Why do universities need a good event infrastructure in the first place? Apart from being powerful education and research centers, universities are famous for gathering like-minded people. Famous for igniting new projects of local or international relevance, universities are fueling the social change. Whether it’s for a student event or a conference for the large public, universities generate multiple environments for interaction between academia and society itself.
Planning and running events have become a must-do for universities around the globe. By doing so, the academia can establish meaningful thought leadership and foster new collaborations with the local community. Also, having a well-developed meeting culture boosts the institutional communication with students, professors, and employees.
However, all of these activities are impossible without a sustainable, yet good event infrastructure. You can’t build and maintain a demanding meeting agenda without the tools needed to execute flawless and efficient event management.
Considering this, here’s a list of steps universities must take to develop a good event infrastructure and expand their outreach:
Enable multifunctional spaces for large events
Many universities invest their money in creating multifunctional spaces for different types of events. Developing a good event infrastructure equals building a series of big-to-medium auditoriums and meeting rooms that will ensure a friendly environment for running events. Moreover, large-capacity universities can use their different room sizes to increase their revenues by renting the space to other institutions that want to hold their events there. Although the entire process requires time and money, it can be seen as a strategical step to strengthen the university’s future position. In the long run, by investing in a good event infrastructure, universities will increase their self-sufficiency.
Invest in audiovisual equipment for events
Normally, universities acquire audiovisual equipment for multimedia and classrooms. However, to start building a good event infrastructure, it’s necessary to invest in quality equipment for different types of events. From large screens and microphones to live streaming cameras, there’s a long list of audiovisual requirements a university that runs big events may have. If the university lacks the funds to purchase all the necessary tools, renting can be a more practical option. However, it’s always good to provide at least the basics for the departments, institutes, or faculties that plan and run conferences, workshops, morning breakfasts, etc. Apart from investing in the equipment, it’s important to build a professional audiovisual in-house team that can assist with planning the events. This will ensure the efficiency of the audiovisual-related logistics.
Set up an event department
There’s no shortage of reasons why universities need an event department. First, planning and running events can be a stressful activity, especially for those without any experience. Second, when there are multiple departments and faculties involved and the number of events is escalating year by year, it becomes difficult to maintain each event’s brand identity. People usually may use visual elements or communication strategies that aren’t aligned with the university’s policies. That’s why it’s so important to centralize the event management and implement an event department that will accompany and assist different faculties or university employees in planning and running events.
Establish a strong network with local event providers
To build a good event infrastructure, it’s important to know who can help you with planning and running powerful conferences, seminars, or congresses. Be it the catering companies, printing stores, or audiovisual rental companies, universities must build a trustworthy network of event providers. By doing so, when planning a new big event, the universities will have an effective communication line with the suppliers, facilitating the logistic processes.
The daily activity of a modern university implies multiple functions. One of them is to enable the gathering of like-minded people and the knowledge transfer. That’s why academia must develop a good event infrastructure as a crucial asset. By doing so, universities will be able to expand their influence, contributing directly at the development of the local community (among others), and fostering the communication between the different layers of the society.