Graduation day is the time to "go all in" and your committee will help you with all the details. But the graduation coordinator is the first point of contact for everything, so you need to know all the elements.
Depending on the size of your school, you may be able to handle all these details on your own, or you may be able to ask some of your committee members for help.
1. Supervision ceremony
Before the event begins, carefully decide who will be the emcee and guest of honor. Don't be afraid of stage fright or nervousness, this is just a brief introduction and most people expect a coordinator to do this. This is also when the principal and administration will thank you for your hard work.
This should be a brief introduction to everyone, and each guest should take their place in a designated section of the stage. Depending on your master's program ceremony details, these guests may or may not speak at the ceremony.
2. Check the photographer
It is critical to photograph and capture special moments for each new graduate. Some schools may decide to have a photographer at the end of the stage to capture the moment the student gets the cover of the diploma certificate folder.
Others may take candid photos around the facility during the ceremony. It's best to plan where the photographer should stand, and you should decide what they need to capture. Before the ceremony, make sure these photographers are standing in their designated positions.
3. Check the cameraman
In some schools, there may be multiple videographers nearby during the ceremony. It's also important to have a list of angles and areas that these videographers should set up.
Before the ceremony and during the final preparations, it is important to take a tour of where each videographer is and whether their equipment is working properly.
It's also important to check and see if they need a fix in the area they're working on, or change anything.
4. Assist VIPs
Before the ceremony, the best usher is essential to guide VIPs to their area. This could be a special area on the stage, on the side of the stage, or in a crowd. These famous guests should have their needs met during the ceremony to make everything run smoothly. As the Graduation Coordinator, you may not be able to attend anytime, but you should check from time to time.
VIPs can include VIPs who may be speaking or supervising and watching the ceremony from a distance. Make sure to always have an usher by their side so they can help as needed.
5. Assist in distributing diplomas
When diploma certificate folder distribution begins, you may need one or more people to hand over the correct certificate folder to the distributor on the podium.
Since the actual diploma certificate folder is usually mailed out a few weeks after the ceremony, it is important that all students return to an area after the ceremony and return the diploma certificate folder.
6. Solve any problems
Be proactive and try to anticipate issues that may arise on graduation day. In the event of complications, there should be leaders in each area who can provide solutions. This includes security, ushers, technicians (including photographers and videographers), and catering staff.
The person in charge should be made aware of contingency plans in the event that something goes wrong, as well as problems that may arise before, during and after the ceremony, and who to contact in an emergency.
Every plan should include getting the Graduation Coordinator and others "involved" as one issue can quickly impact other areas of graduation. This helps ensure a smooth sailing on graduation day.