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Handbook for Student Organizations

Planning Your Organization’s Events

This guide to organizing events will benefit you if you are just entering the world of campus programming. And, if you are a veteran, this guide will serve to jar your memory, maybe even give you a few new ideas. The main purpose of this section is to lay out a step-by-step approach to aid you in organizing your programs. Doing this it should help you create a polished finished product with few last-minute headaches.

Brainstorming is often one of the best ways for a group to come up with ideas for general programming, fundraisers and publicity. The essential features of brainstorming are few and simple:

  • The number of participants is not important, but the group should be large enough so that there are many sources of ideas. Brainstorming groups may be anywhere from ten to perhaps 25 in number.
  • The participants should be of somewhat equal status so that all will feel free to contribute their ideas. They should also have some familiarity with the problem.
  • They should be seated facing each other so that the groundwork for free discussion
    is laid.
  • Minutes should be taken during the meeting.
  • The chairperson states the problem and also makes it clear that the ground rules are to be observed.

After the brainstorming session, it is essential that someone evaluate, condense, and bring together the ideas presented, to discard those which obviously are not workable and to prepare a list of those which are worthy of further consideration.

The Five Commandments of Brainstorming

  1. Every idea presented must be positive.
  2. There will be no comments allowed regarding any idea presented. Challenging ideas should wait until a later time or meeting.
  3. Everyone is encouraged to speak up and to express ideas regardless of how fantastic they may seem.
  4. Members are encouraged to present ideas as rapidly as they come to mind.
  5. Members are also encouraged to “hitchhike” — to add to or revise ideas suggested by other members of the brainstorming team.

> More on Brainstorming
> More on Backward Planning for Campus Activities
> More on Planning a Lecture
> More on Fundraising