Events: Tips for a successful event

It is important to consider the comfort and enjoyment of your guests above all else: what will they get out of this occasion, and how can you make it a success for them? In addition to help and guidance from the University Events team, organisers around the university have found the following guidelines helpful when planning an event.

State your outcomes clearly.

Events are often expensive and guests’ time is precious so, before you begin to plan an event, ask yourself:

  • What are your objectives?
  • How you will measure success?
  • Is this event the best way to achieve your goals?

If you are unsure, ask the Events team or the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for advice.

Respect your guests’ time.

Most of your guests will attend your event as part of their job, so try not to keep them longer than you need to. Keep your formalities short and allow guests time for conversation and networking. A good rule of thumb is the 2:1 ratio: for every minute of formality, you should allow two for informal socialising and relationship building. Similarly, make sure people are comfortable at your event. If you are not providing seating, formalities should be absolutely no longer than fifteen minutes.

Venue and attention to detail.

Events should show your department, office, Faculty and University at their very best. Take pride in your event and pay attention to detail to ensure your event is successful and enjoyable for everyone. As a general rule, it is better to spend your budget on a shorter event of a higher standard than to stretch it over a longer time at the expense of a quality experience.


If you have any questions or need help planning your event or the Vice-Chancellor’s attendance, you can contact: