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Welcome Back to school!  Fall is here which means Football, Homecoming and Fall Philanthropy events.  If your special events are truly special it creates a stronger relationship between the kitchen and the chapter members, alumni members, and parents.  Well done special events build trust!

Whether your event is being planned by the chapter, alumni board or a combination of both, if you prepare and plan ahead of the event you can have a successful and stress-free event.  There are many types of events that are organized by a chapter: Philanthropy, Tailgates, Homecoming, Mom’s Weekend, Dad’s Weekend, Parents Weekend, Founders’ Day, Chapter Anniversary, Athletic Events, or The annual Pig Dinner.

Here are some helpful tips that will guide you to a great event even if you are not planning on providing food…which we believe is an essential part of any event.

When evaluating the format of the event consider:

  • Is the budget needed for the event realistic for the chapter?
  • Is there enough time to successfully plan an event?
  • Who is the target group of attendees? i.e. Parents, members of the local Greek community, Campus students/faculty, local community members, Alpha Tau Omega/Richmond Property Group alumni
  • Is this an event that is on par with other fraternities’ events? (if applicable)
  • How far from campus does the target group reside?
  • Are entry costs for the event attainable for the target group?
  • Does the location work for the format and time of day the event will be held?
  • Is the time of year the event will be held easy for the target group to attend? i.e. Does the chapter take advantage of university-hosted parent or family events and tie your event with their event and how Alpha Tau Omega/Richmond Property Group’s event can complement the schedule?

Once the chapter has determined who their target attendees are, think through what areas of interest your event can have to compel your audience to attend.  Things to consider:

  • Incorporating new member or senior sendoff elements to draw parents
  • Giving incentives to other local Greek organizations to draw the Greek community
  • Offering a student ticket price to draw campus students
  • Honoring a professor or Dean during your event to draw campus faculty
  • Hosting your event at an intriguing venue to draw community members
  • Hosting an alumni brunch in conjunction with your event to draw alumni

Once you have the answers to the above you are ready to move on to the budgeting process which is especially important if you are doing a philanthropy or community service event where proceeds are going to a Foundation.  When planning the event, carefully consider if you are funding the event completely or if you are considering a ticket/event fee.  Your ticket fee should cover all the expense of the event including:

  • The venue (including taxes, gratuity, etc.)
  • Food
  • Invitations and marketing
  • Décor
  • Entertainment (speaker fees, audio visual equipment rental, DJs, etc.)

It is also important to keep cash flow in mind when planning the event.  When does the chapter have to make purchases and pay for vendors – will it already have received money from the tickets/event fees? If not, the chapter will need to work closely with the Treasurer to ensure the chapter’s budget can support the expenses until money is collected.  Remember some vendors will ask for a down payment and there could be a penalty if you cancel without the proper notice. 

In regards to FOOD, here is where Upper Crust Food Service can lend its support of the event and expertise!  When planning an event with food, here are the things to talk with your Chef about:

  • How many people will be attending?
  • Date and time of the event
  • Budget for food – do you have a per person price OR a set food budget?
  • What type of food service do you want – Buffet, Chef Station, or Plated?
  • What is the theme or type of food you want?
  • What rental items will be needed? i.e. chafing dishes, linens, etc.

At Upper Crust Food Service, we love to cater special events.  This gives our talented chefs a chance to show off and truly turn an ordinary event into something the entire campus is talking about, because what makes an event even better? Delicious food of course! From a simple appetizer buffet to an extravagant chef attended action station – we have your covered.

If you have questions about your kitchen feel free to contact Upper Crust Food Service at the information below.
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Upper Crust Food Service is the preferred food service provider of Alpha Tau Omega/Richmond Property Group.  For more information and a no obligation proposal visit www.uppercrustfoodservice.com/alpha-tau-omega or email Shana Smith, Director of Strategic Partnerships at shana@uppercrustfoodservice.com.