The earlier the better, especially if you’re planning something on a large scale. A lot of different components come together to make a successful event, so leaving all organisation to the week before is not going to help anyone. Also, there may be other factors which will impact on the timescales and planning process, sometimes outside of your control, which may need to be considered in the organisation of your event.
Request Your Space
Depending on where and when you are thinking of holding your event, this will be the first thing you need to secure. Making sure this is sorted first means everything else will be easier to work out.
Spaces get booked up quickly, especially large spaces where teaching and exams take place, and we may need to get permission from the University for your event to take place, so please make sure this is raised at least eight weeks in advance so that the relevant authorisations can be sought.
Here is a link to the online form where you can start the process of organising your event. You'll be asked to outline your ideas and requirements in this form, and after you've submitted it, a member of the Union team will get in touch and arrange to meet with you and the rest of the organising team.
Guest Speakers and Guest Visitors
If you are having a guest speaker or a VIP at your event, or a guest visitor (anyone outside of your society membership), you must complete the online Guest/Speaker request form at least four weeks in advance to your event. Your room booking request will not be approved until your guest/visitor request has been approved, please consider this in your planning.
In some cases we will also need to discuss the health and safety requirements for the event early on in the planning as it may affect your event budget.
Here is a link to the full article about Guest Speakers.
Booking PA Kits and Technical Requirements
The next step is working out your tech requirements. If you need any sound or light equipment you can hire this from us but the cost can vary significantly depending on the kit and support you need. We have our trusty Students' Union Events Crew who will set up any kit you’re using and help crew your event for you; they are paid by the hour and this obviously depends on the extent of the kit and set-up required.
They are a small student team, so they have limited capacity and we can't always assume they will be available at the same time that you're thinking of holding your event, so this is something to check early.
We suggest that you discuss the crew and kit requirements at your first meeting with the Union team when you're discussing the event requirements.
Here is a link to a full article about booking crew, lighting and sound equipment for your event.
Budgeting and Funding
Once you have somewhere to hold you event, and an understanding of the costs for kit and crew, and also if there are any costs for any guests or speakers, make sure you can afford to hold this event! You need to draw up a budget which details all of your costs and any income you may bring in through sponsorship or ticket sales.
Depending on the scale of your event, you might need some extra funds to cover costs. There are several ways to generate this extra income including fundraising events, additional member income, external sponsorship and Students' Union funding.
There are limitations to what the Students' Union can fund, but you may be eligible to apply for this providing it fits within the guidelines.
Again, this is something that needs to happen as early as possible. Applying for funding or sourcing other external income can be a lengthy process, so you have to allow plenty of time for this. Remember, if your group has received funding from the union before, it's unlikely you will receive funding again as one of our core funding principles is that repeated activity should be self sustaining.
The Students' Union is a charity, and that can sometimes inform the way that we can financially support events. Please ensure that you discuss your budget and any anticipated union funding you may need at the initial meeting with the Union team.
If you are reading this as part of an affiliated society, here is a link to the society funding policy, application information and budget template.
Health and Safety
You will need a risk assessment for your event. This will be a different document to when you are holding your normal activity.
We have lots of draft risk assessments that we can provide, depending on the type of event you are planning on holding, so we can help you in the Students' Union by talking you through examples we have from previous events.
There are many different things to consider when you are managing the heath and safety of your event, including setting up, serving food, performances.
Again, this is something that needs to be given careful thought and not rushed! It's something that we will discuss with you at the initial meeting.
Be careful not to start promoting your event before all the details above have been confirmed and agreed.
Once you have the event agreed and signed off by the Union, and the important logistics in place, we can work with you to produce a marketing and publicity plan.
All events that are created by society or club profiles on Union Cloud will be featured on iLancaster and lancastersu.co.uk.
Here are some helpful articles:
The team are here to help support you to make your ideas and events possible, so before you submit the forms or if you have an idea for an event, please come and see us or drop us an email to discuss your ideas further.