Guide to Event Planning

In order to run an event there are many things to consider.

First, you must think about what kind of event you want – is it a small-scale social event, a trip or tour, a conference with speakers and presenters, a formal ball, etc?

The bigger or more complex the event, the greater the level of planning involved – and the longer you’ll need to give to the process.

You must also think about who will be attending – will it purely be members of your Society/Club, can they bring guests, or will non-members be able to attend?  Will there be under-18s attending?  Will there be attendees with accessibility requirements?

How many people do you expect to attend?  How many attendees is the minimum for making the event worthwhile?  How quickly do you expect to reach the minimum and maximum numbers of attendees?  This will determine how long a period you need to make tickets available for people to purchase – which again impacts on the length of planning and preparation time your event will need.  The timing of ticket sales will also impact on when final payments can be made to venues or suppliers, or for additional resources to be used where turnout allows.

If you’re uncertain about how to go about planning your event contact your Societies/Sports Coordinator and they’ll be able to help you.

Support from the Students’ Union

Your Societies/Sports Coordinator will be able to help advise you on the planning and preparation for your event – they, and their colleagues, are experienced in all kinds of events and the processes around them.

The SU will also be able to sign contracts on behalf of the Society/Club so that no individual members have to take on legal or financial responsibility – and therefore risk – for any of the elements involved in the event.  On no account should you sign any legal document, contract or commitment yourself as this would leave you individually liable if anything were to go wrong.

Coming Up With a Plan

Take some time to research your event; where it will take place, when it will be, what the purpose of it is, what elements it will be made up of and what requirements that places on the venue.

Will you have to arrange transport?  Will there be food?  Will there be alcohol?  Will there be wheelchair access if required?  Do you need to have a contingency plan for bad weather?  Will the venue require a deposit, and when will payments be due?  How much will everything cost, and what price will participants have to pay so that the costs are covered?

Will your event involve external speakers – anyone who is neither a member of staff or student at the University?  If so, an External Speaker application will have to be completed on the University website a minimum of three weeks in advance.

Think through every aspect of the event and satisfy yourself that everything is covered.  Look back on previous events the Society/Club has run to see if there are any lessons to be learned – your Societies/Sports Coordinator can help with historical information.

If there are any areas you’re unsure about, contact your Societies/Sports Coordinator – they’ll be able to advise or find someone else who can give some guidance.

External Speakers

If you're having an external speaker (anyone who isn't a student or staff at Warwick), you must fill in the university's External Speaker Request Form.  Completing and submitting this form does not automatically mean it has been approved.  The SU and University will assess any risks from information provided and will then formally confirm your event is authorised to you, providing identified risks have been mitigated.

Guidance on External Speakers can be found in this guide.

Prior to filling in this form, it is extremely important that you read the External Speaker Policy