The 5 Step Event Planning Process
Step 1: The Idea
Questions to consider when brainstorming or planning your event:
- Where is there a need on campus?
- What type of event/program would help address this need?
- Who is my audience?
- What do I want my audience to learn from this event?
- Is there enough time to plan and implement this event?
Don’t forget that your OSA consultant is here for you to help you through this step. Your consultant can help you further develop and brainstorm your event idea and can ensure that your tentative date does not conflict with other major events on campus. If you are struggling in trying to find a suitable date, your consultant can help with a recommendation of a suitable date and timeline for your event. Your consultant can also provide guidance as you are getting in touch with an artist or agent for quotes and date availability.
Speaking of contracts, let’s go over the dos and don’ts of contracting.
Step 2: Confirmation & Proof of Costs
Questions to consider:
- Where can I host my event?
- How do I reserve space for my event?
- How much will it cost to put on this event?
“But how do I find and reserve a space on campus?”
SCPS supports student organization’s events on campus. They schedule spaces, manage event production, and much more! Once you complete the registration form based on the event you’re planning, you may need to meet with SCPS to discuss, technical needs, security, proof of costs for the space, and other event production needs.
If you need to book an academic space contact the office of Learning Environments and Media Productions. They handle equipment reservations for academic spaces.
They can be reached by phone at 315.443.5660.
If you are reserving a space in other University facilities other than student centers or academic space, you will need to contact the following:
- Quad — Student Centers and Programming Services
- AG Gyms, Hendricks Field — Recreation Services
- Women’s Building Gyms and Studios — Recreation Services
- Bird Library — Library Administration
- Goldstein Alumni and Faculty Center — Food Services
- Hendricks Chapel — Hendricks Chapel Dean’s Office
- Inn Complete — Inn Complete Manager
- Manley Field House — Assistant Director of Athletics, Manley Field House
Remember, each facility has different requirements and costs
The next part of step 2 is Proof of Costs. You must have proof of costs for all expenses associated with your program in order to apply for funding. Typical costs include: artist fee/performer honorarium, venue/productions costs (Goldstein Auditorium quote from SCPS, special audio/technical equipment), travel/transportation costs (screenshot of flight total cost), hotel/lodging costs. Remember, when reaching out to artists or performers, you must ask for the all-inclusive fee.
There are a few things that SA does not require you to submit with proof of cost. These include Sheraton room reservations and the Schine Box Office ticket request form. YOU MUST HAVE PROOF OF COSTS FOR EVERYTHING ELSE.
Step 3: Funding
Questions to consider:
- What funding sources are available?
- How do I apply for funding?
- When are funding deadlines?
- Is there any money in my RSO’s account currently?
In order to qualify for SA semester funding, your budget must be submitted in the previous semester.
For example, if you would like to receive funding for an event in the fall, you must submit the budget during the previous spring semester, There is also a fiscal training which your RSO’s fiscal agent must attend. This training is held each semester by the SA’s comptroller. The training must be attended for your RSO to qualify for funding.
Dates and deadlines for the budget timeline and space allocation process are provided the first few weeks of the semester. The deadlines can be found on the ‘Cuse Activities calendar, OSA homepage, and on @cuseactivities social media accounts. THE DEADLINES MUST BE FOLLOWED. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Special programming applications are submitted during the semester that the event is taking place as opposed to submitting the semester prior to the event. Keep in mind, there is less funding available for special programming than the semester budget allocation process. Special programming funding is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applications are due on Friday’s by 1:00 pm to the SA comptroller via ‘Cuse Activities. Review the ‘Cuse Activities page for information on how to submit budget requests.
With co-curricular funding, up to $5,000 can be awarded per event. Applications for co-curricular funding are submitted through ‘Cuse Activities. Make sure you stay in contact with your OSA consultant throughout the process. Your consultant must electronically acknowledge they have reviewed your application. A committee of students and administrators will review applications and award funding.
RSO’s must go to SCPS and complete an online form to reserve a table for any fundraising event. It is recommended that you reserve your table well in advance as table reservations tend to fill up quickly. If you need help brainstorming fundraising ideas, talk with your consultant. The fundraising guidelines are also in the RSO Handbook.
Step 4: Logistics and Advancing/Implementation
Questions to consider:
- Before I can announce my event, what else needs to be done?
- Is there a contract involved?
- How do I handle travel, lodging, and ground transportation?
- Does the speaker/artist have any other special requests?
- Does the event need catering?
- When will tickets go on sale?
- How will the event be publicized?
- What is the day of the show schedule?
That is a lot to consider and remember when implementing and advancing your event but don’t fear. Your consultant is here to help you; talk with them. Forward your consultant previous communications with the performer or agent. Your consultant will then execute a formal offer including the contract and technical rider.
Speaking of catering, contact Schine Catering if the event is in the Schine Student Center. If your event is NOT in the Schine Student Center but is still on campus, contact Campus Catering. ALL catering requires 10 business days notice to complete requests. A final guest count is due to catering 3 business days prior to your event. Also, it is very important to know your budget and event details before connecting with the catering offices. **Note – this is the typical scenario. While Schine is being renovated, you will always contact Campus Catering to assist with your events***
If you are ticketing your event, complete a ticket request form. This form requires signatures from your OSA consultant and your SCPS event production manager. You will also need a payment ID issued by your consultant. Your OSA consultant should be your last stop when completing the ticket request form.
When marketing your event, meet with your consultant to develop a meaningful marketing plan. You should also put your event on the ‘Cuse Activities events calendar.
RSO’s are also required to meet with SCPS at least 2 weeks prior to the event to finalize production details and to order services like public safety. Continuously meet with your consultant to iron out the final event logistics, create a day of show schedule, do event walk-through, confirm catering, and to delegate responsibilities to RSO membership.
Step 5: Debrief
Questions to consider:
- Was it a successful event? Why or why not?
- Were our learning outcomes met?
- Was the event well attended? Why or why not?
- What did we learn about planning events? About our Team? About working together?
- Did we make any money off of the event? What can we do with this money?
- What can we improve?