Not all event planning relies upon money - many simple events can be hosted on our campus without student organizations incurring costs. Student Programs can work with planners to advise on good choices that avoid unnecessary service charges, and purchases. Enthusiastic and inspired volunteer teams can also help to keep costs down. Collaboration between two or more student organizations can often produce a better event than individual efforts. Combined resources, constituencies, peoplepower, and a 'critical mass' of event attractions makes collaborative ventures more likely to succeed, more diverse, more inclusive, and often less expensive to produce.
If departments, organizations or offices on campus or in the 5 College consortium are pledging funds in co-sponsorship of your project it is essential to have this commitment in writing - completion of a Sponsor Funding Commitment Agreement, or the same content in an email with an e-signature (or from a campus email) is advised. Generally event related costs are billed to, and paid from one campus account - therefore the pledged funds should be transferred into the primary org account as soon as possible. Ask your SGA Business Office staff for assistance with this.
Avoid Surprises / Evaluate Costs
Campus Services that have costs attached generally include catering, bartending, room set-ups, security details, and occasionally tech support. Late requests and poor planning will increase the chance of incurring rush fees and overtime charges. Costs associated with off-campus service providers often include performer fees, food & beverages, equipment rentals, promotion materials, decoration materials, transportation costs, etc.. Looking at a thorough list of potential costs in the early stages of your planning is essential. The budget worksheet linked below can be helpful, but also consider consulting with professional staff in student programs, and with your peers who may have hosted a similar event in the past.
Assumptions can prove very costly! It's no fun to have just hosted a wonderful event at which your org actually raised some money, only to find out that you owe money to the college for various behind the scenes charges. Part of planning is budgeting for your event. In order to create an effective and responsible budget plan you need to be aware of potential service charges, as well as your more obvious expenses from purchases and outside services that you have hired.
Purchasing from Off-Campus Vendors
Planning your event well in advance allows time to comparison shop for goods and services that you might need. Student Programs can advise you about making purchases from frequently used off-campus vendors for materials, novelties, services, rentals, entertainment, etc. Also a "BJ's Warehouse" loaner-card is available for organization (not personal).
The SGA business office can also assist registered orgs with making approved online/ phone Credit Card purchases, so long as you are planning sufficiently well in advance, and your org has the funds to cover the costs.