So You Want to Be a VP?

Vice President of Events

by Arianna Ford

 

When the common person thinks of public relations, they usually envision fabulous cocktail parties attended by fabulous people. They visualize bountiful food, drinks, VIP passes and security checks.

As a PR major, I have learned that is just one facet of the profession, one that is more glitzy and glamorous than the rest. Luckily for me, I have had the opportunity to serve as VP of Events for the CSUF PRSSA Chapter, allowing me to use my position to host some fun and creative events. Not only has it given me experiences and skill sets I would never receive in the classroom, but it has also opened up a lot of networks that are now indispensable for my future career.

Want to learn more about what it takes to become the next VP of Events? Read below for some and key elements of the job and tips from what I have learned so far.

You Call the Shots

As VP of Events, you are the main supervisor for the venue, theme, decor, program, food, etc. for any event outside of bi-weekly meetings. That being said, that comes with a lot of responsibility! This role allows you to be in a position of leadership and carry out noteworthy events. If (like this year!) your Chapter is selected to host a Regional Conference, the VP of Events also serves as acting Chair and overall director in the event – that’s a huge plus to your resume.

Unleash Your Artsy Side

Handy with a glue gun? Being VP of Events allows you to get creative, with the

job of choosing themes, decorations, color-schemes, etc. Remember our 2017 Halloween Tavern Mixer? The centerpieces, for example, were taken from used wine bottles and melted wax; cheap and effective!

Meet Professionals in the Field

One of the main duties as VP is booking tours, workshops and boot camps each semester for members. Not only does this position guarantee you get a spot in each activity (a win in itself), but it also allows you to make professional and personal connections with working experts in the PR field. PR is all about who you know; expand your network while serving on the board as VP of Events!

All That List-Making Has Finally Paid Off

Do you write everything down and have a great attention to detail? Events might just be the thing for you! When overseeing all logistics, it is vital to possess organizational skills in order to carry out a successful event. The VP of Events should not be afraid to voice concerns and have the ability offer solutions to problems that arise. Every small detail counts.

Improve Your Math Skills

As PR majors, it’s well-known most of us aren’t experts in mathematics. Heck, most of us chose this major thinking we’d never use it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but PR professionals use numbers every day, from budgeting to analytics. Working alongside the VP of Finance, this position allows you to get familiar working with numbers. You will work on budgets, decide event ticket prices, and figure out tactics to save money.

Sound like something you’re interested in? Start the application process today! If you plan on running as the next VP, here are a few tips to prepare you:

 

Always Be Ahead

Typically it requires about a 6-month head start on events. You will rarely go with the first choice of venue, caterer, etc.; the earlier you start, the less work you have to do later!

Know to Change on the Fly

Last-minute problems are bound to happen the day of the event. Always have a plan B, and be ready to make quick decisions at moment’s notice.

Double Triple-Check Your Budget

It’s fun to get carried away with ideas, but it’s important to stick to a clean, simple theme in order to stay within budget. Regularly run things past the VP of Finance to make sure everything runs smoothly and ethically; great ideas can quickly turn expensive.

Your Board is Your Biggest Asset

If there is one thing I learned during this last semester, is how much my position depends on other board members. Without VP of Finance, I wouldn’t have an allotted budget or guidance on finances. Without VP of Outreach, there wouldn’t be members to fill our meetings and events. Without VP of Digital Communication, all events would go unpublished. During your time on the board, I can guarantee you will work with each and every board member; you will learn tidbits of their own position in doing so. Go to your board for guidance, input, and help and offer the same to them; they are your biggest asset.