Event Planning Guide

The Office of Event Management serves Lamar University and the Southeast Texas community as an event-planning resource. From full-service event planning to support as you plan your event, we are committed to high-quality, well-planned and flawlessly executed events that represent the best Lamar University has to offer.

Start Planning Your Event

AS SOON AS YOU DECIDE TO HOST AN EVENT



  1. Complete the Event Planning Worksheet with as many details as possible. If you need guidance, contact The Office of Event Management at (409) 880-7733.
  2. Select a preferred date and at least two alternate dates before contacting guest speakers, university executives or other VIPs that are critical to the event. Once you know these dates, reach out to the desired venue manager as soon as possible. Do not confirm with your speaker or reserve catering until you are certain that your desired venue is available.
  3. Review the university calendar and the Montagne Center Calendar to make sure your event doesn't overlap other major campus events.
  4. Check community calendars for potential conflicts that would affect your event.  
    • Consider your target audience and determine if there will be conflicts created by posted community event, especially concerts and high-profile speakers.
    • Consider road closures as related to community events like marathons and color runs as such closures will affect parking and access to campus.
  5. Check school calendars for breaks that might affect the attendance of vacationing students you are targeting.
  6. Determine your budget and create a spreadsheet to track expenditures.
  7. Determine the setup needs for your event. Consider the following:
    • Guest count
      • Seating style
      • Meal style
      • Awards tables
      • Easels
      • Reserved tables
      • Alcohol service
      • Display tables
      • Registration area
      • A/V Equipment
      • Staging
      • Decor needs
      • Logo banners
      • Draping to cover walls
  8. Once you have confirmed that there are no major conflicts and you have a clear outline of the setup requirements, contact venues for availability. Again, more than one date option is recommended.
  9. Secure the venue by submitting a Reservation Request. Visit the Event Management Venues page to find reservation request links and more information. 
    • Times requested should include enough time to bring in and remove your personal items.
    • Make sure you receive a contract that specifies all of your needs
    • Notify the venue of any adjustments before signing the contract.
    • Adhere to the terms of the contract as closely as possible. Last-minute changes are limited by available manpower and resources.
  10. As appropriate, post your event on the university calendar.
  11. Schedule entertainment or guest speakers and notify any campus participants.  
    • Detail specific topics you would like for them to cover.
    • Include an estimated time allowance.
    • To invite Dr. Evans to speak at your event, please complete a request form
  12. Create your guest list. It is recommended that you use the Guest List Template. University hosts may contact Thanh Tran (409) 880-7986 in Advancement Services for a list from the university database.
    • Either type of list will be helpful in maintaining RSVPs, printing envelopes and making name tags.

FOUR WEEKS BEFORE THE EVENT

  1. Determine invitation needs. Print invitations to any university-sponsored event should be submitted to Kate Downing of Marketing and Communications. Allow two-three days for approval before mailing or emailing.
  2. Electronic invitations may be sent in lieu of or in addition to print invitations. To request an invitation, please complete an Invitation Request Form. For more information regarding invitation policies, please visit the Event Management Policies page.
  3. Contact Marketing and PR as needed to publicize your event if it is one to which the community or the campus at large is invited.
  4. Purchase a gift for the guest speaker as needed.
  5. Order favors, giveaways, awards, certificates, pins, medallions, plaques, etc. as needed.
  6. Schedule a photographer as needed.
  7. Schedule interpreters as needed through the Disability Resource Center. Interpreting services should be requested for events open to the public. For questions about Communication Access for the Deaf-Hard of Hearing Community, contact Brenda Mendoza at 409-880-8059.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE EVENT

  1. If you are hosting an invitation-only event, send the invitation.
  2. Contact the Parking Office (409) 880-7275 and describe any special parking needs and order security if you are serving alcohol
    • Assign someone with a key card to open the gate to reserved lots as needed.
  3. Place a preliminary catering order based on your best estimated attendance. This will alert the catering department of your needs. Numbers can be adjusted later but MUST match the number of seats requested on your layout.  Don't forget to consider special dietary needs for people who may not let you know until they arrive that they need something special.
    • a. Chartwells Catering or
      • b. Colleen Roach, Catering Director--(409) 880-8928
      • c. Lorrie Deobald, Administrative Assistant--(409) 880-8925
    • b. Specify meal-type
    • c. Specify service ware. Be sure to consult venue for required service standards.
  4. Alcohol may NOT be served on campus before 4 pm without written permission from the president of the university.  An officer must be present when alcohol is served.  Contact LUPD for security; mandatory if you plan to serve alcohol. Visit the Event Management Policies page for more information on serving alcohol.
  5. Set up and maintain an RSVP list. Simply adding an RSVP column to your address spreadsheet works nicely.
  6. Order decor and linens if the venue is not providing them. Call the Office of Event Management for guidance.
  7. Place work orders to have any extra furniture moved to the venue.  
  8. Place orders with Media Services--(409) 880-2222 or outside A/V vendor as needed.
    • Include a slide advancer in your request if you have a speaker-controlled slide show.
    • If you are using a Mac, bring or request an adapter so you can access our system.

ONE WEEK PRIOR TO EVENT (RSVP DEADLINE)

  1. Send a follow up email or call all guests who have not responded.
  2. Review the Event Planning Worksheet and finalize all programming details.  
  3. Contact everyone involved in the program and alert them to the order of the agenda and exactly how much time they are allotted.
  4. Assign someone to work the registration area and assign someone to check coats as needed.
  5. Mail parking passes as needed. 
    • Parking passes are not necessary for evening events.  
    • It is strongly recommended that a parking lot be reserved for large crowds if the event is held while classes are in session.
  6. Contact Facilities Management for any extra cleaning that needs to be done at the venue. Examples: power wash sidewalks, clean windows, etc.
  7. Finalize catering number with Chartwells and the venue.  The number of seats requested may not exceed the guest count indicated on the catering order.  The venue will NOT be set for more guests than indicated on the catering order.

THREE DAYS PRIOR TO THE EVENT


  1. Assign dinner seating if appropriate.
  2. Print name tags, reserved signage, agendas, placards, place cards, menu cards or any other necessary print material. Name tags should be prepared for all guests for all events to which individual invitations were sent or for which you have a list of expected participants. They should be printed with a university or departmental logo. If you need help changing the university logo to your departmental logo, please call us.
    Templates
  3. Contact outside vendors to determine delivery times.

THE DAY BEFORE THE EVENT

  1. Rehearse program with all presenters and platform participants.
  2. Test slideshows or video clips ON THE EQUIPMENT IN THE VENUE.
  3. Place linens, centerpieces and other décor if the venue is not providing that service.
  4. Contact Staff Sergeant Carl Hollier at LUPD (409)880-8312 or carlhollier@lamar.edu to remind him of parking needs.

THE DAY OF THE EVENT

  1. Greet vendors for load in and set up if the venue is not providing that service.
  2. Set up registration information, name tags, etc.
  3. Test A/V again including a mic check.
  4. Enjoy the event.
  5. Remove all items from the venue that you brought in.