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6 things you must get right in organising a college event that others will talk of for years (& that might just land you a job)

Organising a great event: One of the hardest things you'll ever do
Organising a great event: One of the hardest things you'll ever do

There are few things more challenging, stressful and ultimately rewarding than putting together a successful law school event.

The skills required of event managers include hard-core organisational skills, heavy team-working and management, and an ability to work under pressure; unsurprisingly these are all skills highly prized by recruiters or in practice, and that’s why event organisation is also wonderful for your CV.

Legally India spoke to students on the event organising committees of a number of top law schools to collate the tricks of the trade.

Money makes the world go round

Good bounty – prize money and hospitality- attracts a quality line-up of participants, from near and far, which in turn raises the standard of any event – moot, paper presentation or seminar.

So make sure to raise a good amount of sponsorship for any event.

Branding

The moment you attach some legal luminary’s name to your event title, is the moment you could push it out of the ordinary and into the domain of the alluring and the credible. This will in turn bring in better participation.

However, the Catch 22 problem is that to get a legal authority on board in the first place, you often need to have first run a few decent editions of the event.

In paper presentations and seminars, the theme or topic you chose for the event will therefore play a crucial role. Be sure to narrow it down to a niche zone – relevant to the day and that’s not been discussed to death everywhere else before.

Smooth operators

Visitors – participants and guests – covet one thing more than just good hospitality in any event, and that is the quick and easy availability of information.

On your website (you do have a website, right?), clearly set out whom to contact for specific queries. Then, make sure your core team, possibly aided by volunteers, promptly reply to all emails.

Also make sure that a team of volunteers is on hand during the event to disseminate information on the spot about dos and don’ts, and where to find the toilets.

In fact, a strong corps of volunteers is essential to any event’s organisation.

Therefore, be sure to involve not just the organising committee but the rest of the law school too in volunteering, including the junior batches – for whom this is an opportunity to learn before taking the baton when the seniors graduate.

Respect your elders

The student organising committee should work closely with the law school administration.

The support of faculty members, vice chancellor and the administrative staff will often be what makes or breaks an event, so make sure you’re on good terms.

They can be the ones loosening the purse strings and using their contacts to bring in the affiliations and the sponsorships.

Lack of coordination between the two quarters will only lead to blame games and a poor show, and nothing productive.

Time is not on your side

You need time in your favour to not only budget and organise well but also to attract more participants by giving them the time to consider, apply and prepare their content before the deadline.

Six months in advance is a good time to start organising any law school event, though for bigger events an even longer time period can’t hurt if you like to start things more slowly.

Attendance required

If no one is there to attend it, has an event actually happened?

While getting all of the above right makes it easier gathering an audience, getting the numbers is never guaranteed and requires legwork.

Activate all your existing contacts and friends at other law schools and your own, to reach out to their networks and let people know about your event. Don’t spam, but do send out targeted emailers to spread the word.

Encourage those at other colleges to put up your posters and let their buddies know. Also, make sure you post up your event on Legally India’s events calendar for free, to reach an even greater audience.

And while you’re at it, click here to read some of the previous events listed on Legally India for inspiration for what makes some events special (and others less so). Ask yourself, what would make you want to attend this event, and see if you can replicate that magic.

Good luck, hope you’ll throw a good one!

Do you have any other tips and tricks of the trade? Please share them below in the comments.

Photo by Paul Holloway

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