Clark School Event Guide

Budget
Budget
Location
Location
Invitations/RSVPs
Invitations
& RSVP's
Event Promotion
Event
Promotion
Catering
Catering/
Food
Facilities
Facilities
Production
Production
AV
Audio/Video
Photography & Video Recording
Photo/Video
Recording
Parking
Parking &
Directions
Sponsorships
Sponsorships
Speakers
Speakers
Scripts
Scripts
Gifts
Gifts
Followup
Followup

 


BUDGET AND EVENT PLANNING COMMITTEE

The first step in the event planning process is to determine event resources, including:

  • Identifying an event budget
  • Assembling an event planning committee, if needed
  • Determining event staffing and volunteers

Identifying these event resources will help determine how best to address the following event considerations.


LOCATION

An early step in the planning process is to reserve a location for the event.

Timing

  • Event location should be reserved 3+ months before the date of the event

Large Event Options

Medium Event Options

Small Event Options

Other Engineering Room Reservation Options

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InvitationINVITATIONS AND RSVPS

Timing

  • Invitations should be sent out 1-2 months before the date of the event

Format

  • Unless email data is not available, it is recommended that the invitation should be sent electronically

Email Distribution Tools

  • MailChimp, Constance Contact, and other tools can be used to create attract invitations.
  • For alumni email invitations, University Communications should be consulted to coordinate the timing of the email distribution.
    Tracey Themne is the contact who can assist with this.

RSVP Collection

  • It is highly recommended that the invitation include a registration link to allow guests to RSVP online. Ideally, the tool should have the capability to drop responses into a database that can be easily viewed, such as Wufoo.com.
  • It is highly recommended that a registration category be included on the online form, which includes UMD Student, UMD Faculty/Staff, Industry, Government, etc., and also the category of Board of Visitors. This will allow VIPs to self-identify on the registration form, which will allow event planners to make the necessary arrangements in advance for these important guests.

PromotionEVENT PROMOTION

Timing

  • The event should be promoted 2-4 weeks before the date of the event

Unless the events are private and open only to select invitees, all events should be promoted via the following channels:

Website:  Events should be promoted via the Clark School website and department/research center websites as appropriate, including on the event calendar page, as well as a news item, if the event is significant and newsworthy.

Events can also be promoted internally at the University of Maryland via the FYI calendar and the UMD Right Now website, if the event is significant and newsworthy.

Email:  If the event is significant and newsworthy and of interest to the broad Clark School community, a request can be sent to the Office of the Dean to send an announcement out via the Clark School listserv.

Social Media:  Once events have a designated web presence as an event page or news item, a promotional message can be sent out via social media. If the event is being coordinated in partnership with an outside organization, a social media post can be tagged with the organization’s social media account, to encourage them to re-post or promote.

Public Calendars:
If open to the public, the event can be submitted via regional public calendars:

Public Calendar Contacts:

Media Outreach: If the event is open to the media, a media advisory should be submitted a minimum of 1 week before the event. A media list should be pulled based upon the subject of the event and the interests of the reporters. Be sure to prepare an online RSVP form or provide an email address to allow reporters to register, along with any special instructions. There should be a media sign-in sheet at the event, along with a special area designated for video camera crews, if applicable. Be sure to loop in a University Communications contact with media outreach and planning efforts.

Event Programs: Consider whether the event should have printed programs or guides that should be made available to guest, before, during or after the event. If these are needed, it is advised that programs be designed and prepared and sent in to the printer 3 weeks before the event. The Engineering Copy Center or UMD Printing can assist.

Event Signage: Consider what signage should appear at the event. Signage explaining the nature and subject of the event will help guide guests to the right place, and will also help outsiders know what your event is all about. Consider registration and sponsorship signs, as well as other appropriate signage. It is advised that signage be designed and prepared and sent in to the printer 3 weeks before the event. The Engineering Copy Center or UMD Sign Shop can assist.

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CateringCATERING/FOOD

Timing

  • Reach out to secure a caterer 1-2 months before the date of the event

Guest numbers

  • Use online RSVP form responses to help you report guest numbers. In lieu of data, provide an estimate based on previous years’ events or similar events.

Options

Consider whether food should be informally offered, buffet-style, or served more formally. Also consider the setting – should the food be served for individuals who will be seated, or standing, as at a reception?

Internal UMD Catering Options:

Other UMD catering options:

External Catering Options (Formal):

Consider

  • Utensils, Plates, Cups, Napkins, Table Cloths, Linens
    All should be provided by catering service, be sure to provide number of attendees

Reducing Waste

  • Food Recovery Network: a network of student groups and individuals at UMD volunteering to recover the surplus food from the dining halls and sports games and donate it to hungry men, women and children in the DC area.
  • UMD dining waste reduction initiative
  • Before your event, email umfood@umd.edu for ways to get in touch with students who will help you donate unused food to hungry grad students or to area non-profits.

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FacilitiesFACILITIES, LAYOUT, SEATING, AND LOGISTICS

Timing

  • Decide whether chairs, tables & coat rack are needed 1-2 months in advance of event.
  • Consider the setting and atmosphere of the event:
    Will guests be seated the entire time? Will they be standing for most of the time?
    In that case, would it be best to provide high-top tables and a few chairs around each?
  • Also, whenever possible, create a layout/map of your event identifying where key event components will be located (e.g., registration table, exhibit tables, stage, etc.). Having this map ready will be useful for sharing with catering, event volunteers, VIPs, event planning colleagues, etc.

Vendors and Service Providers for Table/Chair/Coat Rack Rental

Housekeeping

  • Consider enlisting services from Housekeeping 2 weeks before your event to request help with trash removal, restroom refreshing, etc. If a large crowd is expected, this critical preparatory action will help ensure that the event runs smoothly and is enjoyed by all.
  • Contact UMD Housekeeping

ProductionPRODUCTION, STAGE, LIGHTING, MUSIC AND DÉCOR

Timing

Assess event production needs and enlist services 1 month before the event.

Consider whether the event needs professional production services, including stage, lighting, music, and décor. Consider the right size for your stage, whether live music is needed, and whether special lighting is needed. Depending upon the setting, production services may be offered by the organization that runs the event location. However, in some cases, an outside production vendor may be required to organize these logistical needs for your event.

Recommended vendors


AVAUDIO/VIDEO SERVICES

Timing

Assess event audio and video needs and enlist services 3-4 weeks before the event.

Consider what audio and visual services are needed for your event. Will speakers or presenters offer powerpoint or video to the audience? Will a projector and screen or large LCD video monitor(s) be needed? Will pre-recorded music be played at the event? Is the event location equipped with speakers, or will special equipment be required for rental?
Remember to consider and decide upon these details in the early stages of planning your event.


PhotographyPHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO RECORDING

Timing

Assess event photography and video recording needs 3-4 weeks before the event.

When planning your event, consider what kind of visual documentation you would like to capture. Depending upon your event budget, you should consider opportunities to enlist assistance from a photographer and/or video recording service. For photography and video recording needs, consider what level of service is needed – if the event is a high-profile and important event with VIP guests, a professional photographer and/or video recording service may be required. For events that have a lower profile, a student or staff photographer may be the right solution.

Recommended photographers

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ParkingPARKING AND DIRECTIONS

Timing

Make parking and directions available 1 week before the event.

Information about parking and directions should be clearly provided on both the event website as well as a detailed email and/or printed instructional sheet sent to event attendees. The instructions should be simple, with a map provided, if needed. Parking validation should be considered, when appropriate.

Event signage at campus intersections can be ordered from the Department of Transportation Services. They charge $50 per sign and place them in such a pattern as to provide turn-by-turn directions through the campus.

Contact

  • Andrew Baker
    Coordinator Department of Transportation Services
    Phone: 301-314-9003
    Email: abaker1@umd.edu

SponsorshipsEVENT SPONSORSHIPS

Timing

Consider event sponsorship needs 3-4 months before your event.

When appropriate, your event may benefit from outside sponsorship. Certain events are of particular interest to corporate partners and other outside organizations.

In these circumstances, enlist the help of corporate relations and development staff in outlining and defining sponsorship opportunities, including specific levels of sponsorship and corresponding benefits. Corporate relations and development colleagues can assist with outreach to sponsorship prospects.


SpeakersSPEAKERS AND VIP HANDLING

For events that involve external speakers and high-level VIP guests, be sure to assign staff and/or event volunteers to serve as handlers to greet these guests as they arrive at the event, and to attend to their needs. These should be specific assignments, with individuals assigned to specific guests, so that accountability for guest handling is clear.

Remember to attend to speaker needs: bottled water, powerpoint remotes, laser pointers, computer interface, loading of powerpoint files for their presentations, etc.


ScriptsEVENT SCRIPTS

For events that have programs, speaker components, or a series of ceremonial activities that need to be choreographed and planned, an event script or “run of show” should be prepared in advance.

The script will include not just the planned monologues for event speakers, but also specific actions and event tasks that need to be taken care of, with specific times outlined for when these actions should be accomplished.

The event script or “run of show” should also explain which individual staff members or event volunteers should be assisting with which activity at what time, so that each person clearly understands the role he/she is serving at the event.


GiftsGIFTS AND GIVEAWAYS

Timing

Order event gifts/giveaways 3-4 weeks before the event.

For special events with external guests where a budget allows for gifts/giveaways for participants, consider whether it may be appropriate to order items for distribution at the event. The items could serve to help promote the event and draw attention to the Clark School and its programs.


FollowupEVENT FOLLOW UP AND EVALUATION

Between 1-2 weeks after the event is completed, be sure to call a meeting with the staff responsible for organizing the event to conduct a debrief and discuss positive and negative points about how the event was organized and executed, and how it could be improved in the future.

A sample evaluation sheet is included below:

sample evaluation sheet
 

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