Selecting a Date, Time and Length for the Event
Know your audience, and select dates based on the students’ availability; events often coincide, and students must choose some events over others. If your event is open to the public, consider days of the week, travel patterns and holidays. Consider setting a postpone date if there is a chance of snow or torrential rain on the original date. It is also best to keep in mind anticipated publicity. If you plan to send a reminder e-mail the night before an event, Sunday evening does not usually work well — keep events on Mondays to a minimum.
Academic Year Calendar
The Academic Year at a Glance Calendar is a good starting point for review of student schedules. If your event is geared toward students, make sure that they will be on campus and that there are no academic deadlines that might affect their attendance.
Consult the Amherst College Events Calendar to make sure there are no conflicting events at the date and time you have selected.
Also, check with the Five College Calendar.
Event Management System
The Event Management System (EMS) can tell you which rooms are already reserved or on hold for specific dates and times. If you are unable to access the site, call Room Reservations at 413-542-8269.
Lastly, consider students’ personal schedules. Poll students for information on what nights or late afternoons to avoid (because of special television shows, athletic events, regular student meetings, weekly labs, etc.)
It is important to consider the time of the event, especially with students. When determining a start time, consider students' dining times at Valentine Hall and their personal schedules. An early-evening meeting might attract a larger audience than an early-morning meeting.
The length of the event should depend on the topic. A lecture lasting longer than 90 minutes might lose the audience's attention. Lectures that include audio and video components can hold the audience’s interest for a longer time. Full-day events should have breaks incorporated into the schedule.
Creating a Comprehensive Event Schedule
Draft a detailed schedule of the event times, including speaker transportation, arrival on campus and conveyance to the event site. Snacks and meals should be included and venues and buildings should be listed specifically. Allow for late arrival and some “down time” for the speaker and the audience if the event is longer than one day. (See a sample schedule.) A complete schedule might include flight numbers and confirmations and car service confirmations, with relevant telephone numbers. (E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for examples). The event schedule might be shared by the organizer, the speaker and the speaker’s assistant and usually includes all of the contact information for the speaker and the organizer.
Program planning might include the heavier topics in the morning and the lighter topics in the afternoon to keep attendees alert.
The title of the event is extremely important. It needs to draw the eye and explain the event without looking cumbersome on a poster. The title should be easily understood by the targeted audience.