Consider Your Budget and Timeline
Do you know what your budget is? What type of account will be used to pay for the event expenses? Do you know how much to estimate for each aspect of your event? Look for online resources like this budget workbook to get you started. Using resources on campus can save you money, make payment easier and keep your deadlines on target.
Create an event timeline that includes production deadlines so you stay on track. Event checklists that include due dates are also helpful.
Choose Your Date(s) Carefully
Do your dates conflict with a major University event such as Mom’s or Dad’s weekend or Homecoming or Commencement, for example? Have you checked the Academic Calendar?
Take Care of Your Special Guests
Alert the Special Events Office if you have a high-profile visitor coming to campus. This may include a well-known lecturer, an entertainer, a political figure, or a speaker on a topic that may draw significant media attention.
To request Senior Leadership Attendance at your event, please submit information about your event through the Senior Leadership Request form.
To invite the Governor or a member of the Board of Trustees to your event, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (217) 333-8834.
Reserve Your Campus Space
When selecting a location for your event, consider your needs, including power, bathrooms, accessibility, parking and lighting.
- A list of all reservable spaces on campus can be found on the Master Space Contact List website.
- Information about venues near campus can be found at the Experience Champaign-Urbana website.
Plan and Review Safety & Accessibility
Consider your audience. If your event will be open to the public, be sure to utilize a space that is accessible to attendees with mobility concerns. For more information, visit the Office for Access and Equity website.
Have your event reviewed by the Division of Public Safety if you are expecting more than 100 people. Larger events require consideration of guest safety in the event of an emergency.
If you are expecting more than 300 people, you should have your event reviewed by F&S’s Campus Code Compliance and Fire Safety Office.
- Inclement Weather Planning Guide
- Division of Public Safety
- Disability-related event accommodation request/resources – interpreting and live captioning
Outfit Your Meeting Space
Order registration tables, chairs, custodial cleaning, and other equipment for your meeting space(s) through F&S Public Functions you can also utilize off campus vendors for equipment needs that your venue may not provide.
Not sure? Imagine that your meeting space is a blank slate. Try to envision everything that you will need for your event, and assume that your space does not come equipped with any of these things.
Arrange Your Audio-Visual Needs
Request an LCD projector, a microphone or other audio-visual needs through your venue or through an AV service provider.
Not Sure? Imagine that your meeting space is a blank slate – even though media equipment may exist in a room does not mean that it will be available and unlocked for your event. Are you planning to use equipment that is already installed in a classroom, showing a PowerPoint, showing a video, or speaking in a room that requires a microphone? Make sure you have access to the equipment, that it is working and compatible with any equipment you may be bringing i.e. – does your laptop connect to their projector? What cords are needed to make the connection happen?
CITL’s Event Recording Services provides professional quality video and audio recordings of events for the entire University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, including:
- Video and audio recording
- Live streaming video
- Multiple cameras/AV sources
- Editing and Post-production
- Video hosting and delivery
You might consider hiring a photographer for your event. University Photographers and photography resources are also available to assist you.
Order Food & Beverage
Ask your venue if they have a list of preferred caterers or an exclusive agreement. When ordering food and beverage work with your caterer on the appropriate amount of food, serving style and amount of time needed to serve the meal. Be sure to consider any allergies or dietary needs when planning your menu.
- A number of venues utilize University Catering.
- Catering policies, including a list of insured caterers is available on the OBFS website.
- Planners are required to fill out and submit the alcohol approval form to have alcohol at events.
- Check University guidelines for policies concerning food and beverage expenditures.
- If applicable, review the Mobile Food Vendors – CAM policy
Promote Your Event
Register your event with the University Event Calendar. If the event is open to the public, consider advertising throughout the community, in the Daily Illini and/or through various social media platforms.
- Consider utilizing Webtools to create email invitations, promotional materials, and any needed forms including volunteer sign-up and RSVPs.
- Make sure your materials follow brand guidelines.
- Contact Document Services for print and mailing information.
- Contact Conference & Event Services if you are in need of secure online registration and payment processing for your event.
- Have your event Green Certified through the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment