Event Planning


The key to successful delegation is to have people participate in developing goals and plans, before tasks are defined and assigned. Including members in these discussions and decisions can result in a sense of ownership and responsibility. It helps everyone grow and it is more likely everyone will complete their tasks.

After you’ve included members in goal setting and planning, keep the momentum going. Keep including their ideas. Keep encouraging their creativity.

Delegation is not just a skill to use to get tasks done. It is an opportunity to mentor someone. When you delegate, you offer a member a role to play. You offer them a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. If you delegate successfully, you will encourage everyone’s best thinking and build a stronger, lasting organization.


  • Break tasks down into do-able parts.
  • Calculate how much time each task will take.
  • Do a timeline and set deadlines for each task.


  • Remind members of the “big picture.”
  • Why is the project important?
  • Encourage initiative and questions.
  • Help members think through their time commitments.
  • Try to match members’ interests with the tasks; but also give people variety.
  • Give critical tasks to someone reliable or experienced.
  • Give clear and specific directions and confirm that they understand and agree.
  • Agree on dates that tasks are due.
  • Tell them you will follow-up and when.
  • Be ready to scale back or cancel if you find the project requires more people power than you have.


  • Check-in in a timely way (not right before tasks are due).
  • Offer assistance.
  • Problem-solve with them.
  • Let go: let them develop their own way of doing things. Encourage creativity.
  • If people make mistakes, don’t lose your patience.
  • Discuss what happened and everyone can learn from it.


  • Use all contributions in some way.
  • Always thank people.
  • Give constructive feedback.
  • Ask people for feedback on your delegating process.
  • Recognize contributions publicly or within the organization.

Resource Analysis

Resource Analysis in Action is a tool that helps organizations decide whether or not to do a proposed event or project. Many groups commit to an event or project without analyzing if they have resources to carry it out. Sometimes members vote “yes” because the idea is exciting or important. Sometimes it’s because someone pushes hard for the idea and everyone goes along. But if the group does not have enough resources, the result can be member burn out, stress, resentment, sacrifices (academic or personal), and/or an unsuccessful event or project.

Resource Analysis in Action supports informed and collective decisions. Each step can build a common understanding of the purpose and what’s required of the organization and its members. When every member has equal knowledge, every member has equal knowledge, every member feels more empowered to speak and to vote.

Below is a set of steps to establishing informed and collective decisions. There are four discussion points to this process:


  • What is the goal/purpose of this idea?
  • How does the goal/purpose support our mission and current work?
  • Do we know if our communities/audience support this idea? (Can we find out?)
  • What is the goal/purpose of this idea and does it match our mission: Strongly matched? Somewhat matched? Slightly matched? Not matched?


  • Do we collectively have experience doing this?
  • What is the budget?
  • How much time is needed? (Are there deadlines coming up?)
  • Are there other events or projects that conflict?
  • What tasks need to be done? (Make a list of all main tasks).
  • How much people power is needed?
  • Coordinators: how much time is needed?
  • Volunteers: how much time is needed?


  • The experience or can we access it?
  • The funds or access to the funds?
  • The time?
  • The people power?
  • Coordinators: who wants to and can?
  • Volunteers: who wants to and can?


  • When we look at what is needed and what we have, are they: Strongly matched? Somewhat matched? Slightly matched? Not matched?
  • Discuss and weigh the information.
  • Do an opinion poll before the vote if helpful: Strongly matched? Somewhat matched? Slightly matched? Not matched?
  • Final vote, using your organizations decision-making process.

Event Planning Timeline

Create a planning timeline by working backwards from that date to plan when each task needs to be completed. Set a date by which each task must be completed. A general event timeline is below. Additionally, the University major events policy may be found here: https://deanofstudents.ucsc.edu/pdf/Major-events-policy.pdf

Meet with your advisor at least 6 weeks before to discuss hosting a major scale event

As soon as possible

Assess the interests of your organization and community.

It's a new year! Poll members of your community. What are their interests? What are the goals of your organization? What kind of program would help move toward those goals?

As soon as possible

Brainstorm and choose.

Open it up to your members. Ask for all possible ideas. Discuss each one and find out what sparks interest. The test: if members aren't motivated to work on the event, you'll most likely lack volunteers and an audience.

As soon as possible

Meet with your adviser.

Meet with your adviser early and often. They can let you know the resources and the red-tape that can make an event run smoothly or hit a brick wall.

As soon as possible


Check the calendar for other events, holidays, mid-terms, etc. Make a list of everything to be done. Figure out when each task needs to be done by and who will do each task. Note hard deadlines that can't be missed.

See funding deadlines

Create a budget and fundraise or request funds.

Make a list of all the expenses involved in the event. Research the costs. Fundraise or research fund sources and their deadlines. Turn in proposals on time. 

6 weeks

Secure the funds.

Hear back from fund sources or complete fundraising. Assess if you need to adjust your event expenses.

6 weeks

Reserve a space.

Look for a facility as soon as possible. Popular spaces may get booked early, so have a couple back-up choices. Make sure to confirm your reservation in writing.

4 - 6 weeks

Request payments for food and performers/speakers.

Performers or speakers need contracts done in advance in order to be paid. Large purchases or food can also take time. Meet with your adviser to make sure you know the deadlines.

4 weeks

Request all services.

Meet with your adviser 4 weeks in advance to request any needed services. Sound/media equipment Parking/signage Trash/recycling containers

3 weeks

Design publicity and publicize.

You've worked hard on the event. Make sure people know it's happening! Design advertisement and distribute at least 2 weeks before the event.

1 week

Confirm volunteers, performers and speakers.

Don't assume everyone will remember! Make reminder calls 1 week before the event.

1 week

Request Purchase Orders for all other purchases.

Arrange for any remaining purchases. Check in with members to make sure they are completing tasks.

Date of event

Hold the event!

Set up, have a great time, clean up, and celebrate!

1 week after event

Evaluate how the event went.

Each event offers valuable lessons. Ask members for honest feedback and record it so it's not forgotten. Thank everybody for their contributions.