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Program Planning

Helpful Steps to Follow 

Planning an event takes multiple people with specific roles committed to seeing the event succeed. Be sure to start constructing a timeline and assigning responsibilities at least 3-4 weeks prior to your event. If you have questions or are looking for guidance, please stop by the Rensselaer Union Administration Office. 



 Review Financial Information / Budget Available

What’s your program budget? (Subsidy/ Expected Income)

Where & when you’d like to have your event

Consider what events are you competing against

Who is taking primary responsibility for the event? (point person within the club)

How many people do you anticipate attending?

Do you have technical requirements or equipment needs (sound, lighting, staging, etc.)?

Is there a theme for this event?

Are there any other participating organizations?

Submit a Facility Reservation request by visiting



FINANCE: Complete necessary forms

  • Complete purchase orders

  • Copies of check requests or direct pay request

  • Vendor certification forms

FOOD SERVICE: Assess food service needs (see FOOD)

UPAC SOUND/LIGHTS: Sign contracts (if necessary)


  • Required for events held after hours in locations outside the Rensselaer Student Union or for parties.

  • Must determine with SARP at least four weeks in advance.

  • Event evaluation must be registered at public safety office at least two weeks in advance

RENSSELAER UNION VANS: Do you need to reserve a Union van? (Only students who have successfully completed Van Driver Certification are eligible to use vans)


  • Van training is conducted each semester. Contact to find out about scheduled training dates



If you’re bringing a guest to campus, sign contract(s)

  • Only Procurement staff can sign contracts. Please see your SARP to complete this process.

Confirm indemnification

  • Do all contractors have insurance?



Will there be an admission charge?

Do you need preprinted tickets or a guest list for your event?

Who is in charge of tickets?

  • Design, printing, & distribution

Where and when will they tickets be sold?

  • Advance sales? (Add advance ticket sale dates/times to the University Calendar for Morning Mail)

  • Will tickets be sold at the door?Tickets sold at the door

Reserve cash boxes, if necessary.



Plan a strategy

  • Who are you trying to reach?

  • What is your timeline?

  • What channels will you use?

  • Posters, Concerto (on campus digital advertising), Institute calendar, social media (Facebook events, scheduled posts, etc.), Poly Credit advertising, direct email advertising to campus organizations, requests to have Resident Assistants share with residents, etc.

Are Poly credits budgeted for this event? Contact The Poly well in advance. 

 Who’s designing/making the posters?

Who will hang posters? Where and when?



Do you have money in your budget for food?

Who is responsible for food?

How will you order the food?

  • America ToGo Orders must be submitted at least a day and a half prior to your event

  • Arrange catering services through Sodexo.

    • Keep in mind how much you will need

    • Sodexo phone extension: x6209

    • Visit Flavors by Sodexo Shoestring Catering Menu

  • Request Club Operating Funds (requests $60 and under)

  • Request a tax exempt form

If you are using an outside caterer, do you have all the necessary state and country forms? (NOTE: this must be done at least two weeks in  advance)

Do you need tables, chairs, trash bins, or paper goods with your food??

Do you need to feed your entertainers?

Do you need charge slips? (see Finance Office)

What will be done with leftovers?


Who is in charge of making a schedule and assigning tasks for members during the event?

Have last minute supplies (paper, markers and tape handy for last minute signage - no duct tape)

Worker schedule for day of the event (set up event space, move equipment and/or furniture, rearrange/clean up room, sell and collect tickets, security, takedown) 

Pick up check/cashbox/start-up money/money


Need help planning an event? Contact Student Activities!

Student Activities

Rensselaer Student Union, Room 3702

Phone: 518-276-6505