Event Planning and Steps for Success for Student Organizations

Creating a campus event requires planning ahead. We recognize that all events are unique and thus will have different needs, but all events should go through the same basic step-by-step planning process whether the event is a first-time or annual. The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) offers advising and support for student organizations wishing to plan events on campus.

Reserving Space and Registering Your Event or Meeting
  1. Register your meeting or event request with the Event Registration Form via Presence; this form approves the meeting or event by Student Involvement
  2. Reserve your space via Event Management System (EMS); this form approves the space and location by the Events Office

Both forms are required and should be completed at the same time. Failure to complete both by the deadline will result in the event or meeting being denied.

Submission Deadlines
  • All meetings must be submitted at least 7 days prior to the desired meeting date. A meeting is defined as a planned assembly of organization members to discuss agenda items related to organization business, typically consisting of members only. 
  • All events must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the desired meeting date. An event is defined as a planned gathering of students for the purpose of celebration, education, bonding, cultural enlightenment, entertainment, or other specific goal. Events can be members only but typically are open to members of the University community.
If you have any questions and would like assistance in planning your event please, contact our professional staff to guide your student organizations through the event planning process at involved@richmond.edu.
Steps for Event Planning
Expand All
  • Step 1: Ask Who, What, Where, When, Why?

    Begin with the end in sight.

    Your student organization should take time to assess the goals and purpose of the event, the audience you are trying to attract and what you want attendees to walk away saying about your organization, in addition to the event.

  • Step 2: Create a Budget

    Create a budget in order to decide how much money you want to spend on the event:

    • During the RSO Institute, you should have learned about the policies and procedures around spending your organization’s money.
    • The Center for Student Involvement has student organization credit cards you can check out in order to make event and meeting purchases. Card check-out is only done during Finance Office Hours in THC 217. Hours can be found posted at CSI and change each semester. 
  • Step 3: Select a Date & Reserve a Venue

    Refer to the campus calendar and the events on the UR Involved App to ensure there are no conflicting events on campus before you select your date.

    • Submit an event registration form on SpiderCentral
    • Log into EMS room reservation system to select your venue. Be sure to select a venue that appropriately accommodates your audience and have alternative dates in case yours is taken. Note: if the event is outside, reserve an alternative inside location in case of bad weather. All classrooms will be finalized after the add/drop date each semester.
    • Venue & Audio/Visual Needs: Arrange the required setup (table, chairs, etc.), along with, any technical support with the Events Office. If you need to rent a sound system or other A/V equipment, include it on your reservation.
    • Meetings require a reservation 7 days in advance.
    • Events require a reservation 14 days in advance. 
  • Step 4: Event Details (Food, A/V Setup, Equipment Rentals)


    Food can be an important part of a student organization event and there are many options when considering how to compliment your event by providing meals or snacks to guests. 

    • In order to use University Catering for an event, the request must be included in the EMS Reservation form. The Catering Department will approve or deny your event and contact the RSO for details and confirmation.  
    • A Student Organization Menu has been developed specifically for RSOs at a lower cost to accommodate student organization budgets. RSOs may also choose to use any of the other catering menus offered by the Catering Department. In order to pay for catering services, RSOs will be asked to provide their on-campus index number to be charged.  
    • RSOs who wish to have food delivered to campus must select a vendor from the Approved Vendor List. Vendors are not allowed to deliver food to campus unless they have been approved and appear on this list.  
    • If the RSO prefers a vendor that is not on the approved vendor list, they must pick the food up from the establishment and bring it to campus. Additionally, a Food Waiver Form must be submitted and approved.   

    If you need to contract a performer, lecturer, DJ, etc. please contact CSI at involved@richmond.edu.

    A/V (Audio Visual Tech Setup)

    The Center for Student Involvement may provide audio-visual (AV) equipment and student AV technician assistance for events taking place in Tyler Haynes Commons with a reservation made at least two weeks prior to the event date. To reserve AV equipment for your event, indicate your needs on your event request. 

    Equipment Rentals

    Please visit this page to view all of the resources available to RSO’s at Richmond. 

  • Step 5: Create a Marketing Plan

    The best-planned event will not be a success if you can’t get people in the door to enjoy it. Marketing your program in event is a vital component to the planning process. Think through what marketing outlets you want to use for your event. Be creative with your social media. Also, consider the free marketing resources on campus such as SpiderBytes, dfylers, chalking, Posting Policy, banners in the Commons.  

  • Step 6: Event Management

    During the event:

    • Check out a swipe from CSI to log your attendees.
    • Be sure to pay attention to your attendees. If your goal is to gain new members, how are your current members interacting with potential members?
    • Take note on things that are going well or that could be improved for the next event
    • Have Fun! You worked for this moment, don’t forget to enjoy it!
  • Step 7: Assess Your Event

    As an organization, be sure to assess the event. Try to do this within a week of the event while it is still fresh. Refer back to your goals to see what was accomplished and what would have been done to make the event even better next time.