The Duke Special Event Planners Council holds several events each semester for our event planner community. Events range from educational and professional development events to fun social gatherings. View recordings and materials from past events below. To get updates about upcoming events, become an SEPC member!


Past Events


The Planner’s Corner

Join us to workshop ideas, get suggestions from fellow event planners, and discuss trending topics in the meeting and events industry.

The Planner’s Corner is a time to share share information and tips with your fellow event planning colleagues, as well as seek their advice. Topics can be helpful resources for planners, including logistics, productivity, new tech/tools, support and networking.

2022 Duke SEPC Conference: Reconnecting and it feels so good!

The 2022 SEPC conference featured two keynote talks from Campus Safety and Downtown Durham plus several breakout sessions with topics ranging from event marketing to inclusive meetings to pandemic catering & more.

The PowerPoint slides from each session are available in the Members Materials Box folder to all Duke SEPC members.


Tech Tips & Tricks: Qualtrics

Stefanie Conrad, Special Projects Analyst in Academic Affairs for the School of Nursing provided some tips and tricks on how to use Qualtrics to own our event processes.

Watch the recording of the session.

Links to Helpful Qualtrics Articles. 


February Education Session: Virtual Events from a Planner’s Perspective

Special guest Stephanie Lowd, Director of Strategic Events of Duke Health & Alumni Affairs,  discussed best practices and tips for planning successful virtual and hybrid events. During her presentation, she touched on  staffing, attendee expectations, virtual incentives, Zoom and tech support, & much more!

Watch the recording of the session.


January Education Session: Reinvention: Staying Relevant AND Personally Inspired in 2022

Since 2015 Jes Averhart has helped CEOs, Executive Directors, Mid-level managers and early career professionals get unstuck in the reinvention process. In each case, she starts at the beginning by asking four simple questions that play a pivotal role in the success of their journey and ultimately serve as their North Star. During this talk, Jes walked us through these questions and provided a few tools to set a renewed course for 2022.

Watch the recording of the session.


November Education Session: Community Connections: Opportunities for Local Engagement

The Duke Civic Engagement team from the Office of Durham and Community Affairs shared resources and connections from their office, including volunteer opportunities, community partnerships, and recommendations for planning community engagement events.

Watch the recording of the session.

View the Civic Engagement Overview slide deck.


October Education Session: Duking It Out With Delta: A Vendor Panel

Representatives from the Washington Duke Inn/JB Duke Hotel, The Durham Hotel, and Beyu Caffe shared what they are doing in the current COVID landscape and what Duke event planners should know during this time.

Watch the recording of the session.


September Education Session: Hybrid Events in an Uncertain Environment

In this presentation, Shaun King, Senior Public Relations Specialist, and Beth O’Brien, Program Assistant, relayed their experiences planning and executing events that contain in-person and livestreaming components. They touched on advertising, venues, different streaming choices, equipment needed, and, just in case COVID protocols change, the need to have a Plan B ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Watch the recording of the session.


2021 Annual SEPC Conference

The 2021 SEPC conference was full of helpful discussions on crisis communication, event technology, increasing attendee engagement, and Duke hotel updates for fall 2021. We also had sessions on wellness and self-care for event planners, and a panel discussion reflecting on 2020.

Watch recordings from all three days of the conference.


April Education Session: Staying Sustainable During COVID

For the April SEPC Education Session, we were joined by Rebecca Hoeffler from the Duke Office of Sustainability. In advance of Earth Day, we discussed creative ways to keep earth-friendly sustainable practices in mind even during COVID when everything seems to be single-use and disposable.

Watch the recording of the session.


March Education Session: Student Programming In the Pandemic

Hosting events during COVID has not been easy. The Office of Student Engagement has partnered with student organizations to navigate this new programming era. Reflecting back on the past year, we shared successes and challenges of how to host virtual programming and small in-person events and provided recommendations with best practices.

Watch the recording of the session.


January Member Meet-Up: Goal Setting

Duke SEPC hosted its first social event of 2021! We had a casual discussion about goal setting, where we considered tips and strategies for setting (and following through with) personal and professional goals.

Goal Setting Presentation Deck


November Education Session: Virtual Event Management: What’s New in Cvent and Review of Zoomtopia.

Watch the recording of the session.


October Education Session: Human Trafficking.

Cheryl Scott is the Interim Public Health Nurse Division Director and has been helping various companies in the area recognize when trafficking may be happening at their events, meetings, and work environments.

Watch the recording of the session.


September Education Session: How to be the Purple Cow: Marking in the COVID-19 Era

Watch the recording of the session


September Education Session: How to be the Purple Cow: Marking in the COVID-19 Era

Watch the recording of the session.