Event Timelines

Here are just some examples of events you can host with our office.

Film Screening

The typical screening takes about six weeks to plan from initiation to popcorn time. Whether a 16 mm or a DVD, you’ll need to take a few steps well in advance to secure rights to show the film.


Like a film, you need to secure rights to perform a play. You’ll also need to rehearse and promote. That’s why the minimum time for organizing a play is six weeks. If your production is elaborate with costuming and set needs, you may want to start even earlier.

Music Performance

When your group performs music publicly, you first need to secure any applicable rights to pieces you want to perform. It’s a good idea to begin planning the performance at least six weeks out—but you may want to start sooner to give yourselves more rehearsal time. 

Concert/DJed Event

Start coordinating a concert or DJed event with Student Activities at least six weeks beforehand. Your performers or DJ will need contracts and payment, you’ll need capabilities for their sound setup, and you may even need additional security.


The timeframe for organizing a lecture can vary from three to six weeks* depending on whether your guest speaker is paid or unpaid, international or a U.S. citizen. Find out how to make sure your group’s lecture is smooth-sailing. (*If a contract is involved, the timeline is no less than six weeks.)

Off-Campus Trip

Whether a tour overseas, a community-building trip across the country, or a group visit to the Boston Aquarium, a trip away from the BU campus requires at least four weeks to plan, and as many as four months. Many off-campus trips require a chaperone, and all members on your trip will fill out certain forms for our records.


A raffle is a great way to raise funds for your group activities or for a charity you care about. There are special BU policies related to raffles—all the way down to what’s printed on the tickets you sell. You’ll need about three weeks from beginning to end.