extra photo release forms and camera
- Arrange for laptop, projector, screen, microphones, paper and pens as needed
- Bring change, something to keep money in, and receipt paper
- Have check-in sheet for emails and headcount
- Set out nametags and markers
Taking Pictures At The Event
Photos are a great way to document our history, and when they go on the website they let the world know that our group does fun stuff.
Be sure to get:
- Close-up of the speaker
- Group shot of all SWE members in attendance
- Group shot of all collegiate members in attendance
- Groups of employees from well-represented companies in attendance (all Spirit employees, all Textron Aviation employees, etc) As a rule, if you can think of a common newsletter that some people could go in, have them in a photo.
- Group shot of current officers
- Use well-lit places, especially outdoors
- Make sure you’ll be able to identify everyone in the photo, in addition to the location
300 dpi is a common minimum resolution for newspaper or SWE magazine photos. This basically means that if you want a photo printed in a 4”x6” space, it has to be taken with at least a 2 megapixel camera. The Wichita Eagle asked that photos be less than 1MB in file size. The communications committee can help you resize photos. If you have a super fancy camera that can go up to 50 megapixels or something, taking it down a notch to 6 or 7 MP can save us some resize work. This means about 2000×3000 pixels, or 1.5 MB file size.
Activities to Complete – After event
- Complete event summary form
- Assist with newsletter writeup
- Send out google survey for feedback