Effectively advertising your upcoming event or activity is the key to attracting a sizeable and diverse audience. Begin by posting on various platforms and displaying physical posters one week before the planned event. Eye-catching and engaging posters with bright colors, bold text, and unique shapes can capture students’ attention. Keep the poster content concise while providing essential details such as the event’s time, location, and topic. For inspiration, you can find examples of compelling posters here: Activities.
As the event date approaches, make additional posts the day before and the morning of the event. College students often plan their schedules more spontaneously, so these reminders can help them avoid conflicting plans on the day of the guest speaker event. By strategically timing your posts, you increase the chances of attracting a broader audience.
Hosting collaborative and enjoyable social events with other clubs or organizations can be a fantastic way to engage members and raise awareness about your EV club across campus. Unlike formal meetings, socials don’t need a specific objective other than providing members with a good time and an opportunity to socialize with other students. These events can also serve as excellent opportunities for recruiting new members who may be intrigued by the relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
There are numerous ideas for organizing socials, such as movie nights, game nights, or fun competitions like popsicle stick bridge-building challenges or egg drops. Outdoor activities like lawn games or Capture the Flag can also be a hit. When planning a social activity, aim to cater to a broad audience to ensure maximum participation and interaction among participants. If you need more ideas, other clubs and organizations have produced a plethora of detailed guides on running engaging activities.
To ensure good attendance at your socials, consider offering incentives, with food being one of the most effective draws. Pizza from a local restaurant or a cookout can work wonders in attracting participants. Another successful tactic is hosting competitions with prizes for the winners. These prizes can be relatively inexpensive compared to catering an entire event while still providing a strong incentive for participation.
Inviting a diverse range of guest speakers can add immense value to your EV club’s activities. These speakers can include professors, students, company executives, community leaders, and policy specialists–each of whom brings unique insights to the table. Depending on the nature of the event, you can host these talks exclusively for your club or make them open to the entire school and the public. When selecting speakers, aim to cater to a broad audience, ensuring their presentations will be interesting and relevant to students of different majors and career goals.
To keep the audience engaged and prevent lectures from becoming too lengthy, try to limit guest presentations to under an hour. College students already spend considerable time attending lectures and classes, so making the presentations engaging and interactive is essential. Including demonstrations and hands-on activities can get students up and moving, making the event more dynamic and memorable.
It is important guest speakers are provided an attentive and engaged audience. To achieve this, provide information on the speaker to students prior to the event. Requesting students prepare questions in advance to ask the presenter always facilitates better engagement and conversation. Guest speakers want to feel that they are making an impact and that their presence benefits your club. Regardless of the presenter or subject, always do your best to show your guests the utmost gratitude and respect. A thank-you letter or email a day or two after the event helps show your appreciation and show your interest in their presentation has continued.
Regarding events your club can host, the possibilities are endless. However, it is essential to remember a couple of crucial things when planning any event.
- Define the Purpose When planning an event, the first step is determining the objective and purpose. Consider what you want participants to take away from the event and what impact you aim to create. Whatever objective you choose, ensure there are measurable ways to gauge the event’s success. For instance, if your goal is to educate the community about EV facts, keep track of the number of participants engaging with your hosts and materials. Having quantifiable metrics of success not only aids in planning future events but also serves as a powerful tool when seeking funding for upcoming endeavors. Presenting donors with evidence of past successful events significantly enhances the likelihood of receiving funding support.
- Audience The next factor in event planning is determining your target audience. Identifying the specific group you want to engage with allows you to tailor your messaging effectively during the event and in your advertising efforts. As an electric vehicle club located on a college campus, you have the potential to reach a large audience comprising students, faculty, and even the surrounding community. Defining your target audience should align with the purpose of the event you’re planning.
If you aim to promote EV sales, focusing on families and faculty members who can afford these vehicles may lead to greater success. On the other hand, if you aim to foster sustainable thinking and behavior, directing your efforts towards students, who are still shaping their perspectives, could be the most effective approach.
Once you’ve decided on your target audience, consider the expected size of attendance from this group. Determining the scale of your event becomes imperative in selecting an appropriate location.
- Venue When selecting the perfect venue for your event, several vital factors demand careful consideration
- Permission First and foremost, choose a location you have permission to use. Your first action must be to obtain the proper permissions and reservations required. Without a place to host your event, every other aspect is obsolete. Long before reaching out to vehicle owners it is important you verify who will be insuring the vehicles attending. Insurance may be provided by the school, the sponsor of the event, or the owners themselves. Whatever it may be it is essential there is some form of liability coverage.
- Accessibility An ideal event location should be easily accessible, providing suitable parking options and smooth foot traffic flow. Ensure there are convenient routes for transporting materials and vehicles to and from the venue. Access to necessary power sources is essential for a seamless event experience. Lastly, choose a location close to your target audience, making it convenient for them to attend.
- Safety Prioritize the security of your attendees by choosing a venue with proper barriers to protect against traffic. Access to shaded areas, restrooms, and water stations is vital, particularly for outdoor events. Clearly defined paths for vehicles and pedestrians will help prevent potential accidents. Lastly, select a location free from other interfering activities that could detract from your event’s focus.
- Visibility Opt for a venue that offers maximum visibility to the surrounding area. A location that catches the eye will help attendees locate the event easily and pique the interest of passersby, enticing them to explore what your event has to offer.
- Timing Consider the most accessible time of year and day for your target audience. While weekend mornings may work well for families and faculty, students may be less inclined to attend early in the day. Choose a season that is likely to have favorable weather conditions, typically spring and fall, although weather can be unpredictable. Always have a rain date scheduled well in advance.
- Amenities Once you’ve selected and reserved the event location, it’s time to focus on preparing the essential components of your event. Start by securing the more intricate aspects early to streamline the planning process. If your event involves food or music, prioritize their arrangements first.
For food-related aspects, ensure you have a plan for sourcing, distributing, and cleaning up after the provided food. This will help create a seamless dining experience for your attendees. Similarly, if you plan to have music at the event, ensure you have the equipment, technicians, and power necessary to support the performers. If bands or performers have their own equipment, confirm availability as soon as possible.
Having these exciting amenities secured early on will reduce complications in the planning process and enhance your event’s appeal to potential collaborators and attendees. When reaching out to potential partners or sponsors, having food and music already organized will demonstrate your event’s professionalism and boost their enthusiasm to join. If you cannot generate these elements yourself, consider joining an existing event. This will reduce planning on your part and attract participants with diverse activities.
Additionally, address the need for a supplier of tables and chairs for your event and determine their capacity. Before approaching anyone to help host the event, ensure you have access to the required equipment. While rental companies are an option, it’s a good idea to check with your school’s grounds and facilities first, as they may be able to support you with the necessary equipment.
- Participants With the groundwork laid for your event, it’s time to reach out to potential participants and collaborators. Your club can consider partnering with other clubs and organizations on campus, local businesses or dealerships, and even government representatives. Don’t hesitate to approach anyone you believe will add value to your event. Asking for their involvement opens a line of communication and presents an opportunity for fruitful collaboration. Even if some decline, it’s all part of the process, and you never know who might be interested in the future. Creating a digital sign-up sheet is a great way to track who has agreed to participate and collect their contact information.
When contacting potential sponsors or participants, make sure to provide them with all the pertinent details, including the time and location of the event. Moreover, clearly communicate your vision for the event and what you hope to achieve. This will help external groups assess whether attending aligns with their interests and how they can contribute.
Highlight the benefits they will receive from participating, such as recognition, advertising opportunities, networking prospects, or even recruiting possibilities. By showcasing what they stand to gain, you’ll increase their motivation to join forces with your event. Consider including these details in email templates for contacting participants, making communication more efficient and consistent.
Remember, the success of your event is not solely dependent on your club’s efforts but also on the collective support and engagement of participants and collaborators. Building strong partnerships can amplify the impact of your event and foster a sense of community in the pursuit of a common goal. For examples of email templates used for contacting participants, go here Event Outreach.
- Advertising Effectively promoting your event is the key to attracting your target audience. Tailor your advertising strategies to reach your intended participants best. For students on campus, leverage the marketing techniques described in the “Marketing Events” and “Recruitment” sections. Utilize social media platforms, campus bulletin boards, and student newsletters to spread the word among your college community.
When reaching external groups beyond your school, explore various channels like email outreach and Facebook groups. Consider utilizing local newsletters or newspapers to tap into the broader community. Eye-catching posters strategically placed in high-traffic areas, such as restaurants and grocery stores, can help generate curiosity and interest among potential attendees from the local community.
- Briefing your Team Effective event planning begins with thorough preparation and proactive decision-making. A well-structured plan serves as a strong foundation for a successful event. Consider all the moving pieces of your event and how they will interact seamlessly. For instance, anticipate the arrival time of the food truck, plan its parking during unloading, and identify the team responsible for this task.
To ensure smooth execution, delegate specific responsibilities to different team members. Assign key roles, such as music, food, parking, tables/chairs, and assisting collaborators, to individuals who can manage their respective segments effectively. Empower them with the necessary information and resources to handle their areas independently. Share contact details among team members for quick communication during the event. Maintain a master contact sheet with information for all organizers and stakeholders, including collaborating parties and suppliers, facilitating seamless coordination throughout the event.
Transparency and continuous communication are essential throughout the planning process. Keep all involved parties informed with updates and detailed instructions. Share maps detailing parking and activity locations, as well as comprehensive set-up and breakdown procedures. By providing clear guidance, each participating group will arrive well-prepared, maximizing the efficiency and impact of your event.
- Day of the Event On the day of your event, allocating sufficient time before and after the scheduled program for set-up and breakdown is imperative. Plan for at least an hour on each side to allow for any unexpected delays. Time tends to pass quickly during preparations, so giving yourself ample cushioning ensures a smooth start and conclusion.
During the event, primary planners should be available to assist wherever needed rather than being assigned to specific roles. This flexibility allows them to address any unforeseen challenges and make quick decisions to keep the event on track. Designate someone to observe the event, engaging with guests and taking notes on how the day unfolds, as this feedback can be valuable for future improvements.
Despite meticulous planning, it’s important to acknowledge that events may encounter unforeseen hiccups. However, maintaining a positive attitude and promptly finding solutions will ensure the overall success of your event. As the director, stay optimistic and focused on celebrating the achievements of your event, even if some aspects don’t align perfectly with your initial vision. Embrace the experience and view any challenges as opportunities for growth, knowing that each event contributes to your expertise in organizing successful gatherings.
- Learning from the experience Learning from the experiences of hosting an electric vehicle event is the key to continuous improvement and creating even more impactful future gatherings. Take the time to reflect on what went well, what could have been better, and what unexpected challenges arose. Use QR codes and digital surveys to solicit feedback from participants, collaborators, and team members to gain diverse perspectives on the event’s strengths and areas for improvement. Use this valuable knowledge to refine your planning strategies, enhance event logistics, and better cater to the preferences and needs of your audience. By incorporating these lessons into future events, you can build on your successes, avoid pitfalls, and create an even more engaging and memorable experience for attendees. Each event is a stepping stone toward becoming a seasoned event organizer, empowering you to cultivate a growing community of electric vehicle enthusiasts and drive positive change in the world of transportation.
Policy and Advocacy
Policy and advocacy efforts are a large piece of helping to make electric vehicles more accessible to consumers. Once your club has a core group of members, you can hone your focus for advocacy work through the club. There are various ways that policymakers and other decision-makers can advance transportation electrification and make EVs more accessible to the public. Select 1-3 key issues or opportunities to address to increase EV adoption on campus and in your community. These can be things other club members have noted, or you could host an event or use another engagement tool to collect feedback and understand what other community members want. Examples of key issues can include, but are not limited to, charging station deployment, availability of EV purchase incentives, availability of charging station installation incentives for residents and improving battery materials sourcing.
Much of advocacy work begins with the relationships that you build. Start working on your focus issues by mapping out who is involved in the decision-making process. You should also do preliminary research on what has been done on this particular issue in your community/on your campus in the past. As you identify these key stakeholders and past actions, you will get a clearer picture of who you need to meet and what needs to happen to address your focus areas. For guidance on policy tools and strategies for advancing EV uptake, refer to this collaborative policy toolkit AchiEVe: Model Policies to Accelerate Electric Vehicle Adoption created by Plug In America, Sierra Club, Forth, and the Electrification Coalition. The toolkit shows the power of bold and strategic policies for vehicle electrification, highlighting several detailed examples from locations across the nation where policies are working and includes model legislation and other templates.
As part of your advocacy efforts, consider running a campaign highlighting a particular issue you are trying to address. A campaign could focus on increasing the development of EV infrastructure on campus or, more broadly, be targeted at holding companies accountable for the public commitments they’ve made on EV deployment or technology development. It could also be crafted to help encourage the industry as a whole to institute more sustainable sourcing practices for EVs to further improve their impacts compared to gas vehicles. For example, Plug In America has been working to ensure that there are plenty of EV options for consumers and ran a campaign to encourage General Motors to offer smaller, more affordable vehicle types. Reaching out to Plug In America supporters and asking them to share their stories about the Bolt, allowed us to communicate consumer demand and interest in the Bolt with GM. GM took this feedback and has recently announced plans to reintroduce the Bolt to the market. Think creatively about where your voice or the voices of those in your community can drive change.
For those interested in the electrification of transportation, understanding the utility landscape in their area is essential. Utility companies, often referred to as a public utility or power companies, are entities responsible for generating, distributing, and supplying electricity to residential, commercial, and industrial consumers. Utility companies operate power plants that generate electricity using various sources, such as coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar energy. Once generated, the electricity is transmitted through high-voltage power lines across vast distances to substations, where it is then transformed into lower voltages suitable for distribution. From there, the electricity is distributed through a network of power lines, poles, and underground cables to homes, buildings, and other end-users.
In the context of transportation electrification, utility companies play a critical role in providing the energy needed to charge EVs. As the adoption of EVs grows, utility companies are tasked with meeting the increased demand for electricity by expanding charging infrastructure and ensuring the stability of the electrical grid. This expansion involves installing public charging stations, working on smart grid technologies to manage peak demand efficiently, and integrating renewable energy sources into their energy mix to reduce environmental impact.
Each utility company’s approach to supporting EV adoption may vary, and some may offer specific incentives, rebates, or programs to encourage EV ownership and charging. By connecting with your local utility company, you can gain insights into their plans, collaborate on initiatives, and contribute to the growth of sustainable transportation solutions. To determine which utility company serves your region, you can reach out to local authorities, visit official websites, or consult resources provided by energy regulatory bodies.
Engineering your own electric vehicle is an incredibly fulfilling experience that captivates students and offers valuable insights into the technology driving EVs. However, constructing a vehicle demands strict oversight and adherence to safety protocols. Mistakes can lead to serious injury and jeopardize your club’s existence. While each university may have specific safety procedures, the following sections provide a starting point to ensure safety. Your pursuit of building an electric vehicle will be an enlightening journey, empowering your team with knowledge and innovation. Embrace this opportunity responsibly, and it will pave the way for a brighter, cleaner future in transportation.
Converting vehicles like bikes, mopeds, and go-karts to electric power can serve as an excellent starting project. It allows you to focus on the electric power system without the need to build the frame from scratch. If you aim to develop a custom EV, clarify your project’s objectives. Common goals include reducing the costs of EVs, enhancing EV portability, or optimizing performance capabilities. For clubs seeking a more structured building challenge, competitions such as Formula SAE Electric, The evGrand Prix, or The World Solar Challenge offer great opportunities.
Safety The importance of safety during the construction of these vehicles cannot be overstated. It is essential to take all necessary measures to ensure that every team member practices safe behavior. Designating a specific leadership position to oversee safety procedures is an excellent way to ensure the required level of attention. Members should work with a buddy system to have someone available in case of emergencies. Before any member handles a tool, comprehensive training in the club and the university’s safety procedures is essential. Areas of focused attention include:
- Battery Storage and Management Batteries must be kept in fire-safe conditions with proper fire suppressant equipment accessible at all times. Continuously monitor the health of battery cells to ensure there are no issues of under or overvoltage. Invest in high-quality chargers and battery management systems, which are crucial to protecting your expensive batteries. Anyone in regular proximity to batteries must understand the characteristics of a lithium-ion fire and how to deal with one safely. As always, dispose of batteries in the appropriate methods.
- High Voltage Systems All members must understand the dangers of working with high-powered electrical systems. Members should understand the measures of electrical current and their implications. Always use the proper insulating personal protective equipment. If you are an inexperienced club, begin with lower voltage systems (around 12v-48v), as higher voltage systems are far more dangerous and require more expensive components.
- Tool Usage Regardless if the tools your club uses are your own or belong to the school, members must be trained on the proper operation of each device and piece of equipment. Keep your workspace clean and devoid of hazards. Consider creating an official club position that oversees the purchases, maintenance, and training for tools used by the club.
- Vehicle Operation Once you have created an operational vehicle, it can be tempting to test it immediately. Before anyone uses your vehicle, ensure you have the proper safety measures in place, including protective gear for the rider and a designated testing location. Always address liability before operating a vehicle. If you are unsure how to create a liability waiver, contact your school’s legal department. When not in use, make sure the vehicle has been completely disabled. Removing the key is often inadequate, as many members may know how to rewire the vehicle’s starting relays. Consider locking away components like wheels or batteries to prevent unsolicited usage. While it is important to trust your members to make smart decisions, it is best to remove temptations.