Planning Guide

Step by Step Planning Guide for Student Events

(Faculty and staff should check with the Office of Event and Conference Services)

STEP 1: Consider Your Budget

Do you know how much to estimate for each aspect of your event?

If you are unsure, meet with staff at the Student Activities Office in the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center for help estimating the costs for your event.

You may also find this Event Budget Worksheet helpful in planning your event.

STEP 2: Choose Your Date(s) Carefully

Do your dates conflict with a major University event such as Family Weekend or Commencement, for example? Have you checked the Academic Calendar?

STEP 3: Reserve Campus Space

  • Check space availability to see if the date you have chosen for your event is possible. Reserve classrooms, meeting rooms and green spaces using the University Scheduling Office’s online request form.
  • If you are usure what space will meet your needs, review the Scheduling Office’s online space directory  or contact the Scheduling Office for advice and suggestions.
  • *Keep accessibility issues in mind. Please utilize the SEAS Events Logo found on that page.

STEP 4: Register your Event

  • If you are expecting more than 100 people and/or planning to serve alcohol, your event must be registered with the Student Activities Office.


A new event registration form must be submitted for every event, including annual events. Events from previous years are kept on record in BearSync for the SAO.  

*NOTE: If you are bringing a controversial or VIP person to campus, you will need to fill out a Dignitary Notification Form.

STEP 5: Request Equipment from Facilities Management

Tables, chairs, custodial cleaning and other equipment for your meeting/event space(s) are ordered through our Facilities Management Event Support.   The advisors in the Student Activities Office will be happy to provide advice to support you in the event planning efforts.

The deadline for submitting a finalized event support request is 10 days prior to your event.  Please provide additional time to work with Event Support staff in creating a quote that works for your event.

To initiate the process, please complete the Event Equipment Form and email it to Staff from SAO will work with you to update and finalize your estimate. (If you have any trouble downloading the spreadsheet, you may access the link from this page.)

Once your estimate is ready to be submitted as a finalized request, please have a financial signatory for your group visit the Student Activities Office to approve the expense.  Our student group financial staff will be able to finalize and process the event support request.

STEP 6: Draft an Event Management Plan

There are different requirements from the Student Activities Office for each type of event.
Review the Student Event Management Plan template that pertains to the type of event you are planning. Editable templates are available on our Event Planning page.
Fill in the relevant information and submit this with your event registration.

STEP 7: Audio-Visual Needs with Media Services

(Must be ordered 10 Business Days before your event!)
Request an LCD projector, a microphone or other audio-visual needs using the Media Technology Services online media request form.
Remember that even if media equipment exists in a room, it does not mean that it will be available and unlocked for your event.
If you are planning to use equipment that is already installed in a classroom, have a PowerPoint presentation or video to show or have a speaker that will require a microphone you will need to place an order with Media Technology Services.

STEP 8: Place Food & Beverage Orders

(Must be ordered 10 Business Days before your event!)
Order food and beverage with Brown Catering by calling them at 401-863-7812.
Please remember that food or beverage served in any campus space must be provided by either Brown Catering or an approved Brown vendor. For more information, please see the Brown First policy website.

STEP 9: Advertise

Student Groups have 100% responsibly for advertising or marketing their events.  If you are partnering with outside organizations, please be clear that outside groups must receive expressed written permission from Brown to advertise events on Brown's campus.  Please work with your SAO advisor for assistance with this process.

Free Ways to Advertise:

STEP 10: Stuck? Connect With SAO!

Contact the Student Activities Office who can help connect you with the right folks on campus to answer your questions.