8-week Event Planning Checklist

8-weeks prior to event

Set a date and schedule a space

For all events, please be sure to schedule it through our 25Live Pro website. For off-campus requestors, you will want to follow this link to our external event request form.  It is also advised, when scheduling a space, that you provide as much detail as possible. When scheduling your room or event space, including the appropriate “Resources” and as soon as possible, is vital to the success of your event. Identifying any equipment needs is very useful (i.e. power requirements, lighting needs, garbage cans, ect.) Just because you have requested your event space, does not mean that the individuals responsible for the Resources you have requested are available or able to support. Maps to-scale of room set-up are always preferred for our facilities staff to get your event right!

Establish a budget

Costs to consider are:

    • ADA interpreters – Contact Gretchen Hormel, Access and Student Services Coordinator at financialaid@wsu.edu.
    • Advertising & marketing
    • Catering, linens, and tables
    • Decorations and draping
    • Printing and mailing
    • Other (awards, presentation materials, travel for speakers, lodging, ect.)
    • Establish a communications plan

There are an array of strategies to get the word out about your event:

    • Advertising – requires a budget!
    • Campus – A-frames (MarComm)
    • Campus bulletin boards
    • Digital Display (MarComm for design) (IT for implementation of displays)
    • Connected Cougs
    • Cougar Weekly
    • Email e-vites
    • Campus calendar (MarComm)
    • Campus Master Calendar
    • Flyers & posters – requires a budget!
    • Press release (if applicable; MarComm)
    • Printed invitations – requires a budget!
    • Social media (MarComm request)
    • Determine your guest list: Current students, prospective students, alumni, businesses, high school contacts, community college contacts, community members…

7-weeks prior to event

Request guest contact lists

For prospective and applied students’ addresses, contact the Academic & Student Affairs office at (509) 372-7250. For alumni addresses, contact Advancement and Community Engagement office at (509) 372-7264.

Offsite Catering Requests

For off-site caterers, the vendor must hold a current permit from the Benton-Franklin Health District, and provide it upon request. The proper permit must also be acquired if alcohol will be served. Further questions and policies around serving alcohol on the WSU Tri-Cities campus can be found by contacting our Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator at: 509-372-7163.

6-weeks prior to event

Develop event flow/workplan, presentations, introductions, speeches, ect.

Be inclusive of different learning needs and styles (visual, audio, hands-on, handouts, group discussion, interactive, etc.).

Plan space set-up and decorations

Have you thought about drawing a layout of the space you envision for the event? This is always a great idea and can help our facilities staff get your set-up correct the first time!

Set up online registration

Using your staff Qualtrics log-in (or other event-based forms online), set up an event registration form to track RSVP’s, food choices, ect. This is a good time to work through the process of setting this up, having others on your team test the site and links, so that when you go live, everything is in working order.

5-weeks prior to event

Send invitations by mail

Continue to work with Marketing and Communications on deliverable’s, Academic and Student Affairs or Advancement on contact lists, and with your team on event-space set-up and planning

Refine any event registration forms so that they are ready for mail-in registration responders

Contact Marketing and Communications to learn about services offered

Develop event copy to share with Marketing and Communications. Include who, what, where, when and why. Be as specific as possible—date, time (start), time (end), location of event, who are you trying to inform of this event, ect. Please be advised that the MarComm office will require a 4-week turnaround time for ALL MATERIALS (after request has been submitted). We suggest submitted a Marketing/Graphic Design Project Request as soon as possible, although any/all support is not guaranteed and priority will always lie in recruitment and retention efforts of the University.

4-weeks prior to event

Send email e-vites

Do not use Outlook! You could be labelled a spammer and get WSU Tri-Cities blacklisted from email providers. To email information appropriately, work with Marketing and Communications for non-student club and public events.

3-weeks prior to event

Re-send email e-vites

Approve press release copy (if applicable)

Finalize presentation, program, and room layout

Confirm room layout with Facilities and Operations team (Randy and Andy)

2-weeks prior to event

2-weeks prior to event

1-week prior to event

Confirm all of your plans

Double check 25Live for room reservation accuracy, approvals, ect. Connect with your food vendor and menu options needed. Confirm with your speaker, presenter, or special guests. Make sure all of your AV needs via IT are confirmed.

Post event analysis

Post event analysis

Meet with the event committee or team to determine what went well and what needs improvement. You may also invite cross-campus partners to attend this meeting, especially if they had a hand in the event planning process.