Guidelines to Holding an Event On campus
IF HOLDING YOUR EVENT AT MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY
The Millersville area offers a variety of banquet and event locations to host your reunion. You can also look into campus banquet, ballroom, and meeting spaces, such as the Student Memorial Center. Lastly, the Office of Alumni Engagement can help you find meeting rooms and reception areas across campus to hold your event. A staff member of the Office of Alumni Engagement will be assigned to assist you and work with your committee in organizing your reunion or event on campus.
How to Get Started
Develop a Diverse Committee and Event
A diverse reunion planning committee will guarantee a variety of ideas and encourage a successful grassroots outreach campaign. Be diverse when planning your event activities—consider all ages and interests.
Volunteers are important at all stages of the planning process, especially the day of the event. Identify and utilize your volunteers by delegating tasks and supporting feedback and ideas.
Identify Your Target Audience
The Office of Alumni Engagement has a comprehensive database and can assist in identifying and reaching your target audience, according to criteria such as age, degree, graduation year, and select on-campus involvement (i.e. former Marauder Marching Band member). Deceased alumni can also be identified—if you wish to contact a family member of a deceased alumnus, you can work with the Office of Alumni Engagement.
Discuss and Confirm Logistics
Consider the following logistical questions when planning your event:
- Is parking available?
- Is there access for persons with disabilities?
- Does the facility require an approved caterer? Is a vegetarian meal option available?
- What is the cost, if any, to rent linens, china, eating utensils, tables, and chairs?
- What is the date for a final head-count to be given to the caterer?
- Does the location offer audio and visual facilities, including a projector and microphone?
- What is the alcohol policy—cash bar minimums; security personnel requirements; serving times?
When requiring people to travel to attend your event, it is good to suggest accommodations and/or have a block of rooms reserved.
When blocking a set of rooms, consider:
- Payment: Is a deposit, minimum-night stay, or upfront payment required?
- Duration: How long will the rooms be blocked? Contact the group sales office during the block period to monitor the number of rooms being reserved.
- Identification: What group name should be assigned to the block so alumni can accurately reserve their room (i.e. School of Journalism Reunion)?
- Contract: Are there any financial obligations? You will most likely sign a contract, so be sure to read it carefully.
Assemble Event Materials
Possible event materials include:
- Registration Packets—the need for registration packets depends on the type of reunion and attendees (i.e. age or familiarity with campus). The Office of Alumni Engagement can provide the following materials: campus maps, Lancaster Area visitor’s guides, MUAA membership brochures, MUAA ink pens, a list of reunion attendees, including degree year and current city and state, and a list of deceased alumni.
- Nametags—all reunion attendees should have nametags that include graduation year, degree, and current city and state. The MUAA can provide a list of this information to the reunion planning committee. You can create the nametags yourself or work with a local printing and copying business that can produce high quality, full-color nametags.
Planning Guide: Promotions, Lists, and Registration
One of the most valuable services the Office of Alumni Engagement can provide is helping you communicate with your targeted audience. Our team of project, programs, and communication experts will assist you with a multi-faceted approach to help increase attendance and build excitement for your event.
Due to lifestyle and marketing trends, as well as printing and postage price increases, the MUAA recommends reunion promotions in electronic format. Print is available if requested, but be sure to incorporate these costs into the reunion budget and registration fee. Your reunion MUAA contact will assist in projecting promotional costs.
All promotional copy and event details should be provided to the MUAA six weeks before the intended send or live date.
Possible Electronic Promotions
- Save-the-Date Email—Sent 9-12 months prior to the event describing details such as hotel room reservation blocks and when registration will begin. View an example.
- Registration Email—Sent 3 months prior to the event. This communication will include time, date, cost, speaker details (if any), and locations of each event. View an example.
- Reunion Website—Event information will be posted on the MU Alumni Online Community at www.villealumni.com
- Calendar—Event information will be posted on the MUAA calendar.
- Social Networking—We use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and RSS Feeds to promote reunion activities. View more information about our social networking strategies.
- Reunion Blog—Create a blog for your reunion group to share memories, information, and reunion program updates.
- Online Photo Book—Set up an account with an online photo book site such as Flickr or Google photos for reunion attendees to upload and share photos.
- Online Discussion Group—Google groups can be used for discussions, collaboration, and sharing documents online.
Possible Print Promotions
- Save-the-Date Postcard—Sent 9-12 months prior to the event describing details such as hotel room reservation blocks and when registration will begin.
- Press Release—The Office of Alumni Engagement will work with University Relations to help coordinate an appropriate press release to promote the event once registration begins.
- Volunteer Personal Letters—Volunteers can write letters to reunion invitees as a personal invitation. Because alumni address lists are not provided to a committee, volunteers can send their letters to the Office of Alumni Engagement (printed and in a sealed envelope), and the Office of Alumni Engagement can address the envelopes at a nonprofit rate.
- Reunion Brochures—Typically sent 3 months prior to the event with solidified events and registration instructions.
Contact Lists and Non-Profit Mailings
Due to privacy and legal issues, all lists and contact information pulled from the Millersville University Alumni Records database for promotional efforts will not be provided to the reunion planning team—e-mails and materials will be sent by the Office of Alumni Engagement.
Reunion communication pieces mailed through the MUAA can use the USPS non-profit rate. Nonprofit mailings cannot promote the sale or lease of commercial goods and services, and the MUAA can ensure your mailing meets nonprofit eligibility requirements. For budgetary purposes, be sure to calculate your nonprofit postage rate.
To maintain the integrity of MU Office of Alumni Engagement-sponsored reunions, we require that all registrations be processed through our office. We have staff designated to provide event information, answer questions, and process registration forms. They will provide the reunion planning committee timely reports that will include the total number registered, registrant names (and guests if applicable), city, state, and selected events. Registration fees collected will be held in a MUAA account and released to pay necessary reunion expenses.
- Online Forms— Reunion attendees can register through a safe, secure online system that will automatically process their payment. Refunds can also be issued if necessary.
- Mailed Forms—Should an attendee feel uncomfortable registering online, we also provide a downloadable registration form that can be mailed to the MUAA with a check, money order, or credit card information.
Contact the Office of Alumni Engagement:
Duncan Alumni House
205 North George Street
Office of Alumni Engagement
Millersville, PA 17551