With any event, start with a rough estimate of how much time you’ll need to plan and coordinate. The more time you allow yourself to plan, the smoother the process will be. Keep in mind the following deadlines to secure on campus services and payment to external vendors. Remember, the deadline means your Engage submission has to be approved by your treasurer and advisor (when applicable).
Internal Vendors: two weeks These are all our friendly University services like Facilities, Catering, Student Production Services, and BUPD.
External Vendors: four weeks These are any services not affiliated with the University like Party People, restaurants, Office Depot, and clothing companies.
Contracts: six weeks All contracts are reviewed by Student Activities and then General Counsel. Don’t worry, you don’t have to contact General Counsel, we’ll take care of that for you. And remember, don’t sign a contract.
Once you’ve got your time frame in mind, your next stop will likely be reserving space. All reservation requests are processed via the Reservations Office. You’ll need to work with your club Secretary to book space at this time. The secretary role is currently the only club member eligible to make requests for space on behalf of their organization. Once they complete the Blackboard course to learn how to use 25live, they can logon at 25live.collegenet.com/bu. Check out some of the various available space and the rules governing those spaces. If you’re group has a new secretary, ensure they complete the position forms on your portal so we can get them enrolled in the 25live program we use on campus for booking space.
Paying for it
From the essentials to those elements that really make your event stand out, it costs money to hold an event. If you’re an undergraduate group, the Allocations Board (AB) can help with many of your funding needs. Requests for funds are handled directly on Engage. If you are a Beacon or Commonwealth organization, you may submit your funding request via the Manage Budgets side of the Treasury on your group’s Engage portal. AB reviews requests once a semester decisions are approved a semester in advance on Engage. Once AB approves your request go back into the Manage Budget and be sure to submit payment for your approved request. Need other help finding funds? Come on in and talk to our staff who can help you with fundraising ideas to make your event successful.
Getting the Word Out
If you want to fill the Tsai Performance Center, you’ll need to promote your event. Social media provides a great—and free—channel for that, but don’t underestimate the power of a poster on campus. Our Campus Activities Board can help you get your designs on digital signage for free. Make sure you’re familiar with BU’s rules about publicity distribution.
No need for lines around the block—we use Eventbrite for all online ticket sales. That covers almost all student events, with the exception of those held at any of the athletic facilities on campus. For those venues, printing tickets with us is a breeze. Read the full guidelines for ticket sales.
Nailing the Details
Now that you’ve got so many people pumped about your event, you want to make sure it goes off hitch-free. If your event is on campus, BU Services (provided at University rates) is your one-stop shop. To secure any of these services, visit with an Event Consultant at SAO or select an option from the Packages Handbook available on Engage.
- Facilities Management & Planning—These folks will literally open doors for you after hours and set up any campus space. And they take care of special electrical needs.
- Catering on the Charles—You need not fear the hungry hordes. After all, feeding them is no problem with BU’s on-campus caterer.
- Student Production Services (SPS)—Whether you just need an microphone or a whole dance floor, SPS has you covered in the GSU and beyond.
- LETS— Check out the how-to instructions and use the computer/projector systems in any classroom.
- Parking & Transportation Services—Parking on campus can be quite a hunt. Spare special guests and others the traffic hazards with event-day parking passes.
- Boston University Police Department (BUPD)—There are times when extra precautions are called for, such as large crowds, high-profile guests, and contentious topics. BUPD can be on the scene to keep things safe for everyone.
Peruse our handy planning timelines, complete with instructions and requirements, for the events groups most often host:
- Film screening—Four weeks
- Play—Four weeks
- Music performance—Six weeks
- Off-campus trip—Four–six weeks (longer for International trips)
- Raffle—Four weeks
- Lecture—Three–six weeks
- Concert/DJed event—Six weeks