While most people think of graduations starting in Springtime, those in the event planning and production industry have been planning as far out as several years to a few months lead time. At Media West, we’re gearing up for graduation season NOW. From RFPs and CAD drawings to customizing content and design, here’s our top five key considerations for graduation/convocation planning:
Wearing Your Client Hat (or Cap)
There are usually many participants involved in planning graduation ceremonies - from special events coordinators to faculty or departmental heads. We often hear that above all, school spirit and uniting the school community is a top priority. Therefore, it’s critical to be a brand ambassador for your client and bring their brand to life in all aspects from creative design, logo creation and staging to live web streaming. The goal is bringing students, family, friends, faculty, alumni and the community together.
Managing Your Timeline
The first step is to plot all elements required, allocate budgets, and prepare for custom elements needed - from design and staging to technology format. Knowing if you need to prep a speaker in a remote location for a pre-taped segment or a live, two-way communication for audience interaction is critical to save efficiencies in the long run and increase engagement from attendees.
Know Your Venue
A huge advantage as an event producer is knowing your venue - relationships and experience go a long way in managing vendors, staff hiring, set-up/strike, seating, and staging logistics. With Covid-19, a whole new set of requirements forced the industry to incorporate social distancing and improved safety protocols. Understanding the venue’s ins-and-outs can help spark creative production ideas and special touches to enhance the graduation.
The Right Team
Make sure you get what you need versus a one-size-fits-all approach. You don’t want to pay for manpower you don’t need, or technology you don’t use. Look for the right tailored proposal that fits your budget and objectives. Seek out recommendations to ensure the experience in graduation or large-scale events speak to your needs. Look for companies that specialize in not only planning, but also high-quality production.
Make sure you get what you need versus a one-size-fits-all approach.
Make sure that every detail. Consider natural light, sunsets and fireworks displays in an outdoor location. Look for stunning additions like laser shows, band concerts or even a virtual pledge allegiance in an indoor venue or stadium. Sound, lighting, live-feeds switching, and visual elevates the graduation effects can amplify that school spirit and leave a lasting impression.
Remember, events that celebrate such important milestones are revered in our hearts and minds forever. Every detail counts in planning such a meaningful event.