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Planning Events

Congratulations! You have decided to help plan an event with your organization for the campus community to enjoy! Effective planning is very important to the success of your event and the time you spend planning will help your program succeed. The amount of time you will need depends on how much time you are willing to spend developing and implementing your program. The process will be different for each event- specifics of each event will vary. The following will outline the steps you need to take to have an effective event. Remember program planning is a learning experience and you may encounter difficulty along the way.
Feel free to request support from a Student Life Intern/Peer Advisor if you would like to discuss your event or need assistant with the event planning process.

Step 1: Decide on the Event & Determine Goals

  • What is your program?
  • What will your program accomplish?
  • Who will benefit?
  • What is the purpose and the goals of the program?
    • Recruitment? Provide a service to the community? Socialize?
  • Is your program realistic and can it be done? Will your group be able to implement the event? Are students interested in this event?
  • Create a timeline in order to accomplish your tasks.

Step 2: Select a (preferred) date and location 

  • Your organization may want to have several dates and location in mind since your first choice may not be available.
  • Most importantly, be realistic about the location! For example, if your event is a movie, reserve a space that is conducive to watching a movie.

Step 3: Space Reservation 

General Inventory spaces (classrooms, lecture halls, as well as outdoor spaces) can be requested for reservation through Ad Astra (our campus scheduling service) using the form titled "[Quarter Year] - Office of Student Life/Campus Orgs". Please log in with your Net ID and password to access the submission form. There is a helpful demo of Ad Astra available on our Campus Space Reservations page . To reserve a venue not list here refer to the Campus Scheduling Guide. The following will outline the space reservation procedures for requesting general inventory spaces via Ad Astra.

  • All scheduling request are submitted online via Ad Astra. When completing the space reservation form you should know the following:
    • Will your event need media or technical equipment such as audio, microphones, projection, computer access, lighting, or another equipment?  
      • If yes, please be advised that the media equipment is NOT included with the confirmation of the classroom and there are charges based on the equipment you require for your event.
      • Once you have received a confirmation via Ad Astra about your space reservation, contact Instructional Development with a minimum of 5 business days to arrange staffing and the use of any equipment you will require. 
      • Instructional Development will need your Org name for billing purposes. If there is an alternative source of funding please provide that information.
      • For more info on our rates consult this website.
  • Campus facilities are in constant demand it is in your organization's best interest to reserve the space well in advance of your event. Reservation requests MUST be placed at least 7 business days in advance of your event. We cannot process requests fewer than 7 business days in advance.
  • Requests cannot be processed for future quarters. Once the Office of the Registrar completes scheduling for future quarters, we will receive access to book space for campus departments and Registered Campus Organizations (RCOs). 
  • Also, be sure to reserve the space prior to contracting an external artist, vendors, or entertainment.

Step 4: Budget & Securing Funds

  • Create a comprehensive budget that includes:
    • Item (i.e. equipment rentals, food, media, printing, etc.)
    • Projected expense
    • Actual expense
    • Details
  • Be realistic about cost.
    • Ask for estimates of cost for all service providers before you commitment.
  • Prioritize.
  • Look for discounts & negotiate.  
  • Find co-sponsors
    • Depending on the event there might be a community, on-campus funding source, or community collaborator interested in sponsoring an event.
  • For a complete list of funding source please visit our finding funding page.  

Step 5: Contracts & Performance Agreements 

  • Students are encouraged to make inquiries with artist/agents or artist representatives about the possibility of having the artist or group on campus.
  • Students may make tentative agreements with artist/agents or artist representative but will need to meet with a Campus Org Advisor before signing the contract.
  • Organizations are advised to utilize the Performance Agreement Form for any situation where someone will be paid for related performance service.

Step 6: Apply for Event Insurance & Waivers

Did your organizations and its officers could be held liable for legal actions resulting from your event? As you plan your event, be aware that you are required to make the appropriate insurance arrangements and use the appropriate waivers. Event insurance provides protection to your organizations and its officers. The UC Office of the President pays the cost of the insurance for on-campus events. Organization are responsible for paying the cost of insurance premiums for off-campus events. Don't put it off—take care of the insurance now!

  • Apply now!

    Waivers are required for ANY activities that present physical danger, includes transportation, is off-campus, is conducted out of the country, or considered “high risk.”

  • Waivers protects the University.
  • Waivers are also required for minor participants (under 18). Parent/guardian signatures are required on all waivers for minors.
  • Event Insurance policy also requires the use of waivers. Without waivers, the insurance deductible (amount you pay in the instance of a claim) increases to $10,000.

UCSB Event Insurance


Step 7: Create your event on Shoreline to complete the 360 Event Planning Guide & Attend a Minor Events Committee Meeting

  • In order to begin filling out the necessary forms to plan an event on campus, you will need to create your event on Shoreline. Visit the "Events" tab on Shoreline and click "Create Event" to begin this process.
  • The 360 Event Planning Guide (also referred to as 360) is a comprehensive tool for all Registered Campus Organization events. Our event creation tool on Shoreline is a smart form - once you begin to fill it out, it will automatically direct you to fill out the 360 Event Planning Guide. When completing the 360 paperwork for your event, be prepared to answer the following:
    • Event hosts
    • Logistical details (where, when, who, what, why, how?)
    • Equipment needs such as:
      • Media/technical needs
      • Rentals (i.e. renting tables or chairs)
      • Service of the campus electrical (i.e. events outdoors)
      • Will http://www.ehs.ucsb.edu/ehp/catering-guidelinesyour event include food delivery, concessions, or catering? (read UCSB catering policy; if you need a food permit for your event, you will automatically fill out the necessary forms when completing the 360 and event information on Shoreline)
      • Ticket sales?
      • Does your events need Americans with Disabilities Accommodations?
  • Create your event on Shoreline and complete this form at least 1 month prior to your event and coming to a Minor Events Committee Meeting.
  • After you complete your 360, attend a Minor Events Committee Meeting.

RCO Event Planning Process & Food Permit

Step 8: Develop a Promotional Plan

How will other students find out about your event? Here are some ideas:

  • Fliers and posters (see posting regulations)
  • Post on Shoreline
  • Social Media
  • Table @ the Arbor or UCEN
  • Press Release to campus and/or local newspaper
  • Sandwich Boards (see posting regulations)
  • KCSB Campus Radio Station
  • Digiknow
  • Formal Invitations via e-mail
  • Buttons
  • Announcements
  • Word of mouth

Tips:

  • Publicity should be true, specific, and easy to understand & read.
  • Don't forget to include all of your event information- time, date, location, etc.
  • Be creative! There are lots of posters out there- make your organizations' stand out!
  • Make time for a publicity campaign- don't begin advertising two days before your event!

Step 9: Make a checklist and delegate!

Make a list of what needs to get done to make the event a success.

Examples of what might be on the checklist:

  • Complete accounting request for cash advance
  • Pick up decorations/ food
  • Work with OSL Campus Org. Advisor on the contract
  • Contact Artist/Agent to work out event day details
  • Create and distribute publicity

Step 10: Evaluation your event

Evaluation is one the most important steps in event planning. It assists an organization’s growth by improving or strengthening methods and helps emerging leaders step into the role when its their turn to plan the event!

  • Collect feedback from your organization/peers. Here are some sample questions you could ask at the next meeting or use Shoreline forms to collect response:
    • Did the program achieve its goal?
    • Were the program activities implemented as planned? If not, why not?
    • What issues impeded our goals from being met (i.e. funding, logistical planning, volunteers, etc.)
    • What is one highlight of the program?
    • What was one area for improvement in the program?