Event Planning Checklist
This checklist is designed to help you navigate the event planning process at CC; while not exhaustive, it should help you identify common event planning tasks and be prepared for your Student Events Summit meeting. If you are unsure what Student Events Summit is, click here for more information. Though this guide is intended primarily for student event planners, the information within it should be helpful to anyone on campus considering planning an event. All campus constituents must abide by the college’s advance notice policy for reservations and service orders of at least 10 business days/two weeks.
While the college has a minimum advance notice requirement for events, it usually takes at least three months of preparation in order to carry out a well-planned, successful event. Depending upon the size and scale of the event, this timeline can be shortened, but it is advisable to start planning everything as far out as possible as spaces fill up quickly and other campus resources are finite.
Before beginning the planning process, please review this event planning guide in its entirety so you are aware of what you need to consider at each stage. Click each "Step" to view everything that step entails.
Check List Overview
Step 1: Brainstorm Concept for Your Event (~two to three months in advance)
Step 2: Select a Date and Book a Space (One to three months out)
Step 3: Submit Your Service Orders (~one month in advance, no fewer than 10 business days/two weeks out)
Step 5: Secure CCSGA Special Event Funding if event is approved by Student Events Summit (two to four weeks out; at least two weeks in advance if your proposed event is budgeted to cost less than $5,000, or four weeks out if your event is budgeted to cost more than $5,000. Please keep in mind the 10 day advance notice is in addition to the funding request window)
Step 6: Get Organized and Plan Remainder of Event (~two weeks out)
- Accessibility, Safety, and Risk Management
- Ticketing (at least five business days in advance of ticket distribution)
- Payment (at least 10 business days in advance)
- Staffing and Set-up
- Events with Alcohol
- Rain Plans and Event Cancellations
Step 7: Finalize Plans & Carry Out Event (at least two days before & day of event)
Step 8: Follow-up (week following event)
Extended Format Checklist
- What goals do you have for your event? How do these goals relate to the mission of your organization and the College?
- Consult with your advisor (department, supervisor, division head, etc.) to discuss the event
- Please note that student organizations cannot book spaces on behalf of community organizations or external groups; these events must go through the College & Community Events Office.
- Remember, students cannot sign contracts for events or enter into agreements with artists, speakers, vendors, etc.; students can work with Office of Campus Activities staff to have contracts signed on behalf of the College. Faculty and staff, please refer to your department/division’s protocol regarding signing of contracts with speakers.
- Select a Time
- Consider meal service times in Rastall; make sure your attendees have the opportunity to eat in addition attending your event, especially if there is not food offered at your event or it is being held in a space that restricts food.
- M-F for Breakfast: 7:45 - 9:30 a.m., Lunch: 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Dinner: 5 - 7:45 p.m
- Saturday and Sunday for Brunch: 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Dinner: 5 - 7:45 p.m.
- Book a Space
- Will the space accommodate the number of people, the activity, and the necessary set-up?
- Is the desired space available on Ungerboeck? If not, what other spaces might meet my group's/events needs?
- Does this event require a rain or extreme weather location? Have I reserved this weather location with the original request?
- Please note that outdoor spaces on campus need to be reserved through CC Events Management as well, this includes fields such as Donald Autrey (Yampa).
- If the intended event will be outside and have amplified music or sound, you will need to file for a Noise Hardship Permit from the City of Colorado Springs at least 30 days in advance through the Office of Campus Activities. This applies to certain indoor venues on campus as well.
- Speaker Arrangements
- Have we agreed upon and confirmed the date in writing? Have I had the appropriate campus officials sign the contract? Remember, students cannot sign contracts and it is best to not sign a contract until full funding is secured from either a department or CCSGA.
- Do my guests need travel, lodging, and/or meal accommodations?
- The College recommends contract “buyouts” instead of serving meals – at most the College will agree to pay an additional $25 per person for dinner and $25 per person for lunch, and they can go to restaurants or order in on their own.
- The College cannot supply alcohol in “green rooms.”
- Make sure that transportation cost to/from the airport and hotel is clearly defined – will travel be in addition to the speaking fee or included in the speaker fee?
- Note requested hospitality items from the artist as they appear on riders and make sure to include them in any budgets. These items are often additions to the contract cost.
- Do we need a college vehicle to transport our guest while in Colorado Springs? Who will drive the college vehicle? Has the vehicle been reserved through CC Transportation? Is my driver certified through CC Transportation?
- When showing a movie or film outside of a home or educational classroom setting, you must obtain the rights to publicly screen the film. Please reach out to Campus Activities if you have questions or need additional support to obtain the rights for your screening.
- Does the room have any existing set-up I may utilize?
- How many tables and chairs do I need for my event? Consider tables needed for my room configuration, food services, and check-in/sign-in service (if applicable).
- Are round or rectangular tables more suitable for my event?
- Do I need extra trash cans/recycling bins?
- Will I need staging for entertainment?
- Have I ordered heating/ventilation/air conditioning turned on? Call Facilities at (719) 389-6568.
- Do I need AV equipment and/or staff (i.e. sound system for band, Powerpoint presentations, overhead projectors, public address system)?
- Does my artist/speaker have a technical rider or specific needs?
- For spaces with installed sound systems, do I need training on those systems?
- For small/self-operational technical equipment, you may visit the A/V check-out window for check-out if approved.
Am I getting food from off campus or catering with Bon Appetit?
- Do your attendees or speaker have dietary restrictions? Have I made arrangements for common dietary needs (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free)?
- Will the speakers/panelists/entertainers need water or snack service?
Did I submit my catering order (“BEO”) through Catertrax at least three weeks in advance of my event?
Does the event need tablecloths? If so, did I order enough tablecloths to cover additional event tables such as registration or panelists?
- Where will I get ice, containers, cups, napkins, paper plates, flatware, and tablecloths?
- Do I need to make arrangements to rent any food service equipment? (Sternos, hotel sheet pans, etc.)
- How will food get to campus? Pick-up or delivery?
- How will I pay for the food I am picking up?
- How will I keep the food at temperature and safe?
- For materials such as snow fencing, the Grounds Office requires you to submit your work request through the TMA work order link. Select “Facility Services Request” in the left hand panel and navigate through to select your area on campus and fill in the specific request.
- There are underground sprinkler lines throughout campus. Before staking anything into the ground, or having your vendor stake any items into the ground, check in with Grounds first to ensure you do not rupture any underground piping. Call Facilities at (719) 389-6568.
- Know where the closest outdoor power source is and make sure you have access. You may need to contact our campus electrician. Call Facilities at (719) 389-6568.
- Request that the sprinklers be turned off.
- If your event will take place as it is getting dark, request extra lighting.
- Have I submitted a service order for the doors to be locked and unlocked?
- Do I need additional security personnel? The college reserves the right to determine an appropriate staffing model for your event which may include Campus Safety officers, contracted security officers, and professional CC staff.
Step 4: Attend Student Events Summit (at least two weeks out from event)
- Be prepared to answer a variety of questions related to the who, what, when, where, why of your event including but not limited to the ones in this checklist.
- Most often students are invited by email to come to Student Events Summit after submitting a room reservation request. Students are, however, welcome to come to Student Events Summit earlier in the planning process, in order to gain advice and guidance from the group. To schedule an appointment to discuss an upcoming event, email Antonio Soto.
Step 5: Secure CCSGA Special Event Funding if event is approved by Student Events Summit (two to four weeks out; at least two weeks in advance if your proposed event is budgeted to cost less than $5,000, or four weeks out if your event is budgeted to cost more than $5,000)
- Should your event be seeking funding from sources other than CCSGA such as departments, offices, or programs and will cost a significant amount of money, you may need to begin securing funds earlier. Cultural Attraction Funding applications are due the first week of each block.
- Contracts for artists or lecturers should not be signed by College Officials until funding has been secured.
- Please keep in mind that all events proposed over $5,000.00 must be certified as ‘Green/Eco Events,’ as defined by the Office of Sustainability. The students proposing the event must meet with the Office of Sustainability’s Green Events Intern before submitting their initial application to the CCSGA Finance Committee. Even if your event does not fall under these criteria, consider how you can contribute to a sustainable campus in planning your event.
- Accessibility, Safety, and Risk Management
- Have I considered the needs of my guests and made sure my event is accessible?
- Waivers should be used for your event if it involves physical activity, travel off-campus, or minors in attendance. OCA can provide waiver templates.
- Do event coordinators know what emergency procedures to use and the locations of fire extinguishers, alarms, and telephones?
- What is the fire capacity of the event space? How do we plan to keep track of event attendance to ensure that we are not exceeding the fire capacity? Tickets, clicker, tally, etc. Your event will be shut down if capacity exceeds the legal limit of occupants; any CC professional staff at your event is empowered to make this call.
- Do we need additional Campus Safety presence at our event? Was this arranged during SES?
- Will my event be ticketed? If your venue has a limited capacity or you expect attendance to exceed capacity, tickets are recommended.
- Who can get tickets? Is my event open to the public?
- Who will produce the tickets? Using CC’s Print Shop is a great option.
- Have I arranged for ticket sales/distribution with Worner Desk?
- Number your tickets by hand on the back so you can monitor sales as the event date approaches. This can help gauge if your promotional efforts are paying off!
- Does our group need hand stamps, inkpads, tickets, moneybags, cash boxes, or other “at-the-door” equipment?
- Do I need to have cash on hand? How will I provide change for financial transactions at the door?
- How much time do I need to set up? Does this match my event booking in CC Events Management? Check with the space venue manager beforehand.
- How many people do I need to have on hand from my organizations to help with set-up, breakdown, and during the event to:
- Be last-minute runner, fixer, or fetcher? This person should be different than the primary event manager.
- Help decorate, move necessary equipment/supplies to the correct location?
- Clean up?
- Has Student Events Summit required that I have a full-time CC staff member attend my event? If so, have I confirmed with a staff member at least two weeks in advance that they will be in attendance for the duration of event set-up, throughout the event, and clean-up?
- Have all my volunteers received training? What will I do if someone doesn’t show up?
- What supplies do I need for the event? (name tags, pens, tape, markers, signs, scissors, computer, adapter, etc.)
- How will I purchase the supplies? How will I get the supplies to the event venue?
- Advertise (begin at least one week in advance for student events; all-campus events with expected attendance from faculty, staff, and students should be advertised earlier)
- Have I reviewed the All-Campus Posting/Advertising Policy? (also part of the Freedom of Expression Policy)
- Did I submit event information (including ticketing information) through CC Events Management? All information submitted through CC Events Management will appear on the CC Campus Calendar.
- Do I have a strong enough promotional package to attract an audience?
- Have I looked over and double checked that all the event information is on my poster? Is all of my information correct?
- Do my posters have contact information?
- Before hanging up posters somewhere, have I talked with an official from the location in order to know the regulations on posters (ie- where is it allowed to hang posters? Does someone need to sign my poster before I can hang it?) For example, have I talked to the Worner Desk in order to hang posters in Worner?
- Social Media
- Have I made a Facebook Event for my event?
- Have I shared information about my event on the CC Class Pages on Facebook?
- Worner Center
- Reserve the Worner Center Atrium Banner through CC Events Management.
- Reserve a table in the Worner Lobby through CC Events Management.
- Digest Posts
- Follow this link to post to the student or events digest.
- You must submit your Digest post before 5:55 a.m. of the day you want your post to be seen.
- If you submit a Digest post after 6:05 a.m., it will be sent in the next day’s digest email.
- One digest submission is equivalent to one digest posting. In order for a Digest post to appear multiple days, you must submit a Digest post for each day. Note that the system only allows you to submit the same digest post three days in a row.
- Weekend Digest: Sent to the student body every Friday, contact Amy Hill to submit an event.
- See the Student Alcohol Event Checklist for more information regarding this protocol.
- When will I decide if I need to enact my rain plan and how will I notify vendors/service providers?
- If my event has been canceled or postponed, have I reached out to Campus Activities to notify them? Have I notified the community if my event was open to the public?
- Should your event be cancelled for any reason, contact OCA so they can notify internal vendors.
- Confirm everything in writing for your event at least two days in advance by contacting vendors and making sure everyone is on the same page.
- Create a “play-by-play” or “minute-by-minute” list of what needs to be done and when leading up to your event.
- Check your space an hour before to make sure that it is set up
- Troubleshooting Suggestions
The door is locked...
Call Campus Safety. Campus Safety is available 24/7.
The food is not set up yet…
And it is during regular business hours (M-F, 9 -5) call the Catering Office at (719) 389-6576. If it is after hours, you will have to make do with what you have.
The venue hasn’t been set up...
And it is during Facilities Office hours (M-F, 8 - 5), call the Facilities Office at (719) 389-6568. If it is after hours, you will have to make do with the furniture already in the room.
Your guest/speaker is late or cancels...
Try and get the word out of the time/date change as best as possible; let OCA know so your work orders can be cancelled. Post a sign on the venue door or have a staff member on hand to let people know if they still show up.
- Leave the venue the way you found it - or cleaner!
- If your event was not catered by Bon Appetit, then please make sure you clear out any food leftovers as well as all utensils and plates. If it was catered by another company, be sure to wait until they have completed tear down in order to ensure the venue is clean.
- If the event if outdoors, make sure that all waste goes into garbage bags and that there is no littering. At the end of the event tie all garbage bags used and leave them in the garbage bins.
- AV and Bon Appetit will take care of any equipment/food that they brought to your event and therefore you do not need to worry about taking back or clearing out anything yourself. However, please make sure that all equipment is in the condition it was given to you.
- If your event is over the weekend, move the equipment to a secure location (coordinated with Facilities beforehand) for storage until it can be picked up.
- Call Campus Safety to have them walk through and close your venue.
- Debrief with your group. What went well? What can be done differently? What issues were you successfully able to dodge? What issues blindsided you and are important for future planners to be aware of? Did the event meet your goals?
- Review your budget to make sure all bills have been paid. Some of our campus partners (Facilities, Campus Safety) bill following an event. If you have any questions about your bill or when it will become available, reach out to the respective offices.
- Reach out to your planning partners and thank them for their time and effort spent on the event. If a campus office or department sponsored all or part of your event, be sure to thank them for their support as well.