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Plan Ahead.

The Office of Institutional Advancement has extensive experience coordinating events for the UB community. We hope our tips below will help you successfully execute a future event.

  • Date, Time and Location

    • Check schedules. Consider: Are there UB events already being held on that date? Are there any major Baltimore City events that may cause conflicts? Any holidays?
    • Do you need an inclement weather date?
    • What time best suits this event? Consider traffic, work & class schedules, etc.
    • Do you need to reserve on-campus event space? Contact Conference Services and submit your request via VEMS.
  • Budget and Timeline

    • Develop a budget.
    • Who will cover what portion of costs? Who approves?
    • Do you need co-sponsors?
    • Develop a timeline, so you can keep your event coordination on track.
    • Consider when the invitation needs to drop. We suggest getting the print invite in hands 6 weeks prior to the event. When should you send your evite and will you need a reminder eblast?
    • Does the caterer have a deadline for receiving the full payment?
    • What is the deadline for RSVPs?
  • Guest List

    • Who is your target audience? (faculty, staff, students, alumni, community, other)
    • Are there any VIPs or administrative staff you want to invite? Do you need to get your event on their calendars prior to booking a date and space?
    • Do you already have a contact list or do you need to request one from a UB office/department?
  • Invitations

    • How do you want to share information about the event?
    • Do budgetary limitations impact print v. electronic?
    • Do you need help designing your invite/evite? Contact the Office of University Relations.
    • What is your design concept in terms of shape, size, envelope/self-mailer, fold/no-fold?
    • Does your event have a theme? What kind of imagery & color schemes do you want?
    • When do you want the invitation to mail?
    • Do you need a save-the-date?
    • Who is the contact for the RSVP?
    • Do you need an online registration page set-up?
    • Are hosts/sponsors mentioned on the invite?
    • Do you need to include event location directions and parking information?
    • Do you want guests to contact you if they have special needs or dietary restrictions?
  • Catering

    • Determine the menu concept. Is this a seated dinner? Or, do you want light refreshments?
    • Does the event theme extend into the menu concept?
    • Will alcohol be served? Do you need an alcohol permit? Are guests over 21?
    • Be sure to provide nonalcoholic beverages.
    • Consider doing a bar based on consumption to cut cost.
    • Is the caterer providing linens, silverware, etc.?
    • Does the venue have a preferred caterer? (see UB’s catering contractors)
    • Do you need an oven?
  • Set-up

    • Is this an indoor or outdoor event?
    • If outdoor, do you have an inclement weather plan?
    • Do you need a coat rack?
    • Is there adequate seating?
    • Where will catering be staged and served?
    • Is the venue handicap accessible? Will accommodations be made for guests with handicaps?
    • Do you need a check-in table near the entrance?
    • Do you need a podium or any other AV equipment or assistance?
    • Are there any issues that require facilities assistance?
    • Is there a sound system? Who is responsible for bringing music? Test sound prior to event.
    • Is there bathroom access?
    • Do you need any special signage?
    • Do you need to reserve seating for special guests or coordinate assigned seating?

    Contact Events & Conference Services for assistance.

  • Parking 

    • How many parking spaces do you need? Consider some will carpool or take other forms of transportation.
    • Do guests have access to an on-site parking lot? Or, will they park in a garage?
    • Will they need to self-park or is valet an option?
    • Will you offer parking ticket validation?
    • Do you need to order parking vouchers in advance?
    • Provide guests with directions and parking information.
    • Do you need signage to direct guests to park?

    Contact Parking for assistance.

  • Photography & Media

    • Do you need to hire a photographer?
    • Do you have a room the photographer can store his/her gear during the event?
    • Make a list of photo ops you want to get.
    • Do you need to alert the local media?
    • Do you want to contact the Office of University Relations to help you promote the event?
  • Program

    • What is your event program? How will the event unfold?
    • Does your host have a specific role – opening remarks, introductions, wrap-up, etc?
    • Do you need a printed program?
    • Approximate program length in advance.
    • Do you need to send VIPs (i.e. President) a briefing memo?
    • Does anyone need suggested talking points?
  • Registration/Check-in

    • Who will staff the registration table?
    • Do you need to hand out name tags? Bring blank name tags.
    • Do you have a sign in sheet?
    • Bring multiple copies of your registration list.
    • Do you have any giveaways or materials you want to display?
    • Consider what information you want to share with guests as they enter.
    • Bring a toolkit with scissors, sharpies, tape, etc. It may come in handy!
  • Staffing

    • Give advance notice to staff who need to work the event.
    • Develop staff assignments – what role will they play? What time do they need to be there?
    • Do you need greeters, ushers, floaters, minglers, servers, etc.?
    • Is there a dress code?
  • Follow-up

    • Send thank you notes as needed.
    • Consider sending a survey to guests to request feedback.
    • Post pictures on social media and share event pictures with guests.
    • Recap the event with your team: identify successes, areas of improvement, final guest count, budget, goals for next year, etc. 

     

  • Other Items to Consider

     




Last Published 10/11/16