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Event Planning


Whenever you have an agreement between two parties to provide a service, function, or product, you should have a contract. Not only will this protect you and your organization, it will also aid in documenting a clear understanding of the agreement for both parties. Students are not permitted to enter into contracts or sign contracts. Please speak with your primary advisor when a contract is or may be needed for a program or event.

The following are some specific DOs and DON'Ts to keep in mind:


  • Use the Standard Performance Agreement available from your advisor.
  • Use the official W-9 tax form available from your primary advisor.
  • Consult with your primary advisor prior to contacting a performer, agent, or vendor.
  • Identify yourself as a student when speaking with an agent, performer, or vendor, and be clear that you do not have the authority to enter into a contract. Refer the person to your advisor for follow-up.
  • Use a contract for all paid and unpaid speakers, performers, musicians, DJs, artists, businesses, caterers, vendors, and organizations with whom you make an agreement. This assures accurate understanding and fulfillment of expectations for both parties.
  • Obtain original signatures (both performer/agent and advisor) on the contract and W-9 as they are required in order to process payment.


  • Request a contract from a performer/agent. This could be constructed as legally binding and you or your organization could be responsible for this agreement.
  • Sign any contracts. Only a select few at the University of Rochester are allowed to sign the University of Rochester into a contractual agreement. You must work through your primary advisor to obtain those proper signatures.
  • Attempt to sponsor or host any event without a contract.