Wilson Commons Student Activities

Event Planning

Running an Event

1. Getting Organized

  • Consult with your advisor about the needs, purposes, and goals of your organization and your audience
  • Consider the ways your program will build community – think about gender bias, religious back­grounds and traditions, politics, diverse racial and ethnic populations, the needs of students with disabilities, economic limitations, heterosexual bias and diverse sexual orientations
  • Review past program evaluations
  • Determine ideal dates and locations for your program (keep in mind academic class schedules, time of year, holidays, and other potential conflicts)
  • Establish a budget and funding sources
  • Determine your audience
  • Determine a theme
  • Consider risks and liabilities associated with the event. Make necessary arrangements for insurance and event approval from risk management officers
  • Identify and seek out co-sponsorships with other student organizations, departments, or area businesses
  • Confirm that you have dedicated volunteers
  • Create a time line and event checklist and begin to delegate tasks
  • Notify relevant departments about event and consider inviting all key players to planning meetings

2. Arrangements

  • Reserve all necessary spaces for your program
  • Take into consideration a rain plan or back up plan and have other locations reserved in the event of inclement weather
  • Make arrangements for security, radios, catering, ticket sales, inclement weather, facilities, publicity, invitations, hotels, parking, furniture, power, transportation, permits or licenses, volunteers, staff shirts, and other needs
  • Meet with Event Support and determine all technical needs
  • Work with your advisor to put together a contract and other necessary paperwork
  • Submit necessary paperwork for financial requests well in advance
  • Make sure there is a group member assigned to taking photos or video
  • Create any event staff passes that may be needed

3. Publicity and Advertising

  • Contact the Office of Communications regarding a press release
  • Develop a marketing campaign and plan for publicity
  • Work with the Graphic Artist to create posters, flyers, giveaways, and programs and to ensure that all graphic identity standards related to University logos, official University colors, the spirit “R” and Rocky are followed
  • Take ads out in campus and local papers
  • Create a distribution plan, including off campus
  • Update your group’s CCC site and submit information to University and off campus event calendars
  • Create event signage
  • Create a Facebook event and invite everyone
  • Reserve banner space and paint a banner
  • Submit event to Weekend Highlights, Weekly Buzz, Channel 2 Information Station

4. Decorations

  • Shop for, order, and/or create decorations and/or flowers
  • Order balloons and/or a helium tank and blow up your own balloons
  • Make sure decorations comply with Fire Marshal safety regulations

5. Refreshments and Food

  • Talk to your advisor about Sanitarian requirements and working with an approved caterer
  • Contact caterers well in advance and confirm number of guests, menu, costs, and deadlines. Don’t forget about special dietary needs and restrictions
  • Arrange for and order food and beverages for your performers, special guest, and volunteers and crew
  • Arrange for the pick-up, serving, and clean-up of food
  • Provide water for stage, podium, and backstage as needed

6. Guests

  • Create a guest list
  • Reserve seating for VIP’s or those who need accommodations
  • Purchase parking passes
  • Hire an interpreter as needed and reserve seating
  • Create name tags
  • Be aware of special physical and dietary needs
  • Order wristbands

7. Event Management

  • Designate a contact person or event manager
  • Create an event spec sheet to help you stay organized and share with all involved
  • Assign and finalize group members’ tasks during the event
  • Recruit volunteers from other cosponsoring organizations
  • Contact volunteers in advance and be specific about event schedule and expectations
  • Have radios delivered the day before and make sure they are charged
  • Designate an event “runner” who is available to run errands and is approved to drive the SA vans
  • Reserve an SA Van or charter bus
  • Put up signs directing guests to your event
  • Create a schedule of the day and important contacts list and distribute to all involved
  • Have guests sign physical activity or group trip waivers as necessary

8. Clean-up & Lock-up

  • Make sure there is a clean up committee
  • Secure all money, facilities, and equipment
  • Return supplies and remove signage

9. Post-Event

  • Pay all of your bills and mail out checks
  • Return all borrowed equipment
  • Send thank you notes to members, volunteers, advisor, performer, vendors, etc… for a job well done
  • Archive posters, fliers, photos, notes for future events
  • Fill out a PPAC Form and jot down notes, recommendations, strengths, weaknesses
  • Deposit all money
  • Count ticket stubs and report on PPAC

Questions?

Phone: (585) 275-9390
Fax: (585) 273-5306
Email: wcsa@rochester.edu

Mailing Address:
201 Wilson Commons
University of Rochester
PO Box 270281
Rochester, NY 14627

ODOS

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