Getting Started with Event Planning

It is important to take time to talk with your organizations leadership and identify your target audience. Common event based questions to think about are: What is the purpose of your event? What does your organization hope to achieve with this event? Why is this event important?

Example: The purpose of my event is to increase awareness about my organization. I would consider this event a success if my organization has at least five students in attendance.

Once you can identify your target audience and answer the above questions, your organization can focus on laying down the framework for your event.

Items to consider when developing an event budget:

1) Look at the overall picture. Understand what your event is about. What is important about your event. Evaluate needs over wants. 

2) Examine your event history. Open a discussion within your organization about past events. What was successful? What worked? What didn't work? 

3) Set goals for the event. What is your focus? What is your mission? How do you support your events mission using the budget wisely.

4) Shop the market. Here is where event managers differs. Are you to able and willing, to take the time, to shop the market for the best value? We understand you are extremely busy. This is where we can help with showing you how to access eent resources.

5) Share all findings with your organization, so you can make a collaborative decision that best serves your event.

6) Have a contingency plan and funds set aside. Nothing goes as exactly planned, especially with event finances. Build a cushion for any extra payments that may occur due to overtime or unseen costs. 

7) Document everything, especially when you begin to exercise your budget. Have a system where a couple individuals from your organization have access to documents and files in order to procure for your event. Having a couple people will lessen the pressure if you had one. Plus it is also checks and balances protection. 

8) Ask for assistance. It's totally cool to ask for help. Unless this is your fulltime, or even part time profession, we do nto expect you to know everything. We are here to assist you. Ask us.

At State selecting a location is usually limited to technical capabilities and capacity. Other factors when selecting a venue have to do with polish. How does the venue look for formal events?

SF State is a wide variety of classrooms, meeting rooms, board, athletic spaces, small and large event venues. Feel free to open a discussion with our Events Department and we will be happy to guide you to a great meeting or event location. 

Now that you have an event planned, let's register it with Student Activities & Events. Registering your event will let us know that it is taking place. It will allow our community to know it is happening, Greatest of all, it will market your event for attendance. 


Event components that are discussed.

  1. Special event insurance
  2. Catering & food service
  3. Safety & security
  4. External event support (Vendors)
  5. Accessibility support
  6. Floor layout
  7. Arrange support services
  8. Custodial
  9. Event Staffing
  10. Financial planning and payment

Marketing your event

Once the event is done, take a moment to look back, understand how the event progressed, discuss with your team what was great and what could be done better.