Planning Tips - The University of Tulsa

Planning Tips

  1. Event Planning Tips Section
    • Event Concept:
      • Have there been, or are there going to be, events similar in concept to the event you are planning?  Events with similar concepts should be scheduled adequately apart to increase the number of patrons in attendance and prevent dividing the total number of patrons at any given event.
    • Event Date:
      • To avoid patron fatigue, you will want to be very aware of other events that are happening around the time that you are wanting to host your event.  This is especially important for events with similar concepts, which should be spaced two weeks apart at a minimum. 
      • Additionally, there are events that draw large crowds to campus, and this may cause a parking problem for your guests.  Be sure to check all athletic and administrative calendars to ensure your patrons will not have difficulties attending your event.
      • Lastly, check the City of Tulsa event schedule to ensure your event is not opposite a large event that will reduce the attendance of your event.
    • Event Time
      1. There are naturally days of the week and times that are more conducive to hosting an event.  These times coincide with the average days off for the general public.
      2. Historically popular event times are as follows:
        • Thursday evening
        • Friday evening
        • Saturday afternoon
        • Saturday evening
        • Sunday afternoon
      3. Please note that just because your event is planned for one of the other days of the week does not mean that your event will not be well attended.  You just need to recognize this inherent hurdle, and plan accordingly – perhaps by increased advertising.
      4. If you have concerns regarding the timing of your event or would like to be advised on what may work best for your event, please inform the booking agent processing your request.
      5. With regard to the specific time of your event, there are historical precedents to assist in informing your decision.  It is highly common for an afternoon event occurring on the weekend to begin at 2PM.  This enables your patrons time to prepare and have a nice lunch prior to attending your event.  Evening events occurring on the weekend commonly begin at 7PM or 7:30PM depending on the nature of your event.
      6. When selecting a time for your event, you will want to be aware of other events occurring in the same building or nearby your event.  Two events occurring in the same building with the same start time, run the risk of confusing patrons and enabling them to show up to the wrong event.  Ultimately this causes the patron distress and reduces the likelihood of them attending an event in the future.
    • Event Location
      1. This may seem like the easiest item to consider when planning an event, but do not be fooled.  The location of your event can either support your event concept or break it.
      2. Location(s) should be chosen based on the needs of your event, namely:
        • Type of event
        • Technical requirements of the event
        • Size of anticipated audience
      3. Think of it this way, if your event is not well suited for its location, it will not be as successful as it had the potential to be.  For example, if your audience attendance is too small for the size of the venue, there will be many empty seats.  Your lecturer / performer / talent may see all the empty seats and feel very disheartened about their performance assuming it is not well attended.  In the opposite case, if your event is too large then you will not have enough seats for all the patrons that wish to attend your event, and they will have to be turned away.  This generally irritates patrons greatly and discourages them from attending in the future.  Both scenarios negatively affect your event and the public’s view of your organization.
      4. Prior to requesting an event, you should have a ‘Top 3’ list of locations where you would like your event to take place.  If you need, the university booking agent can assist you in finding the perfect location for your event.  By having alternate locations in mind, you are already prepared in the event that your first choice of location is unavailable.  The university booking agent will do their best to accommodate your first choice of location, however the university booking agent reserves the right to move your event to either one of your alternate locations, or a more optimal location if they deem it necessary.
    • Event Patronage and Advertising
      1. Prior to requesting your event, and perhaps as part of your event concept considerations, you need to decide who your target audience is for your event.  In other words, what group(s) of people are most likely to be interested in attending your event?
      2. Once this has been determined, you can decide which forms of advertisement will best reach your specific audience.  Types of advertisement include but are not limited to:
        • Email (internal to TU and external to TU)
        • Physical Signage (posters, flyers, etc.)
        • Digital Signage
        • Campus Events Calendar
        • Social Media
        • Campus Newspaper
        • Local Newspaper
        • Chalking
        • Word of Mouth
        • Post Cards
      3. All advertisements must be compliant with TU’s Style and Graphic Guidelines.  To ensure this, all advertisements must be submitted to the university booking agent and the facility manager for review, prior to posting or purchasing.
    • Event Logistics
      1. The type of your event has a direct impact on the logistical and technical needs of your event.  For example, a wedding is likely to have many more moving parts and pieces than a simple presentation.
      2. On the request form, you will have the opportunity to specify your overall event designation (i.e. academic, athletic, student organization, etc.) in addition to what the system defines as a ‘meeting type’.  There is a plethora of meeting type options, as each have a unique set of logistical requirements to meet.  Meeting types are as follows:
        • Activity Fair / Tabling Event / Bazaar
        • Athletic Game
        • Athletic Practice
        • Banquet
        • Breakfast
        • Conference
        • Dance
        • Dinner
        • Fundraiser / Philanthropic
        • Funeral
        • Lunch
        • Masterclass
        • Meeting
        • Memorial
        • Mixer / Meet and Greet
        • Party
        • Performance
        • Presentation
        • Reception
        • Rehearsal
        • Summer Camp
        • Wedding
        • Workshop
      3. It is possible that your event is a combination of meeting types listed above.  For the purpose of the form, select the meeting type that your event is most similar to and provide additional details in the notes field of the form.
      4. Will there be any fees associated with hosting this event?  If so, who will be responsible for them, and what is the approval process for ensuring that all fees are paid on time?  If you are unsure of any associated costs, please ask the university booking agent processing your request.
        • Questions may also be sent to EventHelp@utulsa.edu.  A university booking agent will be in contact with you within three (3) business days.
      5. Given the nature of the global COVID-19 pandemic, extreme consideration should be given to how your event will comply with the COVID-19 policies and procedures established by TU, and how you plan to mitigate the risk of exposure and transmission of the virus at your event.
  • Recommended Timeline
    1. Generally, the sooner you start to gather details and plan for an event, the more likely you are to have an end result that most closely meets your vision for your event.
    2. In terms of the reservation form, requests made less than 14 days in advance of the event will be automatically denied.  The form will also deny requests made more than 270 days in advance of the event.  This is for a few reasons:
      • Requests made less than 14 days in advance of the event may not be able to secure appropriate COVID-19 risk approval.  Additionally, any combination of space, resource and staffing may not be available, or able to be scheduled.
      • Requests for events more than 270 days in advance of the event cannot be approved because first and foremost, TU is an academic institution.  Many of the rooms available for reservation also serve as classrooms.  Events cannot be scheduled in those spaces before the academic course schedule has been posted for the semester in which the event is being requested to be held.
      • The logistics of your event will determine when an event request should be submitted.  If you have a specific date or location that is very important to your event, then you will want to submit a reservation request as far in advance as possible.  The booking system operates on a first come, first served policy.
        • If your event is simple in nature (ie, single occurrence / few requested resources / no particular location needed) then 15-45 days lead time acceptable.
        • If your request spans multiple dates or multiple spaces, then you will want to submit your reservation request 45-75 days in advance of the event.  This increases your odds of securing the date(s) and location(s) in your request.
        • If your event meets the criteria in bullet #2 above, and/or involves multiple event organizers, vender requests, extensive resource requests, partnering with an external client, etc. – you will want to submit your request 75-125 days in advance of your event.  This provides you time to work with the university booking agent to ensure that all appropriate documentation is placed on file with TU prior to your event.
  • Policies
    • Booking policy in full
    • Catering Policy
    • Security Policy
    • Alcohol Policy
    • COVID-19 Policy
  • Forms
    1. Catering
      • Catering Request Form
      • Exception Form
    2. Security Request Form
    3. Alcohol Request
  • FAQ Section
    1. What do I need to know before filling out the request form?
      • Please see the How To Documentation and Video.  General information required for your request include: event description (What/When/Where/Who/Why), contact information, event sponsorship, equipment needs, alternate dates/times/locations for your event, and a description of how you intend to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 exposure and transmission at your event.
    2. When should I submit my request?
      • All requests must be submitted no later than 14 days in advance of the requested event date.  Any requests submitted with insufficient lead time will be automatically denied.
      • Please be advised that 14 days is the absolute latest that a request can be submitted and by no means should be the standard time for submitting a request.  The more notice, or days in advance, that the request is submitted the more likely you are to receive your requested date(s), time(s), location(s), and/ or resource(s).  It is more common for requests to be submitted between 30 and 60 days in advance of the actual event.  This time frame may be longer if you are requesting to host an event on a historically popular date, or if your event is particularly complex.
        • See Recommended Timeline
    3. How do I submit an event request?
      • See Document Jeremy is Drafting
      • See Video Isaac is Creating
    4. What ratio does my presentation need to be in to format and display properly?
      • We recommend that your presentation be formatted in a 16:10 ratio.  This is ratio more closely resembles a rectangle, as opposed to a square.
    5. I cannot find the filter in the reservation system.  Where is it located?
      • The filter, if available, is located on the left side of the page.  Sometimes it is displayed as a vertical blue bar with a small arrow and other times it’s a grey magnifying glass.
        Clicking either will open the filter pane.
    6. The filter is not showing the items that I am wanting to view.  Why is it not working?
      • For the system to actually execute the filters that you have applied, you must hit the search button affiliated with the filter pane.
    7. I cannot see the entire window or see the button to finish what I am working on and close the window.  How do I fix this?
      • You may need to either click and drag the sides of the window or zoom your browser out to see the entire window.
    8. The event request form will not submit.  What is going on?
      • If the event request form fails to submit, check the form to ensure that all required fields have been answered.  Required fields that do not apply to your event request can be answered ‘N/A’ or ‘No’. Required fields that need attention after submission is attempted shall display like this:
    9. Why do I have to list alternate dates, times, and locations for my event?
      • Listing alternate dates, times, and locations assists the university booking agent in accommodating your event request should your original date, time, or location be unavailable.
    10. Why is my event being moved to an alternate location when the scheduling grid displayed my original location as available?
      • The scheduling grid is the best tool for checking space availability prior to making a request.  It does not, however, block out the room(s), date(s), time(s) when a request is pending and still in the process of being finalized.  For this reason, it may be possible for two event requests to list the same location(s)/date(s)/time(s), and this information would only be available to the university booking agent.  This is one of the reasons why the university booking agent reserves the right to alter an event request, which may result in the event being assigned to a different location, date, or time than originally requested.
    11. I want to request a room, but I do not know if it has the equipment that I need.  How do I check?
      • Under the Calendars tab, select Scheduling Grid.  Under the Room column you will find a list of rooms.  Next to the room name is a small grey bullseye.  If you hover your curser over the grey bullseye, a Room Details window will expand and you can read about the specific features of the room, including its capacity.  When you are completing the event request form, it will ask you to list all equipment (and quantities) that you need for your event.  Please include any featured equipment in addition to equipment that you need that is not listed under the Features header.
    12. The reservation system is displaying oddly, and some of the text is difficult to read.  Why is that?
      • It is likely that your browser is causing these issues.  We recommend that you use Google Chrome or Firefox.
    13. Can I make a reservation request from my phone?
      • The reservation system is not currently mobile device friendly.  We recommend that you complete the reservation request from a computer for optimal performance.
    14. Who do I contact if I have any questions about events, or the scheduling system?
      • Questions can be sent to EventHelp@utulsa.edu.  A university booking agent will be in contact with you within three (3) business days.