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Student Union

Planning Tips

A lot of work goes into planning a successful event. In order to assist you with your event in the Student Union, our Scheduling Services office would like to offer you a few suggestions to make your planning experience easy and enjoyable. Here are some tips you should consider:

  • Allow time to plan an event. Planning is the most crucial and time-consuming aspect for any type of event. The earlier you start, the more likely you are to secure your preferred venue on a particular date and develop a successful event.
  • Budget! Have dollar figures in mind when you plan. Events can be produced for all budgets. Payment and deposit information is required when booking an event at the Student Union.
  • Reserve a room based on the number of attendees you realistically expect and that best fulfills the purpose of the event. You don’t want to crowd your guests and you don’t want an empty room. Our Event Planning staff can offer suggestions.
  • Ordering equipment and determining a room’s setup will be simplified if you plan in advance how you want the room to look and discuss it with our event Planners. Include what elements you feel are necessary such as food tables, staging, podiums, sound equipment, etc. For sample room set-ups, please click Room Set-Ups
  • View Event Spaces

Event Planning Questions You Can Prepare For:

  • Date of Event
  • Purpose of Event
  • Event Start Time and End Time – please specify if you need access outside of the event times for setup or takedown
  • Number of People Attending
  • Room Preference
  • Event Name
  • Sponsoring Group
  • Name, Address, and Telephone of One Contact Person
  • Event Type (meeting, banquet, speaker, etc.)
  • Event Agenda
  • Equipment, including tables, chairs, and audio visual needs
  • If the event involves food and/or alcohol
  • If the event is in need of special sound or additional lighting equipment
  • Payment Information is required when reserving a space

Additional Tips for Throwing a Successful Event

Plan ahead. We can’t say this enough! You should contact an event planner and caterer 3 to 12 months ahead of time for any sizable event, such as banquet, dance, conference, concert, or other event where more than 100 people will be attending. Do these things before you send out invitations or advertisements.

Be prepared if your event is outside. Consider renting a rain site or tent for bad weather. Don’t forget you will also need garbage cans, and possibly fencing, electricity, heaters, extra lighting, or extra ice.

Read contracts carefully, even the boring parts. It will save you money and headaches down the road. The contract is what the facility or business will provide for you. It will also state what your obligations are, which are very important to know.

Find out the maximum capacity of the room for the way you want it set before you invite people. Buffets, stages, award tables, etc. all take space away from the room, which will affect how many guests the room can accommodate.

If money is tight, seek donations or co-sponsorship. Some companies, such as florists and rental companies may be willing to donate their product in exchange for advertising. Look up alumni associated with your organization and ask for your help.

Take advantage of what the Student Union has to offer. We can help you procure things that you may not have thought of, such as parking, catering, or equipment.

Ideas and tips for inexpensive centerpieces or room decorations:

  • Spring, summer, fall, or winter themes are inexpensive (use seasonal food and flowers; find things outdoors that represent the season)
  • White is usually less expensive than most colors when using linens: use white with a judicious amount of colored accents
  • Simple and plain is always most elegant
  • Rent extra plants for a large or plain room
  • Make sure guest table centerpieces are either very low or extra tall and somewhat transparent so your guests can talk
  • Purchase items that your organization can re-use many times, as opposed to disposable or one-time-use items
  • Rocks, shells, fruit, and vegetables can be very inexpensive and versatile
  • “World travel” themes can be inexpensive and easy if you use items you already have at home: suitcases, maps, passports, binoculars, vacation photos, beach gear, skiwear, etc. can be used in a lot of different ways.

Accessible Meetings and Events

When planning your next meeting or event at the Student Union, please keep in mind guests with disabilities who may be attending. Please let your Student Union Event Planning Coordinator know about any guests with disabilities so he or she can assist as well.