Identify your Resources
As you begin your planning, you should know what is available to you.
Staff and Volunteers
Who is available to help you plan and administer your event? Are there others in your department who will be assisting? Are there volunteers available to assist you? Knowing how many workers you are likely to have to help you with your event (or arranging to pay people if that is necessary) will help you develop an appropriate scope as you plan your event.
Is this an event you will be planning with a committee? Who should be on the planning committee? Be sure to convey timeline expectations to your committee members to keep everyone on task.
Budget and Finances
While, with few exceptions, reserving space for department-sponsored events is free, most of what you will need to make your event happen (audio-visual support, production management, promotional materials, catering, etc.) is not. You’ll need to know the budget dollars you have available for this event in advance. For example, large events in a performance venue will require production staffing. If you don’t have funding to cover this cost, you should be planning a smaller event. The Office of Conferences and Events can assist you with estimating costs for an event. You may also find these budget worksheets helpful in your planning.
If money is tight, you may want to seek co-sponsorship. With so many departments and organizations on campus, there is may be another group that has interest in your event and will become a co-sponsor. You may have to give up some control of the event, but it will be worth the additional collaboration and funding. It is important to be clear, up front, about your expectations for co-sponsors. Be sure all your understandings are in writing, to eliminate surprises after the event.
- Do you need them to provide volunteers?
- What level of recognition do they want on materials and at the event?
- What if the event runs over-budget, where will the costs be charged?
Budget information will also assist you in establishing any audience charges for the event.
- Ticket prices
- Table prices
- Meal costs per person