You should start planning your event a minimum of four months in advance, though it is optimal to begin planning six months or earlier.
Draft an outline of your event, i.e. are you having a reception, book signing, what time of day, etc.
- Schedule a room or location and get on the University Calendar - Rooms may be scheduled up to a year in advance through the scheduling office at 209.946.2174. The moment you know you will have an event, schedule a room, but make sure it's the right room for your event.
How to make sure your event doesn't conflict with other events
When looking to schedule an event, it is critical to check the facilities schedule through the scheduling office, currently attached to the ASUOP office. Astra can show if other events are already scheduled during the time period of your event, as well as how big the other events are expected to be. While some venues and buildings are controlled by individual schools and departments, it is recommended that you always register your event with facilities scheduling to ensure that someone else doesn't try to schedule an event during the same time as yours. You can call 209.946.2174 for more assistance.
Another good place to look is the University Events calendar, which is heavily used by employees and members of the public. The calendar will show what other events are happening that same day or week that might impact your audience. If you want your event on that calendar, every member of the Pacific has access. Just log-in using your existing Pacific user name and password and create a user account, click on "My calendar" at the top of the page, then click on "add event." That's it.
Scheduling the room
The needs of your event will determine the type of room you will want to use. Some facilities are used more heavily than others (such as the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center) and need to be scheduled well in advance. Some facilities on campus are controlled by individual departments/schools who have primary use of the facility (such as the Conservatory for Faye Spanos Concert Hall, Athletics for the Alex G. Spanos Center, etc.). If you require a specific facility for your event due to the needs of the event, you may have to be flexible with your date to work around the priority schedule of the facility. The rule of thumb is that the room should be booked three to four months in advance.
Each room also has different needs for services. For example, there is no need to schedule chairs for Long Theatre or Faye Spanos Concert Hall as both have chairs built in. Chairs are needed for the Ballroom, the Presidents/Regents Room and other spaces. Some rooms are wired for audio visual or webcast and others aren't. Make sure the space you are requesting can meet the requirements of your event. Be sure to check out the space you have reserved to determine what other needs or equipment you will require. When you book the room, you should also find out how to book services as well. Regardless of whether the room is booked by a unit or through ASUOP, all events still need to be scheduled through the University's facilities scheduling, so you can be sure there are no major conflicts with other events at the time of scheduling. If you do need chairs or tables, there is a $100 late fee added to the cost if you ask for chairs and tables less than one week before your event.
Two to Three Months
Schedule University Leadership
If you want a member of the cabinet, a regent, or the President to attend or participate in your event, you should contact the President's office no later than two months before your event, though three months would be optimal. Contacting the president's office does not guarantee that any of the administrators will attend, but does give you the best chance of getting your event on their calendar, thus increasing the chances of participation. The President's office can be contacted at 209.946.2222.
Design posters, invitations, flyers and ads
Posters, postcard hand-outs, flyers and ads need to be designed six to eight weeks before your event. In general, printing takes three to five business days (longer for more complex or multiple pieces) and mailing can take another three to 10 days, depending on the type of mail service used and the distance being mailed. If the postage cost for mailng a promotional postcard is outside your budget, you may choose to distribute postcards to central locations throughout campus and to local businesses.
Beginning this process six to eight weeks ahead of time, will help assure you can have your materials printed and distributed such that people will hear about your event four to six weeks ahead of time, giving them an opportunity to schedule it on their calendars. The Office of Communications has prepared some helpful design templates and guidelines for developing basic event promotional materials (posters, flyers, postcards and invitations) which are posted online here. If you do need help or have questions regarding designing flyers and posters, contact the Office of Communications at 209.946.2311 at least three months before your event.
One to Two Months
Schedule security and special parking, parking signs
Security and special parking needs must be arranged through the Department of Public Safety approximately four to six weeks before your event. Contact Public Safety one month before your event if you have special requests, such as asking for suspended ticketing for A and B Pass violations during a special event or notiftying the campus of potential impacts to parking that might be caused by your event. If possible, request a parking lot close to your event.
Public safety has "A-Frame" signage that can be used to direct vehicles to parking areas and pedestrian traffic to your venue. Requests for these signs can be made at the time you contact Public Safety regarding your parking needs. It is a good idea to have a diagram for your directional signs.
Request video/photographer - link to preparations page
Photographers and videographers should be scheduled four to six weeks before your event. You can submit a request for photography online and the University photographer can assist you with scheduling photography. Note: The University does not have a staff videographer, but if you feel this is an important component of your program, the Office of Communications will try to assist you in recommending possible vendors or resources to meet your needs.
Mail invitations or save-the-date cards
If you are mailing invitations, the University recommends a minimum lead time of six weeks for mailing invitations or save-the-date cards where no follow-up invitations will be mailed. If you are doing both, the save-the-date card should be mailed between two and three months in advance. Save-the-date cards are recommended when you are anticipating guests will be coming from out of the area and may need to make special travel arrangements.
Newspapers ads must be placed three to four weeks before your event. Every regional newspaper in the Central Valley requires the ads to be submitted more than one week before they are scheduled to run. If you need assistance getting ad rates or placing an ad, contact the Office of Communications in Hand Hall at 209.946.2311.
Flower arrangements need to be ordered at least three weeks in advance, especially during busy holiday periods. Other decor items may need to be ordered about this time to insure delivery prior to your event.
Ordering special equipment, set-up and tear-down
It is best to order other special equipment, such as sound systems, chairs, stages, three weeks to a month in advance (allow more lead time for large-scale events). Set-up and tear-town instructions, table/chair placement and quantity, need for podium and so forth, should be provided to Support Services (Physical Plant) through a Service Request form. Most administrative staff have access to this system. Be as specific and detailed as possible. Because special events often occur outside normal business hours, staff scheduling for set-up and tear-down is an important factor for Support Services. Last minute requests/changes can result in overtime, which will increase the cost of your event. We recommend you consult with Scott Heaton, director of Support Services, if you have any questions regarding your event set-up. See Support Services event support page for more information.
Request Pacific Ambassadors or student participation
The Pacific Ambassadors are group of student leaders who serve as representatives of the University in a variety of capacities. They can provide assistance with your event in a number of ways, such as greeting, check-in, parking attendants, mixing, seating, etc. As campus leaders, they are a very busy group, so it is best to contact them as soon as you think you may need them to assure their availability. They ask for a minimum notice of seven days. For questions, call the Office of New Student and Family Programs at 209.946.7619. Note: A reasonable hourly fee is charged for this service.
Most news organizations plan stories two to three weeks in advance. Reporters and editors should be contacted three to four weeks before your event. If you contact them too soon, your event information may get lost. If you contact them too close to the event date, you are unlikely to get any kind of coverage or to meet print deadlines. If you need assistance or have questions related to contacting the media, call the Office of Communications in Hand Hall, 209.946.2311. See media release sample and guidelines here.
Distribute posters and invitations
It is best to distribute posters and promotional postcards one to two weeks before an event. Due to the number of events throughout the campus (there can be anywhere from two to 10 events being publicized in a given week on campus), unless your event requires advance ticket purchase, it is best to announce the event in this time frame.
Request University banners
The Office of Communications has a number of backdrop banners that contain the University Wordmark and Seal that can be checked out for your event. A request for a banner should be submitted two weeks before your event. Banner requests are taken through the Office of Communications through this online form.
Order food - link to preparations page
It is preferred that food be ordered two weeks before an event. If you expect more than 50 guests, it is suggested that you contact Bon Appetit at least a month in advance. Food may be ordered through Bon Appetit with this form (link).
Pick up banners and signs
Banners can be delivered to any location on campus, or they can be picked up. How a banner is picked up can be arranged upon being ordered.
Signs (such as parking and directional) can be picked up from public safety, or arrangements can be made to have signs put out on the morning of an event. This can be arranged upon request.