Introductory information to help you get started planning an event at CSU Stanislaus
Planning is a key element in a successful event. Major events require that thought and actions take place 6 to 12 months before the event. Smaller events may be successful with a shorter preparation time, but will still involve the following basic planning components:
- What are the goals and objectives?
- What is the event's primary message and theme?
- Is the event to be formal or casual?
- How many people will be attending?
- What is the budget for the event?
- What is the event program?
Goals and Objectives
- What are the key goals or objectives of this event or conference? Specifically, what is the desired outcome and what do you want your guests to take away from this experience?
- If you are considering sponsoring a non-University group, is the collaborative event in keeping with your department or organization mission and goals? As the sponsor, is your department or organization willing to make all the arrangements and cover the costs through your recharge account? Or, is it better to have the CSU Stanislaus Event Office manage this event as a rental activity with no involvement by your department?
- Is this to be a co-sponsored event; an event sponsored by a campus organization in conjunction with a non-university group? Co-sponsorship is appropriate when there is a clear connection with, or contribution to, the University. The educational mission of the co-sponsoring campus organization must be enhanced by the co-sponsored event. Campus departments or organizations that co-sponsor events will become the primary campus contact for the event. The department or organization will be responsible for full compliance with campus procedures for event planning, contact with campus service providers, any related liabilities, insurance, and costs associated with the event. Co-sponsoring an event does not ensure a facility use fee waiver. Specific approval must be obtained from the University Vice President of Business & Finance by submitting a Facility Use Fee Waiver Request.
- The sponsoring department must submit a Facility Use Fee Waiver request and it must be approved by the Vice President of Business & Finance (CFO). In instances where either party of the co-sponsored event stands to make a profit, the Facility Use Fee Waiver will not be permitted.
- What is the long-term value of the activity to the University?
Identify Key Planning and Production Items
- What is your event's primary message and theme? If you will have speakers, how will their messages be appropriately differentiated and integrated? How will this program be "choreographed"?
- If you anticipate a role for the President or one or more Vice President, it is critical that your Vice President or Dean be consulted. Be prepared to discuss what the administrator's role will be and the implications of including or not including them.
- What groups should comprise the audience? Who else might benefit from this event beyond the primary attendees? If it's appropriate and feasible within budgetary constraints, consider whether to include alumni, donors, community members, legislators, media, students, faculty, and staff.
- Are there opportunities to collaborate with other campus units or off-campus entities?
- What is the best date, time, and location for this event? Why? Has adequate lead time been planned to invite attendees, reserve the venue, etc.?
Identify Marketing and Communications Strategies
- What are the ways this event will be marketed? How can you gain greater effectiveness and leverage from this event – before and after? Have you considered soliciting assistance from the University communications department to explore marketing alternatives? Have you contacted the University's media relations department?
- Consider how your message will be communicated or reinforced through invitations, printed programs, publications, advertising, websites, list serves, etc.
- Do the printed materials (design and copy) clearly reflect and identify CSU Stanislaus? All use of the University name must be approved by the University Communication & Public Affairs department.
With escalating prices and limited resources, finding the best deals and meeting your bottom line are top priorities. Planning out your event expenses in advance will assist you in determining the feasibility of your event and will provide you with a clear understanding of where your investment is going. The following components will need to be considered in preparing an event budget:
Facility Use Fee:
The facility use fee will be waived if the event is an approved University event; a campus department hosting a campus event and/or program that achieves and/or is consistent with our students' educational requirements. Examples include, but are not limited to: Art, Music, and Theatre Department productions, performances, exhibits, and Warrior team sports games.
Co-sponsoring an event does not ensure a facility use fee waiver. Specific approval must be obtained from the University Vice President of Business & Finance by submitting a Facility Use Fee Waiver Request
If the event setup, event size, event duration, or event activities require the provision of services outside the normal day-to-day campus services there will be a cost. The sponsoring department should determine from service providers the amount to budget for the following Campus Services:
- Facilities Services: Room setup (chairs, tables, etc.), custodial (during event and cleanup), custodial supplies, special electrical and electrician services.
- University Police: Additional security required when alcohol is served, increased personnel, parking moratorium for specific parking lots, shuttle cart service.
- Risk Management: Event insurance to cover additional liability or campus waiver as determined from the Special Event Safety Plan.
- Technology: Audio/visual equipment, projector carts, setup assistance from the Office of Information Technology, etc.
- Event Planning: Services or staff provided by the Event Services office to assist with a University event.
- Copying & Printing: The campus Print Shop is a campus service provider that is required to recharge university departments for services provided. The service costs are less than copying and printing costs provided by outside vendors.
- Postage and Mail Processing: Costs may include postage for mailing printed materials, bulk mail of invitations, and shipping and handling. The campus Mail Services department can provide costs estimates.
Depending upon the specific requirements of the event, you may need to obtain services from outside providers. Examples could include drivers for guest transportation, valets for parking vehicles, security providers, etc. Any contracts with outside providers must be reviewed and approved by the university contract specialist and provider insurance be verified through Risk Management. The Event Services office can assist you in locating outside service providers and obtaining university approvals.
Depending upon the size and type of event, you may need to rent tables, chairs, table clothes and napkins, sound systems, stages, golf carts for guest transportation, etc. The Event Services office can assist you in locating equipment rental companies.
Guest Speaker Honorariums and Travel
A budget allowance should be included for any costs expected for special invited guests.
Catering and Beverage Service
Costs for catering and beverage services will depend upon the number of people to be served, the number of meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, breaks), required setup, the number of waiters, etc. The CSU Stanislaus Hospitality Policy outlines the specific funds that can be used to provide hospitality. If there is to be an event charge to attendees to cover catering and beverage costs refer to the Cash Handling policy for guidance.
Events on the CSU Stanislaus campus are required to use the contract foodservice provider, Chartwells. Chartwells staff are experienced in assisting with planning and cost estimates.
Design and Décor
Depending upon the event type you may want to have table decorations, stage scenery, and/or other decorations. The Event Services office can assist you in in locating décor design specialists and floral companies.
Supplies and Miscellaneous
Some items to be considered in planning a University event are:
- Overtime and additional staff (temps, students)
- Pens, pads, folders, nametags
- Cue-book and/or briefing binder materials
- Hospitality for committee members/volunteers (See Hospitality Policy)
- Complimentary tickets
Based upon the academic year, facility availability may vary. The list below provides information on the campus facilities and outdoor venues available for events. Contact the Event Services staff for possible set-up plans and use fees.
|Conference Rooms||Lakeside Room||50|
|MSR Conference Room 130C||20|
|MSR Conference Room 130B||10|
|Large Assembly Facilities||Bizzini Hall C102 (amphitheater with technology)||144|
|Carol Burke Lounge||100|
|Demergasso Bava Hall P166 (amphitheater with technology)||100|
|Demergasso Bava Hall P167 (amphitheater with technology)||187|
|Main Stage Theater (amphitheater)||300|
|Mary Stuart Rogers Education Services Gateway Bldg. MSR130||144 theatre style 72 class style|
|Snider Recital Hall (amphitheater with technology)||318|
|Dining Facilities||Main Dining Room (weekends &after 3 pm weekdays)||450|
|Warrior Grill (weekends)||215|
|South Dining Room||140|
|Faculty Development Center||80|
|Outdoor Wedding Sites||Circle View Meadows -between reflecting pond and Arts Quad|
|Village Lake/ Pergola||varies|
|Snider Fountain Courtyard|
|Faculty Development Center||80|
|Athletic Complex||Arena - Warrior||2,285|
|Student Recreation Complex||Intramural Fields|
|Intramural Fields Football/Soccer Clubs|
|Dance/Group Exercise Studio|
|Stadium Restroom (Teague park adjacency)|
R25 is CSU Stanislaus' event scheduling, calendaring, and publishing application. You may request on-campus space for an event by submitting an Event Request using 25Live.
Here is a list of the many features R25 offers:
- Check rooms for availability;
- Submit room request;
- Monitor the status of your room request;
- View detailed information on a selected event or space;
- Email event details to contacts associated with the event, and other recipients;
- View and respond to event-related tasks assigned by you;
- Attach "To Do" tasks to events;
- Track the events of interest to you;
- Find out what's happening on selected dates;
- Publish events to online calendars;
- Set up and manage online E-commerce for events accessed via 25Live or the Publisher;
- Subscribe to an event feed with your preferred news reader or calendar
All departments / colleges / offices / student group or organization are responsible for leaving facilities in a satisfactory condition and must accept responsibility for any damage or loss incurred as the result of its use. (How to sumbit a request)
About Events Calendar
The campus Calendar of Events is on the CSU Stanislaus web at 25Live Calendar
When the R25 calendar opens the non-class events for the current day are listed.