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How to Organise Social Events

Social events within student groups can be a whirlwind of fun. Equally, however, if not planned accordingly, they can be disastrous. It is important to consider the below items when planning a student group social event.

How to get Started

All student group social events are always organised by the student groups' committee themselves. The Student Groups Team or any member of UPSU is not responsible for the organisation of any student group social events. While we can help facilitate some events to an extent, this does not go further than completing any purchases or reimbursement requests. This should be kept in mind when setting up a social event for your group.

If you are planning a large scale event, click here.

For smaller scale events, consider the following:

1) What's the type of activity? 

  • Will it allow everyone to participate?

Ensure the activity is something everyone of all backgrounds can attend. Any disabilities that may have physical or mental obstacles will need to be looked at and a safe solution found. 

  • Does it involve any risks?

If yes, fill out a risk assessment form.

  • Are your committee willing to help organise it?

It should not be down to one person e.g. Social Sec, President to organise the whole event, especially if it's a big scale one. Everyone involved needs to pull their weight. 

2) Budget

  • Does this activity require any money from the club? Can you afford it?

Please speak to the Student Groups Team to discuss budgets and any alternatives.

  • Is it a fund raising social activity? e.g Games Night, Portsmouth Monopoly Scavenger Hunt.

Not every social activity HAS to involve alcohol - think about those who prefer not to drink. Get creative and think of some sober socials! Maybe it could turn into a fundraising event - people are more likely to donate if it's non-drinking.

3) Organisation

  • Do you need to book anything in advance - venues etc? Do you have time?

PLEASE READ ANY CONTRACTS CAREFULLY. The Student's Union cannot help if you have willingly signed a contract with any third party organisation.

  • Make a timeline of when events need to happen, e.g. advertising, setting up times, etc
  • Have a backup plan.

Sometimes things happen e.g. people drop out, venues mix up bookings, etc - so have a contingency plan B  just in case. Think of everything that could go wrong and find a solution before it happens. Note: some things happen that you just can't predict - in these situations just solve it the best you can.

  • 4) What happens after the event?

After the event has happened, take some time aside with the rest of the organisers/committee to review it, was it a success? If not, why not - what could've been done differently to make it more of a success.

Type of Social Activity

It is important to remember that not every member will be willing to participate in any of your group's social events, no matter how engaged with the group's regular activity they are. They have no obligation to and you most certainly cannot force them to join in or attend if they do not wish to.

It is also important that you show a wide variety of social engagement opportunities within the group. You need to make sure as committee members that you work together to ensure you are providing a range of opportunities to demonstrate inclusivity within your group throughout the academic year. This is the responsibility of all committee members and inclusivity should be kept as one of your top priorities. For example, a social event to a sporting event that is relevant to your group's general activity might not be to everyone's taste. Attendance to a food fest, a scavenger hunt or end of year meal would demonstrate a range of activities that your members could get involved with.

Code of Conduct

When planning social events, it is important that you consider the Code of Conduct that all student groups need to abide by and that all members agree to abide by when purchasing their membership. For more information on UPSU's Student Group Code of Conduct or to read through it thoroughly, follow this link or go to the Grievances section of the committee hub.

Risk Assessment

For any event you organise, you will need to complete a risk assessment. This will need to be completed in as much detail as possible. Information on how to correctly complete a risk assessment can be found here under the Health and Safety section on the committee hub.

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