It is fair to say that the next year is likely to be turbulent and I imagine it can seem daunting
when thinking about how to organise events
to support the university guidance you provide
and achieving your Gatsby Benchmarks. You’re
certainly not alone and as universities and other
higher education institutions, we are here to
The new normal is here to stay for a little longer yet, so here are some tips for organising a university event.
This will largely be based on local restrictions and whether you have the space for social distancing. Weigh up the benefits of face-to-face delivery, could the talk simply be shown on a live screen and resources sent beforehand?
A careers fair is a great way to impart advice from organisations but how will you control literature being given out and ensure it is not being left around the school? Allowing students the opportunity to consider which university they would like to speak with beforehand could mitigate this and help you know the likely pinch points, so you can schedule time and ensure busier stands can maintain social distancing
There is now an abundance of online platforms to choose from when running events. Examples include Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Adobe Connect, which all promote a different level of interactivity. Providers will likely have access to some of these platforms so you don’t necessarily have to use your own budget to facilitate access.
Restrictions can normally be applied such as passwords or enabling the teacher themselves to admit students from a register. Don’t be afraid of requesting a university to adjust settings in order to meet your safeguarding policy and risk assessment.
If face-to-face delivery is appropriate there are
some factors to consider when ensuring it is
• PPE guidance sent to all visitors beforehand and hand sanitiser upon entry.
• A process in place for distributing literature and for pupils who no longer need it.
• Single-use refreshments such as bottled water and prepared lunch bags - or having a dedicated colleague in PPE serving tea and coffee.
• Ensuring appropriate distance between the speaker and students within a classroom.
• Support for busier stands and talks, including implementing a schedule if required.
• Providing a track and trace process, noting down visitor details and providing guidance if either a student or visitor needs to get in touch with you after the event.
• Universities may have individual travel policies which prevent the use of public transport or other factors, so do check with all providers during planning.
• If space is limited, consider prioritising disadvantaged groups as evidence shows these groups will have been more affected with a lack of university guidance during lockdown.
Universities receive a number of requests so
ensuring your date is in the diary first will help the
institution best allocate appropriate resources.
Don’t worry initially if you’re unsure whether it will take place virtually or physically, flexibility from all involved will be key over the next year.
Do not book multiple institutions to deliver the same talk to only a handful of students. Universities have limited resources and particularly this year will be trying to cover as many events as possible to support gaps in knowledge.
I hope you find these tips useful and whether it will be your first or your hundredth event, I wish you the best of luck in organising a successful event during such an unsettling time.
This free newsletter will include information on university events added to UniTasterDays, as well as details about new webinars and blog releases for you and your students.
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