Event Planning Checklist

16 Weeks Out

Pre-Planning Meeting

  • Determine goals and audience
  • Select Venue
  • Set date
  • Complete Agenda

Determine Date

  • Check calendars of any VIPs or dignitaries that you would like to attend
  • Consult Auburn University’s Major Events Calendar to ensure no conflicts

Tentatively reserve venue

Pending approval for event in Campus Event Planning System

Any events submitted in the CEPS without a tentatively booked venue may need to be rescheduled if venue is unavailable.

Start a budget

You will want to include everything from venue fees, to insurance costs, food and beverage costs, AV costs, promotional costs, etc.

Set an amount for your event and stick to it. If you aren’t sure how much to spend in each area, call vendors and get quotes on each aspect of your event.

Determine needs for security, insurance

  • When creating security plans, note the possibility of having to hire Auburn Police officers or additional security
  • Certificates of Insurance and Vendor Agreements for third-party vendors, bands, DJs, guest speakers, etc.
  • Large events planned by Student Organizations or third parties are not covered under the university’s liability insurance policy and may be required to purchase insurance coverage

Certificates of Insurance should list Auburn University, its Board of Trustees, Faculty, Staff, and Agents as additional insureds.

While looking at caterers, check and see if they are registered with Auburn University. If they are not, they will need to before your event is approved.

Determine your route (if you are planning a race or parade)

Map it out with directions and any checkpoints/water stations clearly marked.

Create a waiver if physical activity is involved

Each participant should sign the waiver before engaging in physical activity

Complete MOC Departmental Activity Form or Exemption Form

If your event will have participants that are minors, one of these forms will need to be completed.

There are some exclusions to the Minors policy, but all events involving minors require a Program Activity/Registration Form.

Create a spreadsheet of Employees and Volunteers and HR Background Check Setup form for your event if event falls under MOC

Employees/Volunteers working on events that will have interactions with minors will need a background check within the last three years and to complete training

If your event falls under an exemption, these items may not be required.

14 Weeks Out

Book Security

Campus Safety and Security may require you to hire additional security even if you didn’t initially plan to.

Security must be booked at least two weeks in advance with Auburn Police Division.

Brainstorm Theme

  • Linens
  • Floral Arrangements

Research and Order Catering

  • Obtain catering menus from caterer
  • Student Center events use Tiger Dining
  • Athletic Venue events use Sodexo

Complete forms and obtain permits to comply with Auburn University’s Alcohol Policy

  • Request to Serve Alcohol Form
  • Caterer Registration
  • Caterer must have license to serve at event location

    Events where Auburn University students are present are prohibited from serving alcohol

Determine parking needs

If the event takes place between 7am and 5pm, you will need to determine parking arrangements for your guests. 

Include this request on your Campus Event Planning System request

Obtain a health department permit if food will be prepared onsite and sold

You can obtain this from the Lee County office for the Department of Health

Food must be prepared onsite. Food cannot be prepared offsite and brought onto campus to sell.

Complete Campus Event Planning System request form

Approval times are determined by number of events in the system at the time of submission and magnitude of event.

12 Weeks Out

Decide on Printed Materials

  • Invitation sets
  • Programs
  • Posters
  • Promotional Flyers
  • Banners
  • Mailers
  • Menus
  • Nametags/Table Tents

Event Favors or Giveaways

Check out Trademark and Licensing Website for licensed vendors

Itineraries for Special Guests

  • Travel and hotel arrangements
  • Schedule any on-campus visits
  • Book additional security for dignitaries if needed

Determine and Collect Program Contents

  • Order of Events
  • Biographies and Headshots for Speakers/Program Participants

10 Weeks Out

Call for Volunteers

Book Audio-Visual

Order Décor

Floral Arrangements

Book photographer

If you book and pay a non-university affiliated, commercial photographer to cover your event, they must obtain a Photography Permit from the Office of Communications and Marketing.

8 Weeks Out

Send invitations to print and Complete Mailing List

Print approvals from the Office of Communications and Marketing

Arrange for Transportation if Needed

Tiger Transit offers charter assistance for a fee

Flesh Out Order of Events into a Script Draft

Begin Advertising for Event

  • Signage
  • Banners
  • Social Media
  • Website

If event is not approved in the CEPS, you advertise at your own risk. If your event is denied or canceled, you are responsible for promoting that change.

6 Weeks Out

Address and Mail invitations

Apply for Amplified Sound and Tent Permits

If applicable

Soon, the amplified tent and sound forms will be included in the CEPS.

Contact your communicator to discuss publicity opportunities

For a list of Campus Communicators, please visit the OCM website

Submit your event to the University Calendar

For publicity

Begin RSVP log and seating chart

Use the mailing list you created to log RSVPs

Put in Work Order for Tables and Chairs

If you haven’t already with the venue manager
Outdoor events use Facilities Division

4 Weeks Out

Route Script to committee for review

Create a detailed timeline of the event program

Share with committee for input

Assign Volunteer Duties

Prepare instructions for event workers and volunteers

Share with committee for input

Create an event layout

To accompany directions

2 Weeks Out

Send scripts to stage party for review

Include any additional instructions or layouts

Meet with Necessary VIPS

For additional instructions or feedback

Send programs to print

Along with any “event day” pieces (table numbers, name cards, menus, etc.)

Meet with Volunteers for training

Distribute instructions and event layouts

Create a Shot List for Photographer

1 Week Out

Finish any In House Printing

Assemble registration table materials

Schedule setup for tables, chairs, A/V, and floral

Send final RSVP count to Caterer

Include number of meat, vegetarian, special dietary restriction options

Complete seating chart

Send to caterer if necessary with dietary options highlighted

Final meeting with event committee

Ensure everything is on track

Check weather forecast

If event is outdoors
Monitor all week leading up to the event

Day Before

Print final scripts

Make a Committee Phone list

Collect event day materials

Early delivery and setup (If possible)

Day Of

Oversee setup

  • A/V and stage
  • Tables/Chairs
  • Floral

Place programs at tables and scripts on podium

Verify there are no last minute changes to script

Set up Registration Area

Ready VIP areas

Instruct Volunteers

Alert them to any changes

Venue Walkthrough

Make sure everything is prepared for your event

Last updated: 11/11/2016