Event Planning

Event Planning

The Office of Development & External Affairs offers event planning advice, promotional support and materials (design fees may apply), alumni and donor mailing lists, posting digital signs to advertise your event, décor (Liberal Arts table cloth and backdrops, centerpieces, promotional giveaways), and day-of assistance (photography, Liberal Arts Student Ambassadors). In addition, the Special Events Coordinator, Lauryn Andrews, is available to help the departments and programs in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI with their event planning, promotion, and day-of needs.

  • Getting Started
    • Start making plans as far in advance as possible.
    • Build your budget/know your budget.
    • Schedules matter! Make sure your event does not conflict with other events (or conflicts with the least events possible) to ensure that everyone who wants to come is able to attend.
      • Check the campus calendar and the school academic calendar for conflicts.
      • Check religious and cultural holidays for conflicts.
      • Make sure that the key program participants are able to attend.
    • If you plan to have a guest speaker, gather their information early, including preferred name, title, bio information, title of talk, description of talk, and high resolution headshot (for promotional materials).
  • Strategize
    • Everything that happens leading up to the event is equally if not more important than the event itself, so it is imperative that you strategize. Strategizing in event terms means thinking about:
      • “Where you are starting? Where are we now?”
      • “Where you want to get? What do we want to accomplish?”
      • “How are we going to get there?”
      • “How do we gauge if we actually got there? What information do we need to collect to see if we met our goals for the event?”
    • These four questions can be applied to many elements of planning, such as budget, event attendance, attendee satisfaction, etc.
    • Think through and identify SWOT:  Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Assessing your event for these things will allow you to have a more successful event.
    • SMART Objectives- Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Writing SMART objectives will greatly improve your ability to take your goals, visualize how to reach them, and be able to gauge your achievements.
  • Know your Audience
    • Who is your Target Audience?
    • What are their demographics and psychographics?
    • What kind of event is this?
    • What level of interaction is desired and appropriate?
    • What kind of space and technology is available? What type of technology is your target audience familiar with?
    • What kind of visuals would engage the audience during the event?
  • Attracting students to your event
    • Partner with student groups on campus.
    • Provide food and freebies.
    • Give extra credit for students who attend.
    • Location is important factor for this constituent group. The IUPUI Campus Center’s first floor atrium is great!
  • Interactions
    • Apps and surveys connect event attendees.
    • Use table top questions to connect guests with each other and get them talking.
    • Create a video to be shown at the event.
    • Be personable and hospitable.
  • Creating an Agenda
    • Creating an agenda is a crucial step in planning an event. It allows you to visualize the timeline and all aspects of your event on paper. An agenda not only helps you feel prepared for your event, but giving attendees an agenda will help them know what to expect at the event.
  • Creating an Event Summary
    • The event summary is essentially a to-do list that allows the planner to stay on track. It lays out all of the steps the planner will need to take to put on the event from securing a venue to sending invitations. This document typically includes: the date each task needs to be completed by, a short description of each task, who will be responsible for completing the task, and a spot to check off the completion of each task.
  • Timelines & other event details
    • 12 months prior to event:
      • Decide event date, book location, add to calendars, develop timelines/tasks
  • 3-6 months prior to event:
      • Meet with location representatives to discuss room and event detailsl.
      • Meet with IUPUI food service (if applicable) to discuss food options/details.
      • Create promotional materials.
    • 6 weeks prior to event:
      • Mail invitations and send out reminder to participants.
    • 1-3 weeks prior to event:
      • Confirm food/location details.
      • Check in with volunteers/speakers.
      • Include campus maps/directions in correspondence to guests.
      • Communication location changes to guests in a timely manner.
      • Gather day-of items.
    • Event day:
      • Be prepared.
      • Bring all materials and confirmations to event.
      • Keep contact information and phone with you on event day, in case you need a room opened, technical help, or to address any last minute requests.
  • Evaluating your event
    • Ask attendees to fill out an evaluation form.
    • Debrief with planning committee
      • What worked well?
      • What changes do you want to implement for next time?
      • Keep notes on file of lessons learned, adjustments to be made, and successes.
      • Review your strategy and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
      • Did you achieve your SMART objectives?

IU and IUPUI Policies and Resources for Event Planning

  • Special Events
    • The IUPUI Special Event Advisory Board must be notified of all significant special events (i.e. larger crowds) being held on campus and/or utilizing any university asset or resource. A special event can be defined as requiring the services or facilities of any university department or school. Complete the Special Event Application form at least 4 weeks before event:  https://www.indiana.edu/~forms/iupuifa_forms/machform/view.php?id=48125.
  • Before signing or purchasing any contractual agreements for sponsorship or membership (which includes table sponsorships for internal events) units must complete the Sponsorship/Membership Data Collection Form and submit it to the Office of Public Affairs and Government Relations 7 days prior to sponsorship/membership deadlines: https://brand.iu.edu/approvals/sponsorship-membership-applications/index-mk.html.
  • IU Office of Conference and Event Registration Services (OCERS)
    • The IU Office of Conference and Event Registration Services (OCERS) processes the payment and registrations for all on-campus events that require payment/tickets. If your event sells tickets, you MUST use OCERS.
      • OCERS provides two levels of registration and revenue collection:
        • full service:  $12* per registrant plus 2.5% credit card charges
        • limited service:  $6* per registrant plus 2.5% credit card charges

          *2017 rates
  • To begin, contact them at: confreg@indiana.edu     
  • Campus food guidelines
    • $100 or less of food may be brought in for events from off-campus vendors.
    • All other food orders must be catered by IUPUI Food Service.
      Menu and prices are online at: https://iupui.catertrax.com
    • Order food through IUPUI Food Services website, but make contact with a real person, as well. Email: catering@iupui.edu
    • Print a copy of your food order for your records and to use as a reference when creating the requisition in KFS.
    • Create a requisition in KFS to generate PO.
  • Paying for what you eat
    • Complete hospitality form and have fiscal officer sign.
    •  The hospitality form must be attached to the requisition before your event.*
    •  Purchasing will fax PO to vendor (ex. IUPUI Food Service) for payment.
    •  If expense amount changes, put a note in the requisition document after the event.
      • An attendee list is no longer required. The requisition requires an attached hospitality form before it will route for approval.
  • Honoraria
    • Honoraria of $1,000 or less should be paid through a disbursement voucher (DV). Use code E - Compensation for Services.
    • Any honorarium over $1,000 requires a Purchase Order.
      • IU Foundation funds can be used to pay for the expense, but expense must first be paid through an IU account and then reimbursed from IUF.
    • Payments for services over $5,000 require an agreement signed by Purchasing and a Purchase Order. Contact Purchasing for information on preparing an agreement:  purhelp@indiana.edu
  • Waiver forms
    • If your event is being filmed or photographed, place a sign at registration:

By your attendance, you agree to be videotaped and/or photographed. If you prefer not to be, please let us know so we can seat you accordingly.

  • Let the photographer/videographer know which guest(s) requested to not have his/her image taken.
  • Seat attendee(s) out of view.