Event Planning

Event Planning

Event Planning

Student organizations provide many events and programs for the campus community. This section is intended as a first step in planning a program. Programming takes careful planning. Many events or activities will have special regulations and policies to follow. In addition, other services or resources may be available to student groups depending on the details of a particular event. Student organizations are strongly encouraged to seek programming advice as early as possible in the planning process. Program planning assistance is available from the Office of Student Living and College Engagement located on the first floor of the Strebel Student Center.


  • The first thing to do when planning an event is to ask yourself and the organization some questions:
  • Why you are putting on the event?
  • What do you want to achieve by having this program?
  • What are your organizational goals and how does this event help you meet them?
  • Do you have enough people and resources to organize the event?
  • Are your members enthusiastic about organizing this event?
  • Is there enough time to organize the event and for publicity items to be created and distributed so that it will be effective?
  • Is there a need or interest for the program on campus or in the community?


Brainstorming is a well-known and widely used problem-solving tool. Brain-storming may be just the technique to rejuvenate your organization and get everyone excited and involved. The purpose of this method is to get out as many ideas as possible. You can use brainstorming for almost anything: pro-gram ideas, themes, slogans, publicity, group goals and problem solving. There are just a few simple rules to follow:

1. No evaluating of any kind is allowed. Do not discuss an idea, just go on to the next one. When ideas are judged, members will feel the need to defend themselves and may not wish to participate. Without full participation from all members, the creative process is hindered. Also, when members feel they are being judged, they will censor their ideas to con-form to the group. You do not want conformity. You want the wild, spontaneous, and even the ridiculous. Wild and crazy ideas can springboard more sensible ones or can be tamed down later in the process. The goal at this stage is QUANTITY, not QUALITY!

2. Limit discussion to one issue or program type. Brainstorming needs a goal or something to focus on. It would be too confusing and distracting to try to solve all your problems at once. Pick an issue or topic that all members can speak on.

3. Set a time limit. This will encourage spontaneity and quick thinking.

4. Encourage members to build on what has been said and modify the ideas of others. This reduces the need for people to find the "right" idea and helps keep the session more stimulating and fun.

5. Write down every idea. Use two or three people to record if necessary. You do not have to write down the ideas verbatim, but enough of the concept and key words to be able to remember the idea later. Record all responses on a blackboard or big sheets of newsprint so everyone can see them; do not record the name of the person suggesting.

Checking for Possibilities

After the brainstorming session is over, make good use of the members' creativity. Before ranking or evaluating ideas, group them into related categories for review. This will make it easier to combine similar ideas and weed out duplication. Decide which ideas are possible and which can be eliminated; this can be done by putting pluses and minuses by items or by giving each member a certain number of votes which they can cast to support an idea. The ideas with the greatest number of votes are the ones which have the greatest group support. 

Campus Theme

  • Programs and events that would fall into this category can be advertised as “Campus Themed” events for this year.  It’s a way to showcase an important initiative on the campus, where faculty, staff and students can appreciate the many different cultures that make up our UC community.
  • More info about themes can be found at: http://www.utica.edu/instadvance/marketingcomm/theme/


What facility is best matched to the purpose of the event? A theater production is best suited to the Strebel Auditorium. A dance or party would be best in the Pioneer Café or Dining Commons. A dinner could be done in the Library Concourse or the Faculty Dining Room. Think of the requirements of what you are sponsoring and then match them to the proper facility.

When hosting an event you may need additional support for media equipment, food and beverages, tables or other work requests, vehicle requests, or flyers. These should all be requested prior to your organizations attendance at the EMS meeting. The links to these request sites are as follows:

Space reservation – confirmation needed

Catering Requests through Sodexo


Technology Support

Vehicle Request
MUST be a certified van driver (contact Rob Cross, 279 Gordon, x3743)

Copy Center

Event Registration


Student groups who wish to use a College room for a meeting or activity should do so by going to the website http://ems.utica.edu/ and filling out the required information online. You must either be using a computer on campus or be connected to the Utica College wireless service in order to reserve space using EMS. Please note that there is a 5-day block placed on the system. This means that if you try to schedule a meeting within five days from the current date, EMS will not allow you to do so. In the event of a scenario such as this you will need to contact one of the offices below and ask for a special exception to be made:

The Office of Student Living and College Engagement  ext. 3037

Clark Athletic Center Booking Procedures

The procedure for booking the Clark Athletic Center (whether it is the gym, pool, fitness rooms or classroom) is the same as for booking any other space on campus. The student group (or individual) will request the space they desire on Virtual EMS (http://ems.utica.edu). The Athletics staff will check to see if the space is available. If it is not, they will deny the request and send an e-mail to the appropriate person or persons requesting the space. If the space is available, the Athletics staff will determine if the event is appropriate for the space requested and will communicate this determination to the requestor, or request additional information from the requestor. If the Athletics staff feels that there are special needs that need to be addressed before they can approve the event, or after event approval, they can request that the group attend the Event Management Meeting where representatives from Student Living and College Engagement, Sodexo, Campus Safety, Facilities, and IITS discuss the needs of upcoming events. If Athletics refers a group to the Event Management Meeting, they should so inform the Dean of Student Affairs and send a representative from their office to also attend the meeting so the needs of all constituents may be evaluated and met if possible. Please note that because the Clark Center is usually heavily booked for athletic events and other related use, most requests for use of space are unlikely to be approved.

Event Management Meetings

In order to make your event a success it may be necessary to attend one of the Student Living and College Engagement Event Management Meetings. The Event Management Meetings are a way to go over the events that require the services of other offices and services such as Sodexo, Campus Safety, the Office of Student Living & College Engagement, IITS, Maintenance, and events that require audio visual equipment support. If your event was approved, Part II of your Event Request Form will state the day and time of the Events Management Meeting you will be required to attend. Event Management Meetings are held every Monday at 1:00 pm in the Faculty Dining Room.

Contact Us

Jason Francey

Jason Francey

Assistant Director for College Engagement
Student Living and College Engagement
205 Strebel Student Center
(315) 792-3285
(315) 792-3126 (fax)

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