Running your own events

When planning your own public engagement event, things can start to feel out of control very quickly. Planning effectively and early is essential. Here you can find some helpful advice on how to plan and run your own public engagement event.

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You start out with an idea for an event, what do you do next? How do you turn your great idea into an engaging and fun event for the public? Starting with the basics for planning your event will mean that important details are not overlooked until the last minute.


Think about the type of activity you want to do, is it the most suitable for the message you want to get across? Is it suited to the kind of audience you want to target? Having clear goals from the start about what you want to achieve and what audience you want to target is essential. Feedback from previous similar events can be invaluable in finding out what has and hasn't worked in the past.


What is the best location for your event to reach your intended audience? How many people can be in the space? Do the facilities meet all your requirements for the event?

Facilities such as parking, disabled access, audio and visual equipment, and facility and entrance fees all need to be considered.


Timing is everything, and many factors can affect your turnout and success on the day. Things to think about include whether there is an ideal time of day or year for your event, will it be taking place outdoors for example? Is your target audience only available at certain times of the day? Will everyone you need to be there to speak or volunteer be available at that time?

Avoid conflicting with another public engagement event by checking the Events Calendar page at the University. To make sure you plan around school holidays or other local events visit the Dundee City Council What's On website to check what else is happening on your preferred day.

Access our planning calendar - the University has an Outlook calendar that helps us to plan activities in an inclusive way. It includes events in the planning stages that aren't yet ready to be published on the Events Calendar, and major celebrations and observances. If you work or study at the University of Dundee and would like access to this calendar please email us at 


Here is a list of local venues that you could use to host your event

  • University of Dundee - The lecture theatres, museums, foyer areas and galleries across the University make great spaces for holding events or showcasing exhibits.
  • Dundee Science Centre - Dundee Science Centre has several spaces for holding public events including the auditorium, cafe, meeting room and atrium.
  • Dundee Libraries - Dundee Central Library has great facilities including a 250-seat cinema, meeting and conference rooms, as well as the main reading areas and atrium.
  • Community Centres - Local community centres are great places to reach out to members of the public you may not necessarily encounter at the University or Science Centre.
  • Outdoors - Dundee has a wealth of beautiful scenery which can act as a great backdrop to your event whether it's one of the parks including Baxter, Camperdown or Balgay Park, Broughty Ferry or St. Andrews beach, or in the city Centre itself.
  • Botanic Garden
Contact information

If you need more tailored advice or support contact us at: