Planning Your Event at Pacific
Planning a successful event involves many steps. This comprehensive, step-by-step event planning guide has been prepared by the Office of Communications to assist faculty and staff, student groups, departments and other University organizations in planning, organizing, publicizing and executing a successful event on the Stockton campus. It includes:
- Guidelines for pre-event planning and scheduling the date
- Information on who to contact for room reservations, set-up and tear-down, food service and other logistical details
- Helpful guides and templates for announcing and publicizing your event
- Timelines and other resources to walk you through your event from start to finish
- Guidelines for steps to be taken when and how to determine if an event qualifies as a significant University function.
Planning ahead is the key to a successful event. In general, it is best if the event is scheduled, with facilities booked and the event posted on the University calendar from three to six months ahead of time. This helps you prevent scheduling conflicts with major or similar events and allows for flexibility in booking the location, scheduling a speaker and handling contracts, collaborating with other departments and so forth. The less time you have, the more limitations you will encounter. Publicity materials such as posters, ads, invitations and announcements should be created at least two months prior to the event to maximize exposure and attendance. The entire event should be ready to go about four weeks before the event date. (Use this helpful timeline to help prioritize your planning process)
Before you contact any of the departments or employees listed in this guide, some preparation can make your project go more smoothly. The following questions will assist you in defining the needs and expectations for your project. If you can answer all of these questions before scheduling and planning your event, you will have already finished about half of the work!
The What, When Where, Why and Who
- What is the goal of your event? (i.e., educational enrichment, cultivate or thank donors, cultural understanding, etc.)
- Why is the event necessary? (How does it accomplish your goal? Is it the best way to do so? Are there other activities already scheduled that achieve this goal?)
- Who is your intended audience? (Is your event open to the community, or is it only for students, staff or faculty?
- Is it a general announcement or by invitation only?)
- What is the expected attendance? (How many are you inviting, or what is a reasonable expectation for the drawing power/public interest for your guest speaker/artist. Note: this will have bearing on the location for the event)
- Where will you need to have the event? (campus facility, indoor/outdoor, will you need food service or seating for lecture/performance, etc., multiple day or venue? Note: Be sure to prepare a rain plan when scheduling an outdoor event.)
- When is the event planned or scheduled to occur? (date and time)
- What is your budget for the event? (You will need a budget allocated and budget code for scheduling services and purchasing materials)
- Who is your point person on this event? (Contact for logistics, media questions, approval of publicity materials,etc.)
- Based on the type of event, what equipment resources will be needed? (projectors, sound systems, chairs, tables, decorations, videography or photography, etc.)
- Are there other departments, organizations, schools, etc. who you would like to or who would be appropriate to collaborate with on this event?
- Is your event one that you feel the President, Cabinet members, Regents or other University Leadership would/should attend? (see information on requesting the President and University leadership here)
If you have not already done so, it is a good idea to write out a description of the event that is organized and can be used for developing posters, invitations, an event web page or press release. Be sure that any images and copy are free of copyright infringement.
Are you ready to proceed? Download an event planning form designed by University Events Manager Steve Whyte. It is strongly recommended that you use this form to keep your event organized as you move through the planning stages. If you have a question about the form, feel free to contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your next step is to schedule your event.
If you feel that your event is a significant University event that will attract media attention, contact University Communications at 209.946.2311.