Event Planning Checklist
Below are basic guidelines for planning a successful event at UCCS. For your convenience, the planning process has been broken down into subsections for ease of use. Simply click on the topic you wish to access to view complete information.
- Initial Logistics
- Reserving a Room and Determining Set-Up
- Arranging for Parking
- Ordering Catering
- Sending Invitations and Tracking RSVPs
- Hosting a Sustainable Event
- Additional Considerations
1. Initial Logistics
As you begin the planning process, a few of the questions you will want to consider are as follows:
- Determine possible dates and times for the event. It is a good idea to have alternatives in mind in case the type of space you are looking for is not available.
- Determine who will be invited and estimate your possible number of attendees.
- Determine what kind of event are you hosting (lecture, luncheon, conference, etc.)? Note that if you are hosting a fundraising event, you should work with Karen Ichiba in the CU System Office.
- Determine how you will evaluate the success of your event and track it for similar activities in the future.
2. Reserving a Room and Determining Set-Up
Determine your preferred location for the event and reserve space accordingly. To make this process easier, it is a good idea to consider how many attendees are possible and how you would like the room to be configured.
Possible room configurations include the following:
- For Lectures: Lecture-style seating (rows of chairs) with aisles
- For Meetings: Conference room seating with large rectangular table set-up
- For Luncheons: Round tables with 6-8 chairs
Note that additional options are available depending on the nature of the event.
Once you have identified where you would like to hold your event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to VirtualEMS to make a reservation.
When making your room reservation, be sure to account for additional set-up needs, including but not limited to the following:
- Sound System
- Coat Rack
- Check-in table (remember to ask Catering to bring skirting for the check-in table if you need it)
- Catering tables (check with Catering on the number of tables needed)
- Laptop / LCD projector (remember to ask for skirting for the LCD cart if you need it)
- Cabaret tables (available through Catering)
- Additional Trash Cans or Recycle Bins (submit a work order through Facilities Services)
3. Arranging for Parking
In many cases, parking arrangements can make or break your event, so we highly encourage you to work with Public Safety well in advance to determine where and how your guests will park.
The Driving Directions and Parking Instructions PDF contains all lots and entrances on campus that you can cut and paste into your invitations, websites, fliers, etc.
Depending on whom you are inviting to your event, you may also want to consider creating signage for parking lots on the day of your activity.
4. Ordering Catering
To order catering through Sodexo, our on-campus caterer, simply send an email to email@example.com or log on to the CaterTrax system at least two weeks before your event. Note that if you will be hosting a particularly large or complicated event, at least one month’s notice is preferred.
When you order, make sure to have the following information ready:
- Name of Your Event
- Date and Time of Your Event
- Location of Your Event
- Estimated Number of Attendees
- What You Want to Order (Online Menu)
- Indicate China or Disposable
- Any additional special requirements that you have for your event
When ordering, also make sure to let catering know if you will require any linens (including skirting for buffet or check in tables) for your event.
Note that if you are unsure how much food to order or what type of food to order, our catering staff will be happy to assist you based on the nature of your event and your budget.
Since UCCS has a catering contract with Sodexo, Sodexo retains a right of first refusal for any event using University funds for catering on campus, but the University may initiate competitive, random bidding for any such event if the University’s catering liaison (Susan Szpyrka), in consultation with the University’s food service advisory committee, determines that Sodexo’s quality, service and/or prices are not competitive.
If you feel that you have a bid that is not competitive, please send Susan Szpyrka the detailed information by e-mail. She will consult with the team and with Sodexo to see if a) Sodexo can match or come close to the bid or other options are open or, b) After consultation with Sodexo, determine if it is appropriate for you to be able to purchase from another provider.
5. Sending Invitations and Tracking RSVPs
Regardless of how you plan to send your invitations (email, postal mail, etc.), all invitations should include the following:
- UCCS Logo
- Event Title
- Event Date, Time and Location
- A Map of UCCS and Parking Instructions
- Instructions for Confirming Attendance (if applicable)
- A Phone Number and Email Address to Obtain More Information
In general, your confirmation deadline should be at least three business days prior to the event so you can make catering adjustments if needed.
For your convenience, we have developed an invitation template for your review and use.
6. Hosting a Sustainable Event
There are some simple things you can do to make your special event more earth-friendly. From eliminating disposable plates and utensils to making sure recycle bins are available, there are many ways you can make a difference.
You can view general guidelines for hosting a sustainable event online through the Environmental Protection Agency. A few of these guidelines are as follows:
- Ensure that all catering plates, cups and glasses are china or glass (non-disposable). If plastic, they should be washable (biodegradable or compostable is better). Styrofoam should not be used under any circumstances.
- Condiments should be served in bulk containers, not individual servings, to save packaging. This includes sugar, creamer, butter, cream cheese, etc.
- Use cloth napkins whenever possible.
- Ensure that recycling bins are present at all catered functions, in the registration area, and especially on the exhibit floor (if applicable).
- Print all handouts on two sides using post-consumer recycled paper.
- Consider recycled-content promotional products when deciding on pens, bags, shirts and caps. There are beautiful awards made of recycled glass.
- Provide information about the facilities' recycling program for all areas in which your event will occur.
- Consider donating leftover food to a local food bank.
- Reduce the amount of handouts (including registration materials), or consider making them available online instead.
7. Additional Considerations
Depending on the nature of your event, you may also want to consider the following:
- Developing a specific event timeline, including speakers and the length of comments
- Creating nametags for attendees
- Hiring a photographer (contact Jennifer Hane x3180 for the names of people/companies we have worked with, or visit the PSC website)
- Acquiring volunteers to assist with check-in or with directing guests
- Determining additional supplies you might need on the day of the event (tape, scissors, etc.)
- Assessing give-away items or information for attendees, such as brochures, table tents, etc.