How to Plan an Event - Lawless Style

4:02 PM Marcellino DAmbrosio 6 Comments


Dorm Wars

Humans vs Zombies

The Grand Evening

                These are all events that I’ve had a large hand in conceptualizing and each has left its own specific stamp on the University’s personality. A well planned event can bring all different types of people together, break down the barriers between cliques, and provide opportunities for personal growth in any open participant.
              I’ve been asked by my household’s fearless leader, Chris Wasko, to write a document for the household on event planning. I do not pretend to be an expert, but after four years of planning successful events at Ave Maria (as well as four years of many, many mistakes), I’ve compiled some considerable knowledge. I would like to share what I've learned with anyone who has the cahonies to do what needs to be done to "git 'er done." By way of a disclaimer, note that The Lawless Heirs of God the Father have a certain method to their events. Keep in mind that this is written specifically for my own household brothers. That being said, I do think anyone with an open mind can glean some methods from this document.


“You owe it to your cause to win.”
-James Sloven, Co-Founder and Member of the Elder Council

             The Lawless Heirs are responsible for planning several key events during the Fall and Spring semesters, and while few groups have been as efficient or effective on the fly as the Lawless Heirs of God the Father Household, it is not inherent. There are reasons why we have been successful in our event planning undertakings, principles and rules which we follow that lead to event victory.

Event Planning Principles:

1. Be a proud believer in the “Better to ask for forgiveness than permission” principle. The Lawless Heir will do anything to succeed in his objective, he will not see red tape and give up immediately.

^ Not a Lawless

2. Go through as few channels as possible. Campus Ministry, Student Government, Student Life, Students for Life… whatever the channel, if they aren’t necessary, don’t talk to them.

That’s how we do.

3. Creativity
Above all, our events are creative. They are inspired by that youtube video you all laughed about that one night, or that one really cool story your friend told when y’all were drinking on the roof of your garage. They find their origin in TV shows and mythology, and imagination. The Lawless Heirs first official event was “The Grand Evening.” Co-Founders Daniel Montgomery and Eric Jacques designed the entire night around showing the youtube video “Women Know Your Limits” to all of the Vessels of Mercy at once. HvZ came from watching 28 Days Later and talking about how crazy it would be to be in a zombie holocaust scenario. Also, never underestimate the power of alcohol.

Especially Scotch. Especially.

4. Hunter Gatherer Mentality:
We also solve problems creatively. When the Lawless Heir confronts an obstacle, he might hurdle it, or he might go under it, or he might call in an air strike. Most of the Lawless Heir creative problem solving takes the form of what we traditionally call “The Hunter Gatherer Mentality.” Here is an example of this said mindset: The first “Grand Evening,” the Lawless Heirs woke up at 10:30 in the morning, and the decoration team headed by myself walked into the ballroom completely empty handed. We had no plans or budgetary resources, but we did have the hunter gatherer mentality. We took the black cloth blinds from the windows and made them into table cloths. We raided the student life closet and turned a bunch of rocks, a few glasses, and a couple of candles into the classiest center pieces I’ve ever made. By the end of the night the ballroom looked like the Ritz Carrolton.

This guy
Prime Event Planner

5. Create an Environment:
Everything that you do in putting on an event, from hanging up a flier to how you dress when you advertise for it will have an effect on the environment which your event creates. Every event seeks to create a specific environment that allows for each participant to be transitioned into a reality of your creation by way of the imagination. HvZ is a prime example of this. The last time I played HvZ, part of my survival plan was to sleep in a new place every night in an attempt to avoid getting tagged on my way to class or to breakfast. I carried a pack with me where ever I went that had everything I needed to survive for the entire week. I hung socks all over it and carried one in my hand everywhere I went. One night, I rolled out my bedroll in the old sacristy and slept there behind a couple of subwoofers. Every blinking light was the red eye of some deranged creature and every sound became the scratching of the dead’s broken fingernails. When security came in to lock up I was scared out of my wits. I could hardly breath, my hands got clammy, and the flutters in my stomach didn’t settle in my stomach till what seemed like ages after the officer had left. I finally fell asleep, and dreamed that all of my household brothers had turned into zombies and were chasing me across campus. The line between “game” and “real” was so blurred it was almost indistinguishable for me. This is exactly what you want to happen with your events. Granted, HvZ has a certain power over its players that cannot be replicated, but even with the Grand Evening, the more English accents are heard, the better. The reason you want to get this sort of commitment out of your participants is this: You can take them from what could be described as the ordinary, bland, mundainity of modern life, and place people in extraordinary scenes and circumstances. You can confront them with insurmountable obstacles and extremely stressful situations with the right environment. Remember, with the imagination anything is possible, because through it you can teach many, many more lessons than a classroom ever could.

Cirque du Soleil: Masters of Environment

6. Delegate. It is impossible to accomplish any large scale event without a considerable amount of help.

7. Do everything yourself. This may seem counter intuitive to the previous rule. I’ll let you figure this one out, because I haven’t yet ether.

Event Planning Rules:
1. Have every one’s number. You may not have what you need, but someone else does. Make contacts.
2. Design professional fliers. Times New Roman font should never be used! Check out for new fonts.
3. Put your fliers up in weird places. Remember, the goal is not to be aesthetically pleasing but to get the attention of people walking by. Put them in places no one else ever does, the weirder, the more eye catching, the better.
5. Use clear tape, not masking tape, not ductape.
6. When advertising at a table, DO NOT SIT DOWN. Don’t even have chairs there.
7. Be relentless. Do not take maybe for an answer, make a person say no.
8. “Maybe” means “No”

There you go. I hope this has been illuminating. Feel free to post any comments or criticism you might have, I’m open to hearing it. If there is any principle or rule you think I ought to add, please let me know. Peace kids!

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  1. Very good post. Now, which part of this does crying like a little girl when you lose because your event was planned so badly it collapsed a day early fall under? No 4?

  2. "5. Use clear tape, not masking tape, not ductape.

    7. Be relentless. Do not take maybe for an answer, make a person say no."

    -Charles Manson

  3. “You owe it to your cause to win.”

    -Adolf Hitler, Nazi recruitment video.

  4. "6. Delegate. It is impossible to accomplish any large scale event without a considerable amount of help.

    7. Do everything yourself. This may seem counter intuitive to the previous rule. I’ll let you figure this one out, because I haven’t yet ether."

    Hahaha, this is the most disgustingly wonderfully true statement about Ave events.

  5. Excellent post, Marcellino. I'm glad Chris made you do this. Everything you wrote was spot-on and LH will use this doc for years to come. Nicely done.

    Also, what Julia said. lol.

  6. Thanks Julia, I know. That is really the hardest one to figure out. Monty, yeah. I deffinitely wouldn't have done it if he hadn't made me.
    Crying, honestly bro, you're going a little overboard with this man. If you've got a problem with something that I've done, why don't you come talk to me about it and we can figure it out? I think you'll find me a lot more open to my own faults than has probably been assumed. I've made an ass of myself many times my friend, but I'm not going to take anything you have to say seriously over the internet.
    For real man, I've got a beer waiting for you in my room if you want it. Lets talk.