15 Fun Ideas for a Faculty & Staff PR Event
Dear sorority sugar, I am the PR Chair for the Phi Mu at my university. One of our requirements is to host an event for our faculty/staff. Do you have any ideas for this? Thank you!
Dear PR Chair, The type of event you plan depends heavily on your budget. Can you afford coffee and donuts? Or is there money for a sit down spaghetti dinner? Most events includes food and drink, so that’s a good place to start your planning. Daytime events might be preferable so you can attract more attendees before they go home for the day. And you will want to have plenty of your sorority sisters on hand to mingle with the guests. The goal of your sorority public relations social should be to strengthen relations with the university staff, show your chapter's appreciation for all that they do and let your sisterhood shine bright.
• Faculty and Staff Event Ideas •
✥ Meals: If you have a sorority house, invite the faculty and staff to stop by for a continental buffet breakfast before classes start, drop in for a taco bar lunch, or join your chapter for an early casual dinner one evening. A "comfort food" theme would be tempting for many invitees.
✥ Picnic on the Green: Most campuses have a grassy area where students hang out. Plan a festive picnic for the staff, serve gourmet boxed picnic lunches and pink lemonade. Decorate with balloons and your lawn letters.
✥ Food Truck: Hire a favorite food truck for several hours at mid-day and invite the staff to stop by the truck for lunch. Include a "stress relieving" activity such as blowing bubbles. Provide a table of bubble bottles and wands for some lunch time fun. Hula hoops are also fun to have on hand.
✥ Pop-Up Food Stand: Have a lunch catered by a favorite local restaurant (In-N-Out or Chick-fil-A for example) and invite the staff to your “pop up” food stand. Wear the restaurant's apparel and hats while you serve the meal. Treat each guest to a gift card favor from the same restaurant.
✥ Afternoon Tea Party: Plan an afternoon tea break and serve a variety of hot and ice teas along with sorority cookies and finger sandwiches. If possible, provide relaxing live background music, or play a soothing mix of recorded melodies.
✥ Coke Break: Theming your event will make it more fun, even if the concept is simple. For example, invite the faculty to stop by your sorority house between 2 - 4 for a Coke and a Smile. Stage a 50′s style soda fountain, serve regular and cherry Coca Cola drinks, vanilla ice cream and popcorn.
✥ Musical Interlude: If you have some musical connections, plan an afternoon music break for the staff. Invite them to stop by your sorority house for a mini concert performed by an acoustical guitarist or pianist. Serve light refreshments.
✥ Sorority Serenade: If your sisters are prepared to perform a program of songs, a sorority serenade would be a charming idea. Invite the staff to take a mid-morning or mid-afternoon break and enjoy the sounds of singing at your sorority house. Serve lemonade and cookies.
✥ Shake Break: Host a faculty shake break one afternoon and serve a variety of blended milk shakes to your guests. Variations on this idea include ~ a smoothie break, frozen yogurt break, ice cream social, or banana split bar.
✥ DIY Foodie Bar: Check out my recent post about Sorority Food and Beverage Bars where guests build-their-own meals or drinks. Many of these ideas would work really well for a faculty event.
✥ De-Stress Activities: Faculty and staff are usually overworked and they will welcome a relaxing stress reducing event. Invite them to a half hour yoga session and healthy snacks. Another fun idea is a "Pop and Chip" party. Provide large sheets of bubble wrap and invite guests to pop away. Serve a buffet table of every known flavor of chips.
✥ Puppy Party: No one can resist a cute and cuddly puppy. Invite the staff to your sorority house for a puppy hugging session. Borrow several adorable pups and offer free hugs and kisses. Serve dog bone shaped cookies.
✥ Adult Coloring Book Activity: Pair this activity with one of the food or beverage ideas. Provide an assortment of the intricate adult coloring books that are popular for reducing work day tension. Also offer lots of colored pencils and a comfortable station for a mid-day coloring break.
✥ Guest Speaker: If your sorority has access to an interesting speaker, invite her to speak at your faculty event. She might be an accomplished chapter alumnae. Topics of interest include ~ getting organized, healthy eating, or personal motivational tips. A noon comedy boost is another guest speaker idea. Book a "clean" comedian to share some humor during a faculty and staff luncheon at your sorority house.
✥ Treat Deliveries: If you want to pamper the staff, but you don’t need a full event, consider delivering surprise treats to the employees instead. For example ~ delivering coffee and donuts, baskets of cookies or candy, individual pizzas for lunch, or smoothies and healthy snacks in the mid-afternoon. Include a thank you note from your chapter and some promotional materials.
• Party Planning Tips •
• Planning “open house” hours for your event will allow your guests to stop by when they can between the hours of ___ and ___. This will accommodate different campus schedules. Two hours is a good window for attending a social.
• Make your social easy to attend. Carefully consider your location, hours and the style of your party. Gear everything towards maximum attendance.
• A catchy theme, event name and decor is key to a successful event. University administrators are busy people, so you want to lure them to attend your social with something that grabs their attention. All parties are better with a clever theme!
• When the faculty and staff attend your social, make sure to have some promotional materials on hand for them to view. A table displaying your chapter's activities and philanthropy projects is an excellent idea. The arrangement should look similar to your "go greek" table setup. You may also want to play your chapter's promotional video on a continual loop and have a laptop available on your table for viewing sorority sites online.
• Hostesses sisters should be prepped to talk about your sorority in a positive way. They must be knowledgeable about chapter accomplishments and serve as strong ambassadors for your house.
• Ask your President to give a very brief talk during the social. She can express her gratitude to the faculty and staff and share some highlights of your chapter. Your common goals of making the university the best ever should be emphasized.
• Planning an event around a holiday is always beneficial. It gives your theme a boost and provides more activity ideas. For example, a pumpkin carving party or holiday hot cocoa and caroling social.
• If your budget allows, give your guests small favors at the conclusion of your event. Something like a sorority branded pen, sticky notes, decal, or a button are positive promotional pieces to hand out.