Event Planning - University of Houston
Skip to main content

Event Planning

Event Planning Checklist

Over the course of time, your student organization will most likely plan a program of some kind. Programs can range from social to educational, for a cause or simply for fun. When planning a program, there are many factors to consider:

The “who, what, when, where, why and how” factors:

What is the purpose of our program? What are our goals? Why are we doing this? How does this program support the vision and scope of our group?

Who is involved?
Who will be involved with planning and implementing the program (President, Vice President, Committee Chair, etc.)? If a committee structure is used, who will be on them? Who needs to approve the program? Who is the target audience (the UH community, the local community)?

What is the Program description?
What will the program accomplish? What need(s) held by the target audience does the program meet? What aspect of the organization’s mission or goals does it fulfill?

What are the costs involved with the Program?
Consider food, supplies, advertising, tickets, prizes, transportation off-campus, etc. Should the program be cosponsored with another group?

When will the Program take place?
Does the date conflict with major exams, holidays or other important events around campus

Where will the Program be held?
Locations include the University, outdoor spaces such as Lynn Eusan Park, Butler Plaza, off-campus sites, etc.

How will people know about the Program?
What needs to be done to advertise the program – posters, email, personal contact? When does the advertising need to go out? Who will be in charge of coordinating the marketing?

Have you considered the following?
Gender bias and gender-neutral language; religious backgrounds, rituals and traditions; diverse racial and/or ethnic populations; needs of students with disabilities; economic limitations faced by some residents; heterosexual bias and diverse sexual orientations.

ACPA Commission for Student Involvement (2005). Advisor Manual. Program Planning Checklist.

Steps to a Successful Program

The most important part of any program is the planning that precedes the actual event. Planning often determines if the program will be successful or a failure. Here are some suggested steps when planning an event:

  1. Meet with those involved in the event planning process and your advisor to discuss the event and the event planning checklist
  2. Complete the Center for Student Involvement event registration process and any additional paperwork in order to reserve space
  3. Develop a Risk Management Plan utilizing the Risk Matrix
  4. Secure any needed funding from organization, outside entities, individuals, etc.
  5. Publicize your event (see Event Marketing & Promotion)
  6. Purchase any supplies needed such as food, drinks, materials, etc.
  7. Arrive early to the event to confirm that everybody understands their roles during the event
  8. Enjoy the event
  9. Thank everybody who was involved
  10. Meet with those who planned and participated in the event to review and evaluate the event
  11. File all paperwork and evaluation notes so that your organization can find them for the next time they host the event

Event Registration

Steps for Event Registration

Student Organizations can complete Event Registration exclusively online! Additionally, student leaders can also submit their reservations online as well. How does the process work? We are glad you asked!

  • One of the top 3 student leaders should log on to their Get Involved account. *Must be currently registered and listed as a primary, secondary or financial officer*
  • Go to your organization’s Get Involved page and click Events.
  • Next Click Create an Event.
  • Fill out the information requested. As you answer questions about your event the system will generate your necessary forms. That’s right all required forms are embedded in the online Event Registration process! To ensure approval make sure you answer all questions completely.
  • Once you have completed the event registration form you will be taken to the “Thank You” page. Please note, at this point you have only completed the first step. Click the link that says, “Make your online space reservation request.”
  • • You will need to have been set up with an EMS login. (If you have not been contacted about this account, contact the CARS office at cars@uh.edu.)
  • Complete your online space request.
  • You will be notified within 7 business days of submission by Student Center Conference and Reservation Services (CARS) on the status of your event reservation. Any large scale events, may take longer than 7 days. Please plan accordingly. If you make any changes to your reservation, please contact Student Center CARS immediately.

For an RSO to successfully plan and host an event, the following steps are recommended:

  1. Student organization plans their event
  2. Event Registration forms are completed on Get Involved.
  3. Student organization submits forms at SC Conferences & Reservation Services
  4. Student organization receives electronic conformation

If your organization makes a significant change to the event (such as number of attendees, date, time, or place) during the registration process, the organization needs to go back to the event on Get Involved and click Change Details.

If an organization decides to cancel an event after finishing event registration, the group should notify CSI as well as the appropriate reservations office. Events not cancelled at least 48 hours prior to the schedules start time could incur charges from the entities involved.

Student Centers Facilities Use Policies & Procedures – Reservation Cancellations & No-Shows.

Programming Spaces/Reserving Spaces

RSOs have many spaces available to them for events and programs. The following departments are responsible for reserving the appropriate spaces. Please be aware that each department and respective spaces has their own policies and procedures.

Student Center Conference and Reservations Services Office (UC CARS)
Reserve these areas through UC CARS: Student Center, Student Center Satellite, outdoor locations, and classroom spaces.
Student Center 271

Campus Recreation and Wellness Center

Student Housing and Residential Life

College of Education
Areas Responsible: KIVA Room in Farrish Hall

Alumni Center

UH Sports and Entertainment (Athletic facilities)

Cullen Performance Hall

Event Services

Catering on Cullen

At the University of Houston, Aramark/Catering on Cullen serves as the on-campus catering provider. While student organizations are not required to use Aramark/Catering on Cullen for their event needs, Catering on Cullen does have a variety of menus with a range of prices. The “Simple Takeaways” menu provides simple foods that student organizations can order from at reduced prices.

To help student organizations with event costs, please see the section under “Additional Funding Sources” about the Student Event Catering Fund.


Any event hosted on campus may be required to have the UH Police Department at the event to provide security and safety. The need for police support is determined by the level of risk associated with each event. Elements of risk include the number of participants, composition of participants (such as number of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and non-UH guests), nature of the event, collection of money (ticket/food sales), and history of the event.

Audio/Visual Services

Student organizations that host events in the Student Center can request audio/visual equipment and audiovisual operator support. The Student Center provides a variety of equipment for free or reduced costs for student organizations to use for their events. Equipment includes but is not limited to the following: CD player, decibel meter for outdoor sites, DVD player, karaoke machine, LCD projector, laptop computer, podiums, sign stands, stanchions, trash cans, etc. Please note that some of the equipment requires an audiovisual operator to operate the equipment and that there is a fee for the time of the AV Operator.