How to Bring a Speaker
Bringing a speaker to UT is a great way to create dialogue about your group and the issues it deals with. It's a good idea to plan for at least one big speaker every year.
First, contact the speaker and discuss available dates. Try not to set the date for a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Students are more likely to attend on a weeknight.
After you set the date, make a timeline of what you need to get done before the event. Pace yourself and don't leave everything to the last two weeks.
You'll have to reserve a space on campus for the event. Room reservations must be made in the SSB (see Section III). Speakers generally require an auditorium (rooms like GAR 1 and the CMA auditorium are good for speakers).
Make a budget. You'll need to find out where the speaker will be staying, flight estimates, food costs, and the speaker's fee. You can find this info on the web. Once you have the budget, you can start asking for money.
Ask for funding from the Texas Union Events Co-sponsorship Committee. The ECC has funding for events on campus. Applications are available at the Student Activities Center Desk (4th floor of the Texas Union) and must be submitted no later than two weeks prior to the program. They could run out of money before they get to you, so apply early. For more information call 475-6648.
You can also apply for funding with the University Residence Hall Association. Go by their office (located in Jester West #0006) or download the application online http://www.utexas.edu/students/urha. You must turn in your application the Friday before their next meeting, and they only meet every other week.
You'll have to make a short presentation to the ECC and the URHA before they will approve you for the amount you request. In the presentation you must stress the importance of the issue and impact your speaker will have on the university community. Emphasize how your group will attract different types of students at UT. See sample ECC application attached.
Once you are approved, you need to begin publicizing your event. This is usually part of the budget and ECC will fund that. You can design flyers and posters in the Graphics Lab in the Texas Union on the 4th floor (see Section VIII).
Advertise your event:
1. By tabling
A few days before the event you should send a news release to the Daily Texan to let them know about the event (see Section X). Speakers sponsored by student groups make good stories for the University section of the paper.
Keep in contact with your speaker in the planning process. Keep her/him updated on flight times and numbers, sleeping accommodations, and date and time of the event.
Confirm your room reservation a few days before the event and make sure the sound system in the room is working properly.
The day of the event:
Films and Film
Set a date for the film screening and reserve a room for the screening. If
the film is long (1-2 hours) and a large audience is expected, you can reserve
the Union Theater. Reservations for all facilities within the Union are made
at the Reservations Office (room 4.300B). Call 475-6677 for more information.
If the film is short (under 20 min.) you may want to show it at your general
Follow the same publicity procedures as you did for bringing a speaker. You may or may not wish to apply for funding with the ECC. If this is your big event for the year, go for it. It will help with advertising. If you plan on bringing a speaker later in the year, hold off on asking for funds for your film event. The ECC probably won't give you money for two events (unless they are really great events that can bring a huge crowd). However, the URHA may be willing to give you money for more than one event. Apply for funds with them for every event you have on campus.
If you have several films that you want to show, it may be a good idea to set up a semester-long film series. Showing films twice a month is great way to get people involved in your group and to get people talking about the issues your group deals with.
A good example of a successful film series is the "Free the Media" film series that was held in Spring 2001. A different film regarding media issues was shown bi-monthly. It generated a large audience and opened up some great dialogue concerning the problems with corporate-owned media.
To put on a film series you must make a timeline and a list of all films
you will show during the semester. Show the films in the same room, at the
same time, and on the same night of the week each
You can advertise in the same way as the speaker event and film screening,
but since this is a semester-long event, you will have to go a little further.
Update the PSA's at the radio station and newspapers. Also, list the entire
semester's film schedule on your webpage. Make sure you send reminders to your
list serve at least 3 or 4 days before the
Show up to each film night 30 minutes early to set up and to test the tape and the equipment. Make sure there are enough chairs and that the TV screen is visible from everywhere in the room. After the film is over, open up the floor for questions and comments. Monitor the discussion, and if it's going slow, start talking about an interesting point and get people involved. At the end, remind people of your next film in the series and give a quick synopsis of what it's about. Direct people to your literature table and make sure everyone has signed the sign-up sheet.
Always have a sign-up sheet and a table of literature at every event.
(SAMPLE ECC APPLICATION)