Attracting Your Audience
To ensure that you attract the right audience and get the most value from your event, it is important that you use the correct tools to promote it.
Whether your event is free or requires attendees to pay to attend, encouraging guests to register is a great way to anticipate attendance to inform room layouts, catering requirements, etc.
If your event is free to attend, Eventbrite offers an easy to use, cost-free option to allow staff, students and the general public to register their intention to attend. An easy to follow guide to creating your event on Eventbrite can be found here. If you require any further assistance in setting up your registration page, please contact The Events and Conferencing Team who will be happy to offer advice and support.
If attendees are required to pay a fee to attend, a website for your event, which includes a shopping basket and e-commerce environment, can be set up by Information Services as a costed service. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Guest Lists and Invitations
Once you have decided who your event is aimed at, start pulling together your targeted and general invitation lists. Events may be invitation only or may be a combination of invited guests and registered attendees.
When putting together an invitation list, you might want to think about inviting key representatives from the following categories:
- Offices of the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar and Chief Operating Officer (Vice-Chancellor's Office, Ext.5134 or email. Registrars office, Ext. 2505 or email)
- University Senior Management (see here for an up-to-date list of University Senior Management)
- Members of Senate (contact the Registrars office, Ext. 2505 or email for further information)
- Alumni (contact Development and Alumni Relations Office, Ext.3114 or email)
- Local schools (contact Domestic Recruitment, Ext.3566 or email. Widening Participation Unit, Ext.5020 or email)
- Local Business Contacts (Public Engagement - Business Engagement Unit, contact Dolores Fischer, Ext.2573 or email or Robbie McGreer, Ext.5188 or email)
- Local MPs, councillors (Public Engagement - Public Affairs Unit, contact Aileen Cummins, Ext.5332 or email or Maurice Macartney, Ext.3540 or email)
- Media (Communications Office, Ext.3091 or email for details)
- Internal staff
Although each event will attract different guest numbers and exceptional circumstances (such as attendance by a notable VIP) can increase interest, you should plan for a 35% positive acceptance rate. Taking this figure into account, you should make sure you have an adequate invitation list to fill your event.
When contacting the guests on your invitation list, consider the following:
- Decide how you would like to send out your invitation. For formal events, printed invitations can be produced by CDS and sent by post. For less formal, a pdf invitation can be attached to a personalised email.
- Decide who the invitation will be from. Think about who is likely to have the greatest influence on your audience, e.g. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of School, etc.
- Ensure that your invitation provides enough information to your guests in advance of the event. Give information regarding the timings, venue parking arrangements, dress code, etc. A selection of sample invititions can be found by clicking the following link: Sample Invitations.
- Ensure that postal invitations are correctly addressed. A guide to formal titles can be found here (link to a version of the Eventus invitation guidelines document)
- Allocate an email account/phone number for responses and queries and ensure that all responses are accurately recorded on a spreadsheet or database to allow for the creation of table plans, delegate badges, etc.
- Ask guests to provide dietary/mobility requirements at the point of RSVP to avoid the need for further contact.
All attendees at your event must ensure that they have obtained any visa that may be required to visit the United Kingdom before travelling. It is strongly recommended that those attending events at Queen’s University travel to a UK port of entry. If they intend to visit the Republic of Ireland during their stay or to transit through the Republic of Ireland en route to Belfast, they may require two visas, one for the United Kingdom and one for the Republic of Ireland.
Up to date information on visa requirements can be found on the website of the UK Borders Agency. Details on visa requirements for Ireland can be found at the website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. Attendees can also seek further information from their local British/Irish Embassy or Consulate.
Delegates from some countries may require a visa supporting letter from the conference organiser. Where this is the case, you should ask them to email their request, stating their full name (as on their passport), address, country, passport number, nationality, travel dates and the date of the visa application to allow you to consider their request. Visa supporting letters should only be sent to delegates after payment of the necessary conference registration fee. A sample of a VISA supporting letter can be found by clicking the following link: Sample VISA letter.
For any further advice on visa requirements for attendees at events, please contact the Events and Conferencing team.
Promoting Your Event
You can effectively raise the profile of your event through the following means:
- Let colleagues in the University know by submitting information for the Staff Round Up to the Communications Office at email@example.com.
- Submit details of your event to be featured on the University events web page. Contact Emma Boyd via email.
- Promote your event on the Plasma screen at the Welcome Centre. Contact Ext.5252 or email for more information.
- The University’s Social Media Team are always looking for interesting and inspiring stories. The team may be interested in featuring your event in the University’s social media posting schedule. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with details for consideration. These can be:
- Inspiring human interest stories
- Interesting or unusual events.
- Events which answer a need for staff / students / public e.g. Graduate recruitment events, open evenings or events/festivals open to the public.
- Good photos or videos from events.
Please note, not all events will be able to be featured, but all requests will be reviewed equally.
When presenting your work at a conference, it is important that you respect QUB's branding so that your belonging to Queen's can be clearly identified and your amazing work linked to the University.
The QUB brand toolkit page contains links to download logos, slides, document templates, infographics and QUB email signature. The brand guidelines (PDF) regroup information relevant to the logos, presentation of documents, colours etc.