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Cornell University

Event Planning Guide

The key to a successful meeting, reception, banquet, presentation, dance recital, or whatever you are scheduling, is having a well-mapped-out plan.  Below are some basic questions that you should have answered prior to reserving space.

  1. What kind of event is it? What is your goal? It might be as simple as providing a space for your friends to study or it can be as complex as a reception banquet, but it’s important to think about what you want before you think about how to achieve it. If the event is hosted by a group, everyone should understand the goals for the event and strategies for achieving them. That discussion should include a frank assessment of risk and a collective plan to minimize it.

  2. Think about whom to invite. How many people are expected to come? Will there be dancing? Is it a dinner party? Will the people you invite bring guests? Thinking this through will help you find the best space to accommodate your needs, space set up, and all the other details like catering, audio-video needs, etc.
  3. Think about the physical space of the event and how that space might be used. Are there adequate spaces where conversations can happen? If there are more isolated spaces figure out who will remain aware of what’s happening in those spaces during the event.
  4. Many events need to be registered. If you are hosting an event in University space, you will need to refer to the Event Registration Process guidelines.
  5. Cleaning up after the event.  Will your event leave leftover food, boxes, paper, and trash after it is completed?  Make plans on how and where you will remove these items.  Work with the location's scheduler on proper clean-up procedures and who to contact for assistance.
Environmental Health and Safety department has created guidance documents to assist in the safety of events on campus. 
Before reserving space, review Cornell's Event and Space Policies website for important information on event and space reservations.

Promote your event on the Cornell Event Calendar and on the Student Center digital signage! Send a horizontal (16:9) JPEG image to CC Digital Signage Request at CC Digital Signage Request.