Event Planning Resource Guide

The following is a resource guide for EHE departments to assist in the event planning process. In addition, the Office of Advancement and Marketing and Communications are available for consultation and additional guidance.


Start by asking the following questions:

  • What is the goal of holding the event?
  • Who is your audience?
  • How does it support the mission and the five pillars of the college?
  • How does the college benefit from the event?
  • How do you measure success?
  • Do you have approval of your department chair and the Dean’s Office?
  • Does the Dean or Department Chair need to attend?
  • What is your budget?
  • Who is involved in the planning/execution?
  • Is the event to be held in person, virtually or both (hybrid)?


Your department’s fiscal officer can help you create a budget and give you work tags for use in Workday. A budget must be approved prior to planning your event. Costs to consider:

  • Venue rental (room rental, a/v, additional equipment rental, ie. staging, additional tables)
  • Catering – (food, beverages, bartenders, service charges, linens, floral arrangements)
  • Transportation/parking
  • Giveaways
  • Professional photography and/or videography
  • Speaker costs (honorarium, travel fees, meals)
  • Printing (invitations, agendas, signs, posters)
  • Supplies (name tags, table tent cards)
  • Live streaming and/or multi-media production needs
  • Paid social media ads

Please note:

  • Any staff/faculty gifts or giveaways may have tax implications.
  • There are college policies related to social event budgets.


Please consult the following calendars to ensure your event will not conflict with other activities happening at the college or university. Additionally, contact the Dean’s office to confirm there are no concerns with your chosen date.


Determine your audience and who you want to invite to your event. Marketing and Communications can assist you in reaching out to various audiences and provide guidance.

  • Alumni
    • Inspire magazine – a monthly electronic newsletter for EHE alumni
    • Contact the Office of Advancement for guidance about alumni list serves.
  • Faculty/staff
  • Students
    • Different program areas send electronic newsletters to their student populations. Please reach out to the program of interest to see how your event information can be included.
    • If you are targeting the entire Ohio State student body, consider collaborating with the Ohio Union Activities Board to promote your event.

Lead time is needed to prepare messages for any of the above.


For main campus venues, planevents.osu.edu provides you with:

The following are also popular event spaces on campus.  Room rental fees are associated with each.

On-campus venues

(Seating capacities vary depending on room within each building)

Columbus area venues

  • The Greater Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau has a list of venues at https://www.experiencecolumbus.com/meeting-planners/
  • Additionally, many local restaurants have banquet rooms or private event spaces. Typically, these rooms have rental fees and/or catering minimums.


Uhdcolumbus.com provides a list of hotels close to main campus. Some offer an Ohio State discount and free transportation depending on the time of year.


It is recommended that you have attendees pre-register so you have an accurate head count. All faculty and staff have access to Qualtrics, an online tool in which you can create surveys and pull a variety of registrant reports. This option is best if there is no fee associated with attending the event.

If you registration requires payment, please contact Matthew Moore in the university’s Office of the Treasurer. He can add a payment option to a Qualtrics survey.


There are a number of Ohio State approved vendors. For giveaways, the college typically uses Proforma.  Price can vary depending on quantities purchased. Please see proformaosu.com for an online catalog.

The Office of Advancement will typically arrange bulk orders for multiple departments. Please contact

Penny Sens if you are interested. Giveaways must be included in your event’s budget.


Marketing and Communications Dept. can assist with:

  • Content Writing and Editing
  • Website
  • Graphic Design
  • Publication
  • Social Media
  • Marketing and dissemination

Submit a ticket to Marketing and Communications for a consultation on how to successfully market your event to your target audiences.

Print Materials

  • Uniprint can print invitations, agendas, programs and signage.  A requisition must be first submitted through Workday and approved prior to ordering.
  • If you’d like to print yourself, Avery has a wide variety of nametag, label and other templates.
  • Contact Marketing and Communications for a strategy consultation for brand support in printing projects

Event Props

The college has many items available for use at EHE events. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Photo back drop – white with EHE logos
  • EHE 7’ sign – pull up, black background
  • Black tablecloths - round, rectangular and college color sashes
    *A charge will be accessed to your department budget for dry-cleaning*
  • Ohio State pompoms and megaphones
  • Silver balloon weights
  • EHE logo tablecloths
  • Serving bowls and platters
  • Cylinder vase centerpieces
  • Mercury glass finished vase centerpieces
  • Red vase centerpieces with scarlet and gray decorative grasses and buckeyes
  • Easels

Please contact Penny Sens, Office of Advancement, to reserve any of the above items or for a list of items available.

Team Building and Ice Breakers

The OSU Leadership Center provides practical training programs and workshops for faculty and staff. In addition, there are a number of resource links on its web site.


The university has an approved vendor list of professional photographers for hire.

Stock footage from the university can be found at the university's brand page. There are guidelines on how the photos can be used.

Marketing and Communications can take photos for social media purposes. It also has stock footage of EHE related places and events. Please contact the department for details.

Helpful Hints

  • Providing special accommodations to guests is a necessity. Disability parking, seating, dietary restrictions, etc. should be taken into consideration. You can include a statement such as the following in your registration: If you have questions about accessibility or wish to request accommodations, contact Disability Services. Typically, a notice of two weeks will allow enough time to provide seamless access.



Virtual events can provide an opportunity for you to reach a larger audience, whether it’s a smaller interactive event, a large-scale webinar or pre-recorded event.

At Least Three Weeks Prior

  • Choose a date and time
    • Check to confirm there are no conflicting events. (Refer to DATES on pg.1)
    • Things to consider:
      • Your speakers’ availability
      • When your audience would most likely tune in (most common times are 11am-12pm and 4-6pm)
      • Time zone concerns
  • Identify what audience you’re trying to reach
  • Choose a platform to offer your event, starting with whether a pre-recorded or live streamed event would best serve your needs.

  • Identify support staff – A minimum of two support members are recommended for behind-the-scenes technical needs
  • Identify speakers/panelists
    • Select speaker(s) and or panelists for the event
    • Share best practices guidelines with them
    • Discuss whether the event will be recorded and shared after the event
    • Register them for the event
  • Webinar set up
    • Decide if there is a need for PowerPoint slides, videos, or audio
    • Enable a waiting room
    • Assign roles for live webinar/meeting as needed:
      • Starting “broadcast”
      • Granting attendee access to the meeting
      • Starting/ending recording (save to the cloud)
      • Monitoring Chat and Q&A
      • Moderating discussion
      • Muting/unmuting attendees
      • Sharing slides/screen
      • Sharing audio
      • Assisting attendees with issues
      • Administering polls
    • Add feedback survey link and/or end web link
    • Decide if you’re recording and, if so, decide where the recording will live after the event
  • Create an event technical briefing (see template)
  • Consider closed captioning options
    • Zoom provides closed captioning for free to attendees. An attendee simply needs to enable it during a webinar.
    • Another option would be to hire an outside captioning vendor. Please see the approved vendor list for options.
  • Send out Outlook invite to speakers/panelists, support staff, closed captioner and include:
    • Timeline – sign on time, actual start time
    • Personal links unique to them - BEFORE you do this, go to settings and change speakers from attendees to panelists so they can enter early
    • Reminder for them not to register themselves
    • Any support documents
    • Copy their assistants on all communications
  • Invite speakers to log on 20 minutes prior to the webinar to review logistics, agenda and responsibilities.
  • Decide if a feedback survey is necessary and embed a link if the platform allows.

One Week Prior

  • Receive PowerPoint slide show from speakers; review to ensure there are no technical issues.
  • Need a zoom license for more than 500 guests? Contact ehe-events@osu.edu.
  • Send an agenda or technical briefing to speakers.

Day of Event

  • Using two screens is suggested for the host. This allows them to be able to share a slide on one while managing the webinar functions on the other.
  • At least 30 minutes prior to event start time:
    • Shut down your Outlook, Teams, etc. to avoid interruptions
    • Prep waiting room music if applicable
    • Set up PowerPoint
    • Host promotes staff/panelists to co-host in the webinar as needed
    • Note – do not assign co-hosts/alternate hosts during the event, set up in CarmenZoom prior to the event
    • Host enables screen sharing for panelists/attendees (if applicable)
    • Host mutes all attendees (if applicable)
    • Host hides all “non-video” panelists (if applicable)
    • Host screen shares / audio shares as needed

Post Event

  • Downloads from zoom:
    • Video recording
    • Chat recording
    • Transcript
    • Q&A report
    • NPS summary report (found in Qualtrics survey – it’s a number 1-100)
    • Attendee report
  • Post digital content to pre-determined locations
  • Share attendee report with the Office of Advancement so the college can track alumni participation in events.


For a hybrid event to be successful, think about both the in-person audience and virtual audience separately.

Some venues have built-in streaming capabilities, while others do not. If your venue does not, you will need to choose an approved vendor to provide this service and whether they are merely live streaming the live event or providing something more than that.

Best Practices

  • Confirm you have:
    • High-speed internet access
    • An a/v team to assist throughout the event.
    • High quality lighting and audio
    • Proper branding seen by both audiences
    • Closed captioning
  • Consider pre-recording portions of your event. Then these can be played back during the event to both audiences.
  • Think through your transitions and what the virtual audience will see between speakers or segments. Many times a graphic can be used for transitions.
  • If time allows, provide a practice run prior to the event with all speakers. A good understanding of timing and logistics is crucial.
  • Have a backup plan if the virtual audience experiences technical difficulties.
  • Find ways for your virtual audience to participate in the event. This can be through social media, hashtag, Chats or Polls.
  • Consider recording your event so the content can be posted and viewed in the future.


Article ID: 145699
Thu 8/11/22 5:19 PM
Mon 3/20/23 2:25 PM