Planning Your Online Event

The Heller Events Team is here to improve communication about online events, provide guidance or advice as you plan an event and to coordinate event scheduling across all Heller departments. Submit an Event Request Form for any online event or meeting open to Heller faculty, staff, and students in order to receive approval of your desired date and time. For all events that will be publicized to the public beyond Heller and Brandeis, we ask that you use the registration function on Zoom. Please include a question about the registrant's connection to Heller/Brandeis, e.g., student, faculty, staff, alumni or unaffiliated.

Note: You should not schedule an event without first submitting a request form. Do not confirm a speaker or event until you have received confirmation on the date and time from the Events team.

The Events Team does not plan events for you, but can streamline the advertising process, guide you in addressing the finer details of your event, and check that no major conflicts exist – ensuring your event's success. We want to confirm that the date will work for your event.

You may contact the Heller Events Team at any time for advice about events at the Heller School.

Inviting High-Profile Guests and Presenters

The Heller School encourages faculty, staff and students to bring together scholars and public officials from all backgrounds, religions, and political views for a peaceful discourse. However, prior to issuing an invitation, you must contact the Office of the Dean if your proposed guests or presenters would give rise to any of the following issues:

  • President Ron Liebowitz or Dean David Weil would be expected to attend or participate
  • Security issues would be involved
  • The event may cause disruption of other university activities
  • Heller or university funding would be requested

If you would like the Heller Dean or the Brandeis University President attending or presenting at your event, you must send a request at least a month in advance to Joanne Beswick for Dean David Weil and to Heidi Popkin for Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz. It is best to contact them a few months in advance to check their availability.

Ways to Increase Attendance

There are many ways to attract attendees to your online event. Here are a few suggestions to help you have a great turnout:

  • A targeted invite - In addition to (or instead of) sending a broad invitation to everyone on your master mailing list, try targeting a few segments. This will allow you to focus on a group who may be more interested in the topic and more likely to attend, and can also save you money on print materials. Review the university's list of schools, departments and programs, which includes the director/dean/chair of each unit and their assistant to target your audience and to reach the appropriate assistant to relay your message.
  • Invite far enough in advance - When planning an event, it’s typical to invite people six weeks in advance. For large conferences or major events, you may also want to send a “save the date” which can be done at any time.
  • Cross-Promote - It is especially easy to pair up with another department at Brandeis. If you are partnering with an organization, ask them to advertise to their cohorts.
  • Plan around holidays - Holidays can really make a difference in attendance. You’ll want to consider holiday timelines when planning your invitation timeline or publicity strategy. Holding an event before or after major holidays may decrease attendance because people are more focused on their personal plans. If you must have your event close to a holiday, it’s a good idea to use a save the date and to advertise far in advance.
  • Personal Calls - If you have a list of people you want to target, call them in advance to secure their RSVP.
  • Personal Conversations and Emails - Everyone loves a personal invitation. This also helps you explain your event in detail and why they would be interested in attending.
  • Social Media - Utilize Heller's social media presence by coordinating with our communications department to post an event or tweet.
  • Listing attendees on an invitation - Very often invited guests want to see whom they know. If you can add a list of attendees to your invitation or provide an updated RSVP list online, often this may attract more people to attend.