Skip to main content

Why and who

An essential part of planning your event is to consider its feasibility and to think about your objectives, including why you are holding the event and who your audience is. Once you know your event objectives and the audience, you can think more clearly about logistics, promotion and evaluation. 

Event brief

  • Answer the questions below to create an event brief: 
    • Why are you holding the event? 
    • What are your objectives? 
    • Who do you need in your audience to help you achieve your objectives? What types of public/audience members will you target? 
    • Who are your stakeholders? (e.g. speakers, VIPs, key staff members) 
    • How will you make sure your event is engaging for your audience and stakeholders? 
    • When is it taking place? 
    • Where is it taking place? 
    • Are your event plans (time/place, etc) appropriate for your intended audience? 

Aims/objectives of events

  • Examples include:
    • student recruitment
    • honour or celebrate an occasion or person
    • promote awareness and dissemination of research
    • impact development (e.g. to promote academic expertise to influence policy discourse/decisions) 
    • inform/educate
    • encourage non-academic involvement in research (e.g. seeking the views of research stakeholders or the public). 

Audience groups and stakeholders

  • Examples include:
    • current Birkbeck students (in specific schools/departments or across the College) 
    • academics (within and beyond Birkbeck) 
    • Birkbeck staff 
    • Birkbeck senior academics (e.g. Deans or the Master) 
    • alumni 
    • donors 
    • prospective students 
    • children, young people or school groups (e.g. sixth-formers) 
    • practitioners/professionals (e.g. in the arts, social work, medical science, etc) 
    • policymakers and advisers (e.g. from political parties, think-tanks, NGOs, etc)
    • adults outside of Birkbeck. 

Identify your audience further

  • What is your audience’s:
    • demographic? (e.g. age, income) 
    • location? (e.g. Bloomsbury residents) 
    • interests? (e.g. film/art fans). 

Events for under-18s

  • If you are planning an event for under 18s, or if there will be people under 18 at your event, please inform the Safeguarding Team as soon as possible, but at least six weeks in advance of the event. They will help to ensure you and your team have suitable training and support. 
  • All under 18-year-olds on College premises must be assigned a responsible adult, whether that is someone who accompanies them on their visit or alternatively a member of Birkbeck staff. 
  • The Safeguarding Team will discuss numbers of children/adults at the event, the content of the event and any safeguarding training required for adults with a duty of care. Some other considerations for events with under 18s include: 
    • parent attendance 
    • personal data collection/photography 
    • health and safety
    • any requirement for DBS checks (formerly CRB) 
    • advanced training. 
  • School trips to campus can be easier to arrange than more open visits, as teachers will maintain some responsibility for the safeguarding of their students. 
  • Read the Birkbeck safeguarding policy

Equality and diversity

  • It is important to consider equality and diversity when planning, developing and promoting your event.
  • Birkbeck is proud of its diversity and recognises the value that this brings to College life. The College embraces and celebrates the differences between people, recognising the strengths and benefits of a diverse, inclusive society, workforce and student body.
  • Considering widening access and outreach can also help to further develop your event plans.


Next step: Logistics