The Office of Outreach and Engagement provides Conference and Event Planning services for events sponsored by the College of Education. Below is some helpful information to review before deciding to plan an event. The Outreach Office is equipped to help implement any/all of these tasks as needed. Just contact Melanie or Beth to get started.
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- One of the most important things to ask yourself before deciding to plan an event is....."How am I going to pay for it?"
- Event expenses (such as space, food, materials) are usually covered by charging a registration fee to each participant or by support from funding provided by donors, departments, sponsors, or others.
- The Office of Outreach and Engagement does not support events financially. In fact, we charge a percentage for our services to cover operating expenses.
Services offered by the Office of Outreach and Engagement
The Outreach office is able to help with any and all tasks related to the planning of an event. The only thing not included is the planning the educational content – that is left up to the experts! Services include the following:
- Planning the structure of the agenda
- Budget development
- Bookings and reservations of space and other items
- Route contracts through the proper agencies for signature
- Plan meals and breaks as needed
- Make sure meeting rooms are set and equipped with the proper technology
- On-site presence to make sure everything runs as expected
- Registration services including web sites and name tags
- Marketing services including printed materials and sending e-blasts
- Financial services including paying invoices
- Organize folders of materials to be handed out at registration
- Event evaluation development and facilitation
Fees for services
Outreach charges a percentage based on income to cover operating expenses and the services outlined above.
- If registration for the event is run through Outreach, the fee is 15% of the gross revenue.
- If registration is handled through the Georgia Center, the fee is 10% of gross revenue because they provide name tags and manage the registration process.
Now that funding is determined, it's time to think about the following information that is needed before we proceed with planning.
Information about event details
These decisions need to be made before the budget can be finalized, the registration fee set and before advertising can begin.
Title of Event
What will the event be called?
Theme of Event
Will there be a sub-heading for the event?
- Provide first, second and third choices
- Can be Monday-Friday, or on Saturday or Sunday as well
- There are two "free" spaces that can be used for events: Rivers Crossing and the Gwinnett Campus. Aderhold Hall is also an option but not encouraged because of the difficulty with parking.
- The Georgia Center is another popular option. The Georgia Center is a one-stop shop because everything needed is available under one roof: hotel rooms, catering, meeting space.
- If those two options won't work, there are many venues in Athens that can be discussed.
A working budget will be created based on many factors. The budget will be based on income and expenses with an end-goal of ending up with a surplus at the end of the event that can be used to plan the next event or to support faculty initiatives in the college. These definitions
of financial aspects of an event are helpful to keep in mind as you plan an event:
- Income: funds from registration fees and any other support/sponsorship provided for the event.
- Expenses: all costs needed to ensure a successful event. Below are many of the popular line items.
- Surplus: anything left over at the end of the event
Proposal Submission Process
For events such as conferences that involve the submission, evaluation and acceptance of proposals, all aspects of this work are handled by the faculty member(s) sponsoring the event. The participation of the Outreach Office in this part of the process is limited to posting links on the COE events page and on other related web pages.
A basic agenda is needed to reserve space, schedule a calendar listing and plan the budget. The details of the agenda (content, speakers) can be fine-tuned along the way, but the basic time structure should be set before we begin planning.
Speaker expenses can drastically affect the event budget. Some speakers are willing to provide their talk in exchange for vita experience and being published in the proceedings, and some are paid healthy honorariums and expenses. Some questions to consider for those who require an honorarium:
- Can I negotiate the rate?
- Have they ever worked for UGA before?
Note: If the person is a former UGA employee (graduate assistant, faculty member, staff member), there is a lengthy process that must be followed as they must be put on payroll (which involves the speaker "applying" for a job at UGA). If your speaker has worked at UGA previously, it is essential that you let us know this as soon as possible but no less than 3 months in advance so that we can work with the appropriate offices on campus to get the person back in the payroll system.
- Paperwork: There are multiple forms of paperwork that the speaker will have to complete before we can process payment.
- Reimbursement guidelines: Speakers can only be reimbursed for travel expenses using State of Georgia rates and coach level air travel.
Varies by location. Consider the following:
- Room Rental: Some venues will charge a fee for the space.
- Technology: We provide laptop computers for free, but the projectors usually have to be rented.
- Refreshment Breaks: AM, PM or both? Coffee only or full refreshments? Budget will play a part in deciding this.
- Lunch: Full day events usually offer lunch as part of the registration fee.
- Other meals?
Will anything need to be coordinated outside of the main event activities? This may include:
- Pre- or post-event workshops
- Day trips
Will group transportation to any activities need to be arranged?
- Campus transit: bus rental
- Automotive center: van rental
- Some venues also offer transportation upon request.
Registration can be handled by the Office of Outreach through the UGA Marketplace system or by the Georgia Center through their in-house system. Registration includes:
- Website for participant registration
- Financial services
- Name tags
- Staff to hand out name tags and hand-outs
The Office of Outreach will put together a folder of materials to be given to each participant, usually at registration. This packet usually includes:
- COE Folder
- Speaker handouts
- Any other handouts
- Venue map
- COE note pad and pen
- Evaluation form
In addition to the COE folder of materials, The Office of Outreach can assist with ordering custom give-away items for event participants. These items have to be paid for by the event budget or another source. Ideas include:
- Custom tote bags
- Flash drives
- And more!
In order to encourage attendance and distribute information about registration procedures, the following steps are usually taken. We work with the COE Communications team to follow procedures regarding design.
- Printed materials: Normally a flyer is created to share at other conferences and exhibit opportunities.
- COE calendar posting: Event is posted on coe.uga.edu/events and includes all information about the conference including the link to registration.
- UGA Master Calendar posting: If appropriate, event will be posted on the UGA Master Calendar
- E-blast sent through Mailchimp: This will encourage participants to register and will link to the registration site. This e-blast is customizable, but must follow the format approved by Communications.
- Mailing lists: Outreach maintains email lists for Superintendents, Principals, Assistant Principals and others. We can send communication to these lists or other lists provided by the organizers using Mailchimp for the purpose of advertising events.
An important part of each event is the distribution of an evaluation so that the planning team can gain useful feedback in preparation for the next event. Qualtrics is the system used to design the evaluation and a hard copy is included in each folder. An electronic copy can also be sent if needed. A summary of the evaluation is completed by The Office of Outreach and shared with the planning team.
Ready to plan your event? Please contact Melanie Baer or Beth Massey to set up an appointment. We can't wait to work with you!