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Getting Started

Planning Tips: How Do I Get Started?

Interested alumni can submit their event request online. The alumni relations office will create an event page, RSVP tracking, e-mail invites, and process payments as needed. All event requests are subject to review by the Office of Alumni Relations.

Who Is My Intended Audience?

Events can consist of intimate gatherings with Colgate friends or larger gatherings that include all alumni in the area, alumni and parents, alumni only, or certain class years. Please note that parents are invited to most alumni events. They enjoy being included in activities and learning more about the university where their son or daughter is spending some of the most significant years of their lives.

When Do I Want to Hold This Event?

Be sure to have enough time to make all of the necessary arrangements and give alumni plenty of notice. Keep several dates in mind in case the venue is previously booked. Also check to make sure that it does not conflict with another Colgate event, religious or federal holiday, or school vacation. Many program planners find it helpful to plan backwards, starting at the day of the event, filling in details, until arriving at today’s date. For example:

Ten weeks before event: determine format (theme, activities, etc.), invite any guest speakers, select venue

Eight weeks before event: confirm date with speaker and venue, submit details to Office of Alumni Relations to draft invitation

Six weeks before event: mail invitations, recruit volunteers to assist on the day of the event, submit details for event e-mail to the Office of Alumni Relations.

Three weeks before event: phone and e-mail tree to extend personal invitation two weeks before event: confirm speaker’s transportation needs, purchase thank you gift, confirm A/V and catering needs with venue.

What Are My Responsibilities After the Event?

Send thank-you notes to speakers and anyone who made the event possible, and evaluate the event to review past success and determine ways it can be improved in the future. 

Next, send attendance updates (those guests who did not show, or attended without registering) to the Office of Alumni Relations for centralized record-keeping immediately following the event. 

Finally, e-mail event photos to communitysupport@colgate.edu.