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. You may also contact our Events Scheduler at (509) 372-7160. 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)
    • Email e-vites
    • Campus calendar (MarComm & 25Live)
    • 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 Student Affairs and Admissions office at (509) 372-7250. For alumni addresses, contact Advancement and Community Engagement office at (509) 372-7264.

Submit Hospitality Café Catering request form

For WSU Tri-Cities, please submit a Hospitality Café Catering request form. With the intent of providing a consistent source for catering services on the Tri-Cities campus, a new policy has been approved, giving the First Right of Refusal to the Hospitality Café Catering Service. The addition of this policy also supports the café operations and the need for food service on our campus. If the event is state-funded, (except for 17A & 16B accounts), the Request to Serve Food form (PDF) (requires Network ID and password).

Off-site caterers, when used under a waiver granted by the Hospitality Café, 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

Consult with our Campus Events and Communications Coordinator, Claire Cox, to optimize you event set-up, space and to make sure all of your resources are in order. She can be reached at Claire.Cox@wsu.edu or by calling (509) 372-7444. 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, 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

Approve Hospitality Café Catering budget and quote; work with Flossie on all details of your menu and make adjustments as needed

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 the Hospitality Café  on catering approvals and menu options needed. Confirm with your speaker, presenter, or special guests. Make sure all of your AV needs via IT are confirmed.

After-event planning

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 meet, whom had a hand in the event process.

Claire CoxAssistant to the Chancellor for Constituent Relations and CommunicationEast 229509-372-7444