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Student geography society events

Events are an important part of any student geography society. They help to engage and inform members and can be a valuable source of funding. We have advice, events and activity ideas that you may find useful for planning your own programme of activities.

The Society has a regional programme which organises a large range of lectures, debates and field trips outside London - this includes eight regional branches in England and Wales, and another branch in Northern Ireland. They are managed by groups of local volunteers. Most events are open to both Society members and the general public.

Geography societies are welcome to hire rooms at the Society if they wish to hold events in London. For more details, please contact the Research and Higher Education Division

When you are planning a programme of events for your society, you should consider what your members need.

  • How many events do you want to hold during a term? This may depend on the size of the society and the resources of the committee.

  • You may want to ask the previous committee (or anyone who has been on the committee before) about what they did, whether it worked and suggestions for improvements.

  • What type of events do you want to hold, and when would it be best to hold them in the academic year?

Academic events

  • Your geography department should provide the best help for academic events. If you organise help with open days and other events, and don’t let events clash with academic work, then the department is likely to be very supportive of your geography society.

  • Think about the topics of the lectures – what would benefit your members? Would they like to know more about an area they are studying, or about latest research?

  • You could approach lecturers within your own department to speak, or see if they can use their networks to find a speaker

  • You will need to book a room for academic lectures and seminars (departments may also provide support with rooms for any careers/professional development events you organise). This often needs to be done well in advance – check with the department about who should be contacted and when

Careers and professional development

  • Offering members information and advice on careers can be a strong incentive to get members to join your geography society

  • You could run CV workshops, sessions to practise interview techniques and develop other skills to improve your members’ employability

  • Your university’s careers service and/or departmental careers advisor should be able to provide support with organising these events

  • Networking with graduates and non-university organisations can be very useful to inform members about career options. Your careers service may be able to help with getting in touch with geography alumni and potential employers who might be able to speak at any society events, such as a careers evening.

Field trips

  • Geography society members may be interested in field trips organised by your society.

  • You should think about what you want to achieve on a field trip – will it have a social or academic focus?

  • Field trips don’t have to be far away – often a local day trip can be more straightforward to arrange

  • It is important to get organised and plan trips (depending on how elaborate they are) with an initial meeting at least six months in advance

  • You can also check with your student union if they are able to offer any help with arrangements for trips


  • Socials are important to raise funds and create a sense of community between the different year groups in the department.

  • You can organise a whole range of social events throughout the year, depending on the amount of time that the committee is able to commit to organising them

  • Events could include gatherings in pubs, trips to go bowling, film screenings, quizzes, debates, charity events and an end of year meal, ball or party

  • Try and ensure that there is something of interest for all members, including non-alcoholic events for example

  • You could also use socials as an opportunity to link with other student societies at your university, such as environmental groups

Getting speakers

  • Getting speakers can be the most challenging part of arranging an events programme.

  • When approaching a speaker, you should outline why you are approaching them and provide details about timings, the audience, and the venue. One or more committee members will need to be responsible for hosting the speaker, which may include meeting them, introducing their lecture or arranging a meal afterwards if requested

  • You should think about how much you can offer for expenses (for example, standard class travel). High profile speakers may request more, so you might have to consider charging members for an event

  • Check with your geography department if they already have events planned – you could include these in your programme.

  • You may be able to link up with another university nearby – contact the geography society there. This might allow you to share resources

  • The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) may be able to assist with finding speakers for your event.

    • The Society can facilitate contact with Chartered Geographers – professionals who use geography in their everyday work ( – good for careers talks and networking events. Use the website to search for CGeogs nearby and email the Research and Higher Education Division about those you want to approach

    • Visit the Society’s Research Groups for speakers on specific topics ( Check upcoming events and new research - if someone is speaking near your university, or wants to share their findings, they may be willing to come and speak to your society. Contact the groups directly for help

Promoting your event

  • Once your event has been organised, you need to promote it to make sure that it will be well attended, especially if you have arranged for an outside speaker.

  • Publicise the event by making announcements on your society webpage, Facebook page and/or department noticeboard or intranet

  • Target a few year-group geography lectures – hand out fliers and you can reach lots of people without using many resources

  • If you are having trouble getting people to attend events, you can try opening up the event to the wider geography department or even to other students at your university – check if you student union has an online calendar of events