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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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!
- 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?
- 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