Planning an Event
Bringing together the Hopkins family for the first time in your area will require some research with the Hopkins Regional, Student, and Young Alumni Programs team to understand the demographics of the area and determine together the best way to connect our alumni and friends.
A strong annual calendar of events keeps alumni engaged with one another and the community. Depending on your community's size and interest, you may host anywhere from 1-2 events or 8-10 events per year.
To make event planning as easy as possible, we've broken the process down into easy-to-accomplish steps. Simply follow this process, making sure to work wtih your staff liaison, and you will have an enjoyable and memorable event.
Choosing an Event
When brainstorming for new events, here are a few good rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Keep in mind that constituents in your community are diverse--consider different geographical locations and different interests based on age and university affiliation.
- Finalize event details 6-8 weeks in advance to give the Office of Alumni Relations (OAR) ample time to promote your event and alumni time to mark their calendars.
- Each event should include an opportunity for alumni to mix, mingle and network.
Before the Event
- Select the type and format of event (see suggested ideas below).
- Select the ideal date.
- Identify a venue.
- Make a connection with the venue contact to determine availability and price. Your contact could be an event manager, group sales representative, or venue owner. Find common questions for your event manager here.
- Submit the event submission form to alert your staff liaison.
- Request a contract or invoice and send it to your staff liaison. The OAR will take care of signing contracts and paying invoices.
- Market your event using social media and word of mouth. Your staff liaison will also create an event page and an invitation email will be sent to alumni in your area.
At the Event
- Arrive early! We recommend you get there 30 to 60 minutes before the event begins to meet the venue's point of contact, and to make sure everything is set up properly. If you have requested audio/visual equipment, make sure to do a test run to ensure that everything is working.
- Set up a guest registration table near the entrance. Your registration table may include nametags, sign-in sheets, giveaways, and questionnaires. Be sure to have blank nametags and markers to create nametags for any walk-ins.
- Keep track of walk-ins and no shows.
- Welcome the guests to your event. Consider making welcome remarks to the group; it is often appropriate to thank guests for attending, introduce yourself and your role, and promote upcoming events.
- Mingle and make connections. Events are a great opportunity to recruit new volunteers.
- Take lots of pictures to post to your community's social media sites. Remember to #JHUAlumni!
After the Event
- Check in with your staff liaison to let him or her know how the event went.
- Email your staff liaison with any sign-in sheets, together with names of walk-ins and no-shows, so we can maintain accurate records.
- Send any additional payments to your staff liaison. If you receive cash for admission fees, please keep the cash and mail a check made out to "The Johns Hopkins Alumni Association." If you received credit card information, please call us to exchange those numbers.
- Mail or email any receipts or final invoices to your staff liaison.
- Evaluate the success of the event. This will help to determine whether the event should be repeated or whether changes should be made to make it more successful in the future.
- Consider sending a thank you note to your vendors, guest speakers, etc. This simple gesture can foster great working relationships.