Event Planning Guide
Student Groups: Please meet with the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership to plan your event.
External Groups: including events primarily serving a non-UNH audience or for non-UNH purposes with or without involvement from a University department or student group, MUST start by contacting UNH Conferences and Catering.
A Simple Step-by-Step Process to Planning Events at UNH
As you begin this process, please keep in mind that you are responsible for all aspects of your event. While the University offers many services (listed below), it is your responsibility to contract with these services and make the necessary arrangements. You should start planning NO LATER than eight weeks in advance.
Step 1: Understand Your Goals
Good event planning begins with knowing what you are trying to accomplish. Clearly define your goal-it will be invaluable as you move through the planning process. What kind of experience do you want for your guests? What environment/ambience is needed? Having a clearly defined goal can also help you avoid unintended growth and expansion of the event.
Step 2: Consider Your Audience
- Create an invitation list based on your identification of the audience. Review the invitation list with designated host/stakeholders and/or supervisor to ensure no one is excluded or unecessarily included.
- Set deadlines for mail date and RSVP date. (We recommend invitations be mailed 4 - 6 weeks before the event.)
- Design invitation including the who, what, where, when and how. (Remember parking information and directions). Include RSVP contact information and deadline. Contact UNH Printing Services for guidance, if needed.
- It is also important to consider what services may be required to ensure everyone is able to participate e.g. accessiblity needs, or American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter.
Step 3: Consider Your Budget
- Do you have a clear understanding of your budget?
- Do you know how much to estimate for each aspect of your event? i.e. Venue, audio-visual equipment, chairs, tables, promotional materials, staff, security, etc.
- Have you established encumbrance numbers through your BSC contact or discussed using your P-Card for off-campus purchases?
- If funding is tight, consider seeking a co-sponsor to provide additional collaboration and funding. This will require clear expectations and open communication between you and your potential co-sponsor.
Step 4: Choose Your Date
- Does your date conflict with a major University event or holiday?
- Have you checked the academic calendar? UNH Master Calendar
Step 5: Reserve Your Campus Space
- Review UNH Venues to determine which space best meets the needs of your event.
- Classrooms, academic lecture halls, and auditoriums can be reserved through the Registrar's Office.
Step 6: Prepare Your Meeting Space
- Contact UNH Conferences and Catering to book your event and to provide catering services.
- Order registration tables, chairs, custodial cleaning, audio-visual needs and other equipment by contacting UNH Facilities.
Step 7: Staff and Volunteers
If you only have one person assisting you, you likely cannot organize a 250-person lecture. Knowing how many volunteers you may have at your event (or arranging to compensate people if necessary) will help you develop an appropriate scope as you plan your event.
Step 8: Other Considerations
- Generate program content: Identify keynote/main speakers, clarify message and assign responsibility for program delivery among speakers. Likewise, clarify students’ role, and keep key administrators "in the loop" through systematic updates and communication.
- Consider whether a program will be required for the event. Contact UNH Printing Services for guidance if needed.
- Determine if you will need name tags for the audience and create. (The "clip" style format is more popular than the "stick-on". PCNametag provides a variety of options.)
- Determine if you will need table cards for seating arrangements, if you are having assigned seating.
- Define physical space: Configure seating arrangement and assignment, provide signage for reserved seating, request service from audio/visual department if technical support needed, confirm parking availability, order greenery and flowers if necessary.
- Determine how to conclude the event: What do you want your audience to walk away with? Information? A keepsake of the event? (Most events begin with a presentation and end with a reception.)
- Remember to send a "thank you" to the people who helped you with the event – especially the speakers in your program.
Event Resources on Campus
|Questions/Request for Service||Department||Phone Number
603 area code
|Event Format and Guidance||University Events and Programs||
|Invitation & Program Design||Editorial and Creative Services||
|Printing/Signage||Printing and Mail Services||
|Printing and Mail Services||
|AV Equipment (mic, sound, video, etc.)||Audiovisual Services||
|Set-up (tables, chairs, podium)||Facilities||
|Menu/Catering||Conferences and Catering||
|Media Relations||Media Relations||
|Hanging Banners or Signs||Facilities||
|Tent Rental Services||Marshall Rental||
|UNH Banners||University Events and Programs||