How to Run a Profitable and Successful Undergraduate Student Event

Run a profitable event


If you are a student at a university, chances are you have thought about organizing an event. It's a great way to build your professional network, develop leadership skills and meet lots of new people. But organizing an undergraduate student event isn't always easy. You need to find funding, recruit volunteers and create something fun for everyone to enjoy. If you get this right though, then your event will be profitable and successful for both attendees and organizers alike! Read on for all the information you need to know about how to run a profitable and successful undergraduate student event:

Decide the type of event to organize

As a student organizer, you need to think about what kind of event is relevant for your audience.

For example, if you are organizing an event for a university and its students, then it would be good to organize some kind of workshop or seminar. In this case, the focus should be on education rather than entertainment. The main goal is to inform the audience about something new so they can learn something useful in their lives.

If you are organizing an event for a community outside your university (for example: local businesses or clubs), then try to organize something that will be interesting for them as well as being educational at the same time. For example, you could organize a workshop where people get together and make things together such as jewelry or paintings; this way there will be both learning opportunities and fun activities!

Figure out the purpose for your event

The next step is to figure out the purpose for your event. What is your vision for the event? What do you hope to achieve with this event? What is the goal of the event and why are you organizing it in the first place?

It can be helpful to write down all of these answers, but they may not all be necessary at first. You can always add them later if you don't feel like they're clear enough yet.

Pick your theme

The theme of an event is a big decision. It can make or break an event, so it’s important to pick one that’s right for you and your audience.

  • Be relevant – A theme should be relevant to the event and its audience. If you are hosting an event at a university, choose something based on what happens in universities (like exams). This will help you attract more people to attend, as they'll be more likely to relate to it.

  • Make sure it's fun – Make sure that whatever theme you pick is exciting and fun! An uninteresting theme could make attendees lose interest in the event quickly.

  • Be easy – Try not to go too overboard with complex themes; instead, keep them simple with only one or two details that tie everything together.

  • Promote easily – Having a strong visual component helps promote your events much quicker as well as making them more memorable for attendees.

  • Easy on memory – Themes are best when they stick in your mind even after attending several times.

Choose a venue

It is crucial to choose a venue that is accessible. You want your event to be as accessible as possible for all attendees, so it's good practice to look into this before making any final decisions about your venue.

There are many things to consider when choosing a venue for your student event, but there are also some things you can do in order to make sure that the location chosen is easily accessible for people with disabilities and mobility issues. Here are just some recommendations:

  • Make sure there will be enough room for everyone at tables or chairs with ample space between each seat or table.

  • Ensure there are ramps leading up from ground level if they're needed (you may need a wheelchair ramp). 

  • If you are planning on hosting an indoor event, make sure there aren't too many stairs in close proximity which could cause problems for someone who uses crutches or has other mobility issues. 

  • Similarly, if outdoors—make sure there aren't any steep slopes nearby that would cause difficulty while walking around campus (or elsewhere).

Select your date

The next step is to select your date. You want to choose a date that is convenient for you, your audience, the venue and caterer.

  • For example, if you’re hosting an event at a university on a Wednesday evening and it’s being held in the quad area outside of one of the dorms, this might be difficult for some people who live off-campus or are not allowed back on campus after dark (think about parents visiting). So it might be best to host an event during lunchtime hours on a weekday or Saturday morning.

  • Similarly, if there is another major sporting event taking place at your school at the same time as your student run club event – again this could cause problems as students may opt to attend that instead or have limited interest in attending both events in one day/night etc…

Figure out the audience you want to attract

The first thing you want to do is figure out the audience you want to attract. This might seem obvious, but it's important. You need to know who your competitors are, how they're targeting their audiences, and how your brand will stand out in comparison. Once this is decided, you'll be able to create an event that matches with what people are looking for and makes them feel like they've gotten value out of attending.

Once you have figured out who your audience is, how much money they're willing (and able) to spend on an event like this one, where these people are located on campus (or wherever else), what kind of activities or events interest them most—all of these factors play into determining whether or not they'd attend a student-run event like the one you are planning now!

Build your team

Don't do it all yourself. Don't be afraid to ask for help. You can't do everything or have the answer to everything, so don't try. When you are putting together an event, make sure you are collaborating with other people and departments from your university—you'll learn new skills and get more done because of it!

Don't be afraid to ask for money. If you are going to host an event as part of your coursework or in your spare time, make sure that it is something that the university finds valuable enough to pay for itself (or at least part of it). This means doing some research into how much similar events cost and charging accordingly—the more expensive it is, the less likely students will be able to attend due simply because they don’t have enough money!

Create a name that is catchy, relevant and easy to remember

Make sure the name you choose is catchy, relevant and easy to remember. The age range of your target audience will play a big part in how you create this name; however, it should be easy to spell and pronounce no matter who is attending. If it's difficult for them to remember or say, they won’t want to come back!

It also needs to be easy to type out on their phones (or whatever technology they use). It’s not just about making your event memorable—it’s about making it convenient for them!

Perform market research & choose an appropriate ticket price

  • As the host of an event, you need to know what the market will bear in terms of ticket prices. You should know your competitors and what they are charging. You should also know who is attending these events: students from which programs? Do they live on campus or commute? How old are they? If it's a sports event, does it happen during class time or after hours?

  • Choose an appropriate ticket price: Once you have all this information about the audience you are targeting and your competition (if there is any), then you can determine what kind of value proposition needs to go into your promotional materials—and ultimately, how much money people will be willing to pay for them!

Establish your mode of registration

You must decide whether you will use on-site registration, online registration or a combination of both. If you do decide to have an on-site event, consider the following:

  • Registration fee – You should ensure that your registration fee is reasonable, affordable and attractive to students. It is also very important that this fee does not discourage students from attending your event because they feel they can't afford it (the cost of living has been rising and many people are struggling financially). Students may also be more likely to attend an event if they don't need to pay anything upfront.

  • Payment methods – How will participants pay for their ticket? Will payment be taken at time of purchase? Or maybe there'll be two options one being "pay now" followed by another option called "pay later", allowing those who don't have immediate access to (money) to still get involved with everything going on over at University. 

Determine your budget

A budget is the most important part of event planning. It will help you determine how much money you need to spend, and how much profit can be made from each event you host.

To make a budget for your event:

  • Determine how much it costs to run an event at your university on average (i.e., if there are multiple events per year). You can ask other groups about their figures or look at past budgets to get an idea of what each aspect will cost (e.g., food/drink prices, venue hire costs).

  • Decide on how many people will come to this specific event and estimate the ticket price per person (i.e., if there are 100 students coming who pay $10 each then this is $1000 revenue).

  • Calculate all other fixed costs that may arise during preparation and execution of the actual event – these might include things like printing posters/flyers/tickets etc so make sure they're included!

Set your fundraising goals

  1. To begin with, you should set up a fundraising page on one of the many online platforms (e.g., JustGiving) that allow you to collect donations online.  Or use a platform like Dryfta to have your standalone donation form and collect donations online.
  2. Make sure that you have a payment method in place before launching the page; this means setting up an account with Stripe or PayPal, who offer secure payment services which are quick and easy for donors to use. 
  3. If possible, set up different target amounts for each stage of the campaign so that people can choose how much they want to give at each stage – for example: £10k by 1st October; £20k by 1st November). This makes it easier for donors because they know exactly where their money is being spent at every stage!

Plan your finance

Planning your finances is an important step in planning your event. You need to know how much money you will have available for the event and what costs there will be in order to keep track of how well it is going financially. It's also good to think about ways of keeping expenses low, so that even if things aren't going as well as you would like, you won't lose a lot of money. Finally, make sure that whatever happens with regard to profit and loss doesn't affect future events – try not to put all your eggs into one basket!

Pick a menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner

When planning an undergraduate student event, there are a few things you should consider:

  • The menu needs to be affordable. This means that students won't feel cheated out of their money when they attend your event and won't feel ripped off if they buy food at the venue itself.

  • You also need to keep in mind how easy it is for your staff members or volunteers to prepare and serve the meals for all of these hungry students during busy hours like lunch hour or dinner time (that's why we recommend buffet style dinners!) If you don't want people waiting forever in lineups, then make sure everything has proper spacing so no one feels crammed together!

  • It's also important that whatever foods are served are easy enough for everyone involved! For example: if someone wants something more complex than just burgers & fries because he/she doesn't want anything too filling since he might have classes later on tonight after dinner…then maybe chicken fingers would work better! Again though – this depends on what type of food do most people enjoy eating when they're hungry 🙂 A good rule of thumb here is always ask yourself: 'Would I enjoy eating this?' If not then go ahead with something else instead 🙂 

Find a caterer who can work with the menu you’ve picked

Once you have a menu and budget in place, it’s time to find a caterer who can work with them. If you need help, consider asking other student organizers or local event planners for recommendations.

Once you’ve found some potential caterers, check their references and sample menus online to see if they would be a good match for your event.

Once your caterer is on board, discuss all the details of the event including:

  • The number of attendees expected at the event (if possible)

  • Any food allergies that might affect menu options (if possible)

Once these details have been established, work with the caterer to finalize an event menu and budget. This is also an opportunity to customize any special requests that you may have for your event (such as specific dishes or dietary restrictions).

Promote your event wisely

The next step is to promote your event. An effective event promotion strategy will include a mix of different methods and mediums, including:

  • Social media – Use Facebook groups, Instagram pages, and Twitter accounts to get the word out about your event.

  • Email marketing – Send an email blast with details about the date and time of your event to both staff members and student organizations at your university. This can be sent through an Email broadcast system like the one from Dryfta.

  • Posters/Flyers – Hang posters on campus notice boards or distribute flyers around campus with details about the dates, times, locations and ticket prices for upcoming events. You could also post flyers on community centers near campus if there are any nearby. If you are willing to pay for printing costs then we recommend using a service like VistaPrint as it allows you greater flexibility with how many flyers you want printed at once as well as giving access to templates!

  • Word-of-mouth marketing – Tell everyone who may be interested in attending so make sure they know where tickets are being sold too!

  • Event listing directories – If your event is at least 1 month away then we recommend using event listing websites to promote it. It’s a great way for you to share your event with people who aren’t already friends or family and it also allows attendees to sign up online, which means less work on their end as well! 

  • Twitter – If you are planning on reaching out to companies or business owners then we recommend using Twitter as your main platform because it’s easier than Facebook. 

  • Instagram – Use Instagram Stories to advertise your event and share it on the platform. 

  • Facebook – Create a Facebook Event page in order to promote your upcoming events. 

  • Snapchat – Post snaps of your upcoming events on Snapchat and tag people who may be interested in attending.

  • Google – Place ads on Google and increase your chances of getting more attendees. 

  • WhatsApp – Create a WhatsApp group to promote your event, as well as share information about it. 

  • LinkedIn – Create a company page in LinkedIn if you want to attract more sponsors and partners.

Develop a clear design identity and promote it consistently across all platforms

Branding. It's essential that you develop a clear design identity and promote it consistently across all platforms. If you don't, you risk looking like everyone else, which can make your event seem less unique and interesting to your audience.

Design consistency. Having a consistent brand will mean that everything about your event—from the look of your flyers, posters and websites to the design of posters in venues around campus—is recognizable as yours from one day to another. This helps build familiarity with potential attendees so they know what to expect when they attend an event in future years!

Organizing an event can be tough but if you start right, you'll have a successful event that is both profitable and enjoyable

The most important part of an event is planning, and you cannot take that lightly. You need to have a budget, a theme, a venue, and registration system set up before anything else. Next, you should get your caterer on board with all the details regarding food and drinks so they can do their job smoothly. And lastly but not leastly (that’s not even a word!), make sure that all the other aspects are taken care off such as having the menu ready before the start of your event so there isn’t any last-minute rush or confusion about what will be served where or when.

Hopefully, this article has given you a good sense of what it takes to plan an event at university. We know that some of the advice may have been quite basic and obvious, but we feel it’s important to start with simple things so that you can build up from there as your knowledge grows. Remember to keep everything in mind when planning your own student events; don’t try too many things at once and make sure everyone is having fun!