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


  1. Complete the Event Planning Worksheet with as many details as possible. If you need guidance, contact The Office of Event Management at (409) 880-7734.
  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.
  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.
    • Use one of the links below to request a reservation
      1. The Lamar University Event Center is appropriate for formal ceremonies, recognition receptions and banquets and high-end, catered events for 10-350 guests.

        Reserve LU Event Center

      2. The Montagne Event Center is best suited for events for more than 350 guests.  The Montagne Center also houses the Cardinal Club Room which is suitable for small, casual meetings and meals.

        Reserve Montagne Center

      3. Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum provides a unique backdrop for parties, weddings, dinners and receptions.

        Reserve Spindletop Museum
    • 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 participant.  
    • Detail specific topics you would like for them to cover.
    • Include an estimated time allowance.
    • Contact Kate Downing kate.downing@lamar.edu (409) 880-7671 if Dr. Evans will be speaking.
    • Contact Carol Lindsay carol.lindsey@lamar.edu (409) 880-8398 if Dr. Marquart will be speaking.
  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.


  1. Create your invitation and address envelopes.
    See our guide for creating invitations
  2. Send a proof of the invitation to any university sponsored event to Kate Downing. Allow two-three days for approval before mailing or emailing.
  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.
    • For Press Releases and to request media presence contact Brian Sattler (409) 880-8396.
    • For flyers, programs and publications contact Kate Downing kate.downing@lamar.edu (409) 880-7671 or your college’s marketing coordinator.
  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. Contract Brenda Mendoza bkmendoza@lamar.edu (409) 880-8059.   An interpreter is required if it is known that deaf or hard-of-hearing guests will be in attendance. 


  1. If you are hosting an invitation-only event, send the invitation
  2. Contact Brent Sonnier (409) 880-2245 or brent.sonnier@lamar.edu 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. Krystal Sanchez--(409) 880-8925
      • c. Azadeh Semien--(409) 880-8928
    • b. Specify meal type
    • c. Specify service ware. Be sure to consult venue for required service standards.
  4. If you are serving alcohol, complete the Request to Purchase Alcohol with University Funds formAlcohol 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.  See Item 1 above.
  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) 880-7266 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.


  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.  UNIVERSITY PERSONNEL SEND A FINAL COPY TO THE OFFICE OF EVENT MANAGEMENT.  Fax:  (409) 880-7732 or email to kate.downing@lamar.edu.
  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 recommend that a lot be reserved for large crowds if the event is held during a class day
  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.


  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.
  3. Contact outside vendors to determine delivery times.


  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 Brent Sonnier at LUPD (409)880-2245 or brent.sonnier@lamar.edu to remind him of parking needs.


  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.