At Oregon State University faculty and staff may be asked to plan a variety of events such as meetings, lectures, workshops, conferences, dinners, receptions and celebrations. The talent, energy and vision of the individuals in your unit have the ability to create events that contribute to the development of OSU as an inclusive and collaborative community. The participation in planning events are growth enhancing opportunities for individuals to develop skills in time management, team building, leadership, resource management and community building. 

While navigating the links and information below, you will come across elements that do not pertain to your event. Survey them all and select the ones that apply to you and your situation. Keep in mind that it is only a resource; the success of the event is dependent upon you and your organization.

Congratulations on undertaking the process of planning an event and for providing an opportunity for engagement and growth at OSU.

This guide includes information on:

If you are aware of additional information and resources that should be posted here, please send an e-mail to University Events with "Event Guide" in the subject line. Thank you!

Tools for Planners

Events on the OSU campus, whether coordinated by a department, unit, student group or the office of University Events, reflect on the entire university. Whether your event is for an interview candidate, to thank a generous donor or to show appreciation to members of your faculty and staff, as an event coordinator you have the opportunity to make a great impression!

Our mission is to help you produce a professional and successful event. The Event Planning Guide can help walk you through all aspects of your planning.  University Events offers support and guidance to the OSU community ranging from full-service event planning to answering protocol questions and offering systems for event success. We believe in providing resources, where and when possible, to fully execute every event element.

University Events is your resource for many aspects of event planning. With many years of combined event planning experience, our team can guide you to information that will help to ensure that all the little details are considered. We can also suggest on-campus resources that will save you time and money.  Our services section offers options to take the worry and stress away, and allow you to focus on the content to make your event a success.

Want to save money on your event?  We offer a large inventory of items available to borrow, at no charge to you or your event!  Identify what you need, note the item number and quantity, and then complete the form to start your reservation.  You can pick up your items from the University Events office the day before, and return them the day after your event.  You are only charged for lost or damaged items. 

A great way to tell the OSU story is to incorporate food and beverage into your menu that has a connection to OSU.  The OSU Connected Products list is always growing.  If you know of a product with a connection that is not on our list yet, please let us know!

"Add to your Calendar" Hyperlink within an Invitation 
Through the use of Microsoft Publisher, Outlook and Drupal it is possible to create a hyperlink on your electronic invitation that allows invitees to automatically add the event to their personal calendar directly from the invitation.

Mail Merge in Microsoft Word
This function is a quick and easy way to create nametags for any event.

Brand Identity Guidelines
This guidelines were created by OSU University Marketing to be used for all of your communication needs.  Information is provided about a variety of topics including appropriate use of the OSU tag, templates for publications ranging from brochures to posters, as well as proper writing elements.

Elements of an Invitation
There are a lot of ways to state an invitation. This will give you the basics to ensure that all the main elements are included.

OSU Style Guide
Stemming from the Brand Identity Guidelines, the OSU Style Guide includes the OSU way for answering such questions as what to capitalize and when to hyphenate.

Model Release Form
The model release is required for all subjects, whenever you plan to use their images for promotional purposes (if you're using a photo of someone on a website or on printed material, get this form signed and keep it on file).

Conditions of Volunteer Service

Alma Mater - Video
Karaoke video with photos depicting OSU to OSU's Alma Mater, "Carry Me Back," written by W. Homer Maris

Tips for Presentations and Speakers
Best practices and tips for making your presentation the best it can be.  Learn the do's and dont's of using PowerPoint during a webcast, and the top 10 ways to be a better speaker.

Other resources on campus:

A “green” event is an one that utilizes environmentally and socially responsible methods to the greatest extent practical.  It often includes measures to reduce energy and water use, use local food or other products, support alternative transportation, provide composting and recycling at the event location(s) and educates event participants on what measures were taken and why.  A lot has happened since 2009 when University Events started working to find ways to produce what is now referred to as 'sustainable events.'

1.  Use real plates, flatware and glassware so that there is no service waste at all. 
2.  Rent glassware and select menus that do not require plates.
3.  Ask guests to bring their own coffee cups and fill up at the event.
4.  Watch out for promotional products that create extra waste.  Consider using your gift item to reduce waste, such as giving a reusable personal cooler instead of having catering put the lunch in a traditional box.

NEW!  Read the collaboratively produced document "Guide for Low Waste Events:  Smart Solutions for Events at OSU"

Get Campus Recycling involved! 

University Catering knows which items can be composted and they will compost leftover food waste once they get back to the kitchen.  Get them involved in your project early to select menus that highlight locally produced and in season products so that the carbon footprint for actual food production is kept to a minimum.

 If you’re interested in reducing energy and water use, or curious about how alternative transportation methods can support your event, you can also contact the OSU Sustainability Office.

Eat Free at OSU

Decide during the planning process if there is interest on offering leftover food to @EatFreeOSU.  This decision will allow you to announce that free food is available for a limited amount of time after your event, preventing waste and improving food security on OSU's Corvallis campus.  It is based on a student-run Twitter account. 

Inform your caterer during the ordering process that you intend to offer any leftovers through @EatFreeOSU.  You will also need to inform the venue of your intentions.

Generally leftovers are offered for 30 minutes at the end of the event.  You will need to adjust the event clearing time that you schedule with catering to allow for this.  Note that safe food handling practices state that food may be out for no more than a total of four hours, so your offering to @EatFreeOSU must happen within this period (e.g. if lunch is set out at noon, all food must be distributed by 4 p.m. to be considered 'safe'.  If you store leftover food in a refrigerator the clock does not reset.)

If you are using china, you will need to request that catering brings disposable plates.  There may be additional charges for these supplies.  You can also provide your own plates/containers for this step, if desired.

If leftovers are shelf stable (meaning that heating/cooling is not required such as for cookies) you may transfer items to platters that you provide, which would allow catering to clear before the 30 minute window of offering has concluded.  Please inform the building manager if you are leaving food items, and work with them in defining a clean-up plan.  As an alternative, these platters could be taken to a location that is accessible to students, such as the HSRC, which offers a longer window of opportunity for them to be consumed.

ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT:  Bring plates/containers/platters if this is part of your plan.  Be ready to tweet to @eatfreeOSU 15-20 minutes before the event ends.  In your tweet specify the location of the food (room number, outside in the hall, etc.), the type of food (or better yet, post a picture!) and the time that the food will be available.  See examples of what others post so that you can have your post crafted and ready to go.  Assign someone to take on this task, and to make the determination that there is enough left over, before posting.

Watch the video (33 minutes) on how to produce a sustainable event at OSU.  This is an older video and is posted for archival purposes only.

Get the presentation notes from Training Days 2009:  Greening your event - this is an older session and is posted for archival purposes only.