From the invitations to the party wrap up, this simple schedule will help you plan out your Centennial Dinner.
Not a party planner? You don’t have to be. Use the milestones below to create a quick and easy timeline.
Set a Date and Location
- September 18th is Alumni Day
- November 2nd is the APHA Alumni Reception in Chicago
- February 4th is World Cancer Day
- April 8th is Founding Dean, William Henry Welch’s birthday
- May 31st is World No Tobacco Day
We’re excited to have tons of activity on these dates to honor milestones in public health. However, you are more than welcome to host your dinner anytime over the next year.
There's no secret here. Find a day that works for you—and for as many of your expected guests as possible. A few tips:
- Check with guests. Do an informal poll with guests to see when they may be in town and available. Doodle’s an excellent tool for getting quick feedback on the best day.
- Avoid scheduling conflicts. Holding a party on the day of a large sporting event, large festival, or concert could make it tougher for people to attend.
- Think ahead. Ensure that the day of your dinner is scheduled far enough in advance to allow for invitations to be sent out and preparations to be made. We suggest setting a date at least a month in advance.
- Consider transportation and parking. Whether you intend to have the dinner at your home or elsewhere, try to find a venue that has ample parking, mass transit options, or easy access on foot.
1-2 months before the dinner: Make A Guest List
This can be as simple or involved as you make it. We hope each dinner will bring together as many JHSPH community members as possible. But don’t let that limit you.
- Pick for personality. Consider inviting guests who enjoy lively conversation, are pleasant to be around, and have an interest in discussing the well being of the world (health and otherwise).
- Make respect a priority. Great conversation often involves multiple—often conflicting—viewpoints. But you may want to avoid those who express their opinions disrespectfully.
- Find the humor. Just because you may talk about serious issues doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! Friends who bring a sense of humor to the discussion can make a tremendous impact on the mood of your conversation.
- Don’t over-invite. If needed, have a B-list of people to invite in the event some of your initial guests aren’t able to attend.
1 month before the dinner: Create an Invitation
Give your guests enough time to respond. A month is generally an acceptable lead time. We've provided a simple form to make it even easier. Simply enter your guests' contact information and we'll generate a custom, branded invitation for the event.
2-3 weeks before the dinner: Plan Your Menu
Consider a menu your guests will enjoy. Is it fancy? Informal? Potluck? It’s up to you. Feel free to use your own recipes, go online to find the perfect dish, or even ask guests to bring their favorites to share.
1 week before the dinner: Send a Reminder
It’s a good idea to double-check with guests leading up to the event. A quick email or phone call will be sufficient. If you used an online invitation like Evite, you can also set it to remind your guests at different intervals leading up to the event.
1-2 days before and the day of the event: Dinner
The big day is here. And you're ready. Use this checklist to keep track of tasks:
- Download and print out the "Cards For Humanity" game.
- Pick up dinner ingredients.
- Create place settings and seating arrangement, if needed.
- Create a dinner soundtrack—Spotify or Pandora are great options.
- Clean your house (if you’re hosting at home).
- Jot down conversation topics, if needed.
- Prepare food.
- Lay out hors d'oeuvres.
- Welcome guests with a drink when they arrive.
1-2 days before and the day of the event: Share Your Dinner
Your dinner extends beyond the table. Remember, this is a global event. Share yours with the JHSPH community before, during, and even after the last guest leaves using hashtag #100Dinners. Visit our Share Your Dinner page for ideas, platforms, and people to follow.
1-2 days after the dinner: Thank Guests
Every great host understands the power of a thoughtful “thank you.” In the days following your dinner, send each of your guests a note thanking them for being a part of this special event. While emails are acceptable, consider sending a handwritten note instead. It’s more personal and appreciated. Download and email a JHSPH Centennial Dinner branded thank you.