Campus Check List
Event Planning Checklist
(Pray throughout the entire process. It takes some effort to host an event, but it is worth it!)
A) Set up a Meeting of Volunteers
We all know that we can’t accomplish everything on our own, but often times that doesn’t stop us from trying to do it all anyway. Remember that the amount people helping you in the event planning process directly affects the amount of burden that will fall directly on you in accomplishing your goals.
Pick out volunteers that will be your go-to team and feet on the ground for accomplishing tasks and campaigning for the event. This should be an exciting time of anticipation for what God is going to do on your campus. Invite all the Christian campus groups to join together in asserted effort for God’s glory.Also invite church groups to get involved. We suggest having a set schedule for planning meetings where details can be discussed and tracked for progress.
B) Fund the event
Sometimes funding events can be the most intimidating part to making an excellent event happen. That’s ok. If you don’t have all the funds readily available you can ask the University, Campus Ministries, Area Churches and Local Business People.
CrossExamined.org is a non-profit organization. We don’t charge students anything to attend and on-campus event. All expenses are paid by donations. To cover the cost of your event, we ask you to seek donations from your university, area churches, campus ministries, local business people, and parents. All donations are tax-deductible.
Our goal for each event is to raise enough in donations to cover all event-related costs plus $1000 to fund events in areas where donors or ministry partners are not available. *(See below for funding ideas).
C) Event Date & Time
You’ve picked several possible dates for your event and submitted them in the Event Request Form. We will be checking our calendar and getting back to you on these dates immediately.
We find that a successful event date is often scheduled on a weeknight when there are few campus events going on (i.e. big sporting events, concerts) or on the same night that the campus ministry normally meets.
The event start time should be specific and plan for the event to last 2 hours (that includes 30 minutes for questions). Even if the event is taking place during the normal ministry meeting time, it is best to advertise it as a special event. That way more skeptics will attend.
D) Event Venue
Get in touch with campus officials and book a venue for the event. Usually you want to have it booked for a 4-hour time block. That gives you an hour before the event to run through last minute details and almost an hour after the event ends for conversation and clean up.
E) Tech Needs
When looking at the possible venue locations, check for a sound system and a screen. If securing a room with these specifications is not an option, ask campus officials or an area church to borrow that equipment.
Dr. Turek has very specific audio and visual needs for his upcoming presentation. He will need access to his Mac computer on stage so that he can give his presentation from a podium that has his personal computer on it. There are three connections that must be in place to the stage in order that Dr. Turek can connect his personal computer to the system at your event.
- The first connector would be for video. This can be done with a VGA cable or an HDMI cable (Dr. Turek has adaptors for both). The cable has to be long enough to reach from whatever device is projecting video to his computer on stage.
- The second connector would be for audio. This can be done with a 1/8” cable. The cable has to be long enough to reach from whatever device is projecting sound to Dr. Turek’s computer on stage.
- If an HDMI cable is used for video, there will probably be no need for an additional sound cable because sound and video are carried together in an HDMI cable.
- The third connector is simply a power source. Dr. Turek will need to make sure that his computer is powered appropriately so please provide a drop cable of some kind for this by the podium.
*If you are unable to accommodate this set up, an alternate option is to put a large screen tv on stage with Dr. Turek. He can run his computer through the tv and the camera can capture both Dr. Turek, and the tv, on stage while projecting them onto the screens in the arena.
Dr. Turek will also need:
- A podium or small table to put his computer on.
- A hands-free wireless mic.
- A mic on a mic stand or wireless mic for the audience for Q & A.
Set up a Facebook event: I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.
Go to CrossExamined.org for an example from a previous event. Invite as many people as possible. Ask others to forward the link to their address book or friends list. Allow people to contact you. We believe that this is the best way to publicize the event—about 85% of college students use Facebook.
Make sure there is a link to www.CrossExamined.org on the Facebook page. There is a one-minute intro video on the Youth Exodus Problem page, and the I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist highlight video on the CrossExamined.org Solution page that should intrigue people.
ii. Flyers & Posters
Often, a ministry or church will donate the money for flyers and posters to be made. If not, it’s not that expensive. Depending on the size of your campus you will have to vary the amount of posters you print. For a medium size university, we suggest about 200.
Contact CrossExamined.org for a poster template that you can modify. At one school, flyers were printed up and put in every student mailbox—we had to turn people away at the event because we ran out of seats and 200 people were already sitting on the floor!
See about getting announcements made on campus radio or local Christian stations (such Public Service Announcements are normally free, but you have to get on the PSA list well in advance of the event. Start early!)Contact CrossExamined.org for an example announcement.
This works really well! If you can get newspapers (campus and/or local) to do a story about the event, people from the community will come out.
v. Talk it up!
Encourage volunteers and campus ministry attendees to talk to people face to face in promoting the event. Talk with college pastors in the area and campus ministry pastors. Make a stir. Let everyone know there will be Q & A in order to give atheists and professors an opportunity to try and stump the speaker.
vi. Other ministries
If you haven’t already done so, get in contact with various other campus ministries about 3 weeks prior to the event and see if they might want to get involved with advertising and sponsoring the event.
CrossExamined.org would like to offer the book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, and perhaps other event related products for sale to students during the event. CrossExamined.org’s Administrative Director will be getting in contact with you about sending these items to an appropriate address. Also a book table and a volunteer to man the table will be needed the night of the event.
H) Final Details
i. Check Equipment
On the day of the event make sure that all the technical sides of the event are in order. This is often overlooked and can cause embarrassing delays to the event start time.
Checking the equipment includes:
1) Setting up a sound system and testing all mics for feedback and volume.
2) Setting up the screen and testing it for clarity, color, and sizing image to the screen.
3) Getting an 1/8th inch audio cable and testing it volume (you can test the sound on your iPod or iPhone).
4) Have an extra set of batteries to ensure that the microphones (if wireless) don’t die during the presentation.
ii. Have a Team Meal/Reception
Meet everyone, including the speaker, at least 2 hours prior to the event. You may want to plan a pre-event meal with the entire team. If people have donated to the event, think aboutinviting them to this dinner.
iii. Follow Up
Consider hosting a follow-up study of the book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist after the event. Have fliers at the event to advertise. Offer campus ministries and churches an opportunity to introduce themselves and their ministries via literature or a short announcement at the end of the event.
iv. Schedule Part 2
You can schedule a Part 2 of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist for the next night, later in the semester, or the following semester.
We are so excited about all God is going to do through our unified efforts on your campus. Continue to pray for the lives that God intends to impact in bringing His Truth to your school.
*(Here are some other fund raising ideas)
Make a funding request to your university—they have money available for educational events like these. Every university is different, so you’ll have to call around to see who holds the purse strings. Don’t neglect the office of the President. Presidents have discretionary money for speakers. If you’re at a typical campus, you’ve had a disproportionate number of atheist, liberal, and Darwinian presenters, and very few Bible-believing Christians. Appeal to the President’s sense of fairness.
Request funding from campus ministries and area churches. They benefit from an I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist event because they can minister to the attendees after it’s over. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist attracts people across the entire spectrum of beliefs—many of whom would never attend a typical campus ministry meeting or a church service—so it’s a great place for ministries and churches to reach such people. (Moreover, placing interested attendees with a campus ministry and church is essential for discipleship.) Let campus ministries and churches know that they will have an opportunity to introduce themselves via literature or a short announcement at the end of the event.
Local business people or other individuals at church often have a heart to support something like this, especially if their children go to the university. Ask members of your group if their parents would be interested in underwriting an I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist seminar. (Please make out all checks to CrossExamined.org. Again, donations are tax-deductible.)
Free CrossExamined.org Resource
Get the first chapter of "Stealing From God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case" in PDF.