Tips for Planning Your Event


First Steps

  • Consider why you are having the event and what you hope to achieve.
  • What is the goal of your event: to honor someone, present information, raise funds? 
  • What is your budget? 
  • Who is your audience? 
  • What is the appropriate size of the guest list?
  • Should the group be small or large? Who must be invited according to protocol? 
  • What is the appropriate venue: indoors or outdoors, on- or off-campus, lecture hall, dining room? 
  • What is the appropriate time of day:  breakfast, mid-morning, cocktail hour? 
  • What message do you want attendees to receive? 
  • How elaborate will the event be? 
  • Will guests need formal attire?
  •  Will admission tickets be needed? If so, assigned seating or general admission?
  •  Will the event conflict with or be held in conjunction with other campus or unit events? 


Read through our Event Planning Checklist for a step-by-step countdown to your event.


  • Determine key players, such as potential speakers, honorees, hosts, and university, campus, or government dignitaries.
  • Contact all key players to determine as many potential dates and times for your event as possible.
  • Be mindful of religious holidays and other university and community events that may draw the same audience.

Selecting a Venue

  • Which venues are available on dates and times you have identified? 
  • How should the room be configured? 
  • What is the seating capacity? 
  • Can you serve food and alcohol? 
  • Is there a podium? 
  • Can the room accommodate persons with disabilities? 
  • Is AV equipment available, and is there a fee for using it? 
  • Are parking facilities available close to the venue? 
  • What space is available for catering staging? 

Reserving the Room

  • Will you need to decorate the room with plants or flowers, stage backdrop or lighting? 
  • Are keys needed, or will the room be unlocked? 


  • Consider reserving a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. 
  • Does your guest speaker need lodging and transportation arrangements?



Article ID: 400
Mon 4/11/22 2:45 PM
Wed 8/3/22 1:16 PM



Event Timeline Tips .docx Computer

Mon 4/11/22 1:52 PM