Designing Your Event

Student Programs is here to help students create and plan campus events for the Mount Holyoke Community. When it comes to designing a successful event, there are several things you should keep in mind:

Goals and Vision

What are the goals of the event? What do you hope to accomplish with the event? What would the ideal outcome of this event be? What are the steps you need to take in order to get there? How can you make this event inclusive to the entire Mount Holyoke Community? How does this event align with your organization's mission?

Budget and Funding

Consider the budget for the event and potential funding resources. Ensure that there is enough money in your organization's account to pay for the things you would like at your event BEFORE advertising or booking certain event aspects. Come up with a budgeting plan that you and the rest of your event planning team can agree on, and stick to that plan. If you need advising on creating a budget, consult with your organization's Ways & Means representative or the SGA Student Business Office Coordinator.

Dates and Venues

Timing and location can make the difference in your event's success, so make sure the following are considered: What is the best time of year/time of day/day of the week for the event being planned? What else might be happening on campus? When will you draw the biggest audience? How many attendees are you hoping to draw to your event and what will be the best space to accommodate your audience? What kind of space will you need to accommodate all of your event components? What is the ideal location for your event?

Event Components

Now that your event's budget and space are figured out, you should focus on selecting and booking the event's components. Will you be serving food? Will you be contracting a performer or a speaker? Will there need to be extra security or tech support at your event? Will you need to order tables and chairs from Facilities Management? How will you market the event? What else will you need to make your event match your initial vision? Make sure to allow enough time if contracts are needed or if vendors require payment.

Wrap-up and Reflection

Success! Your event has happened, now what? Make sure that you reflect on the event, detailing out what went well and what could use improving for your next event. Make sure all loose ends are tied up (i.e. bills paid, vendors thanked, etc.) and that you complete the Event Evaluation Form.


Want additional guidance? We encourage you to read through the Student Organization Handbook, and to set up an appointment with a Student Programs staff member. Email the office to set up an appointment or stop by the office (Blanchard 327). If you are new to event planning or working on a new initiative we strongly encourage you to meet with us for assistance early in the planning process.