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Event Planning

The Student Center is here to support student organization programming from the idea stage through the day of your event. The following information is meant to serve as a resource for your organization. Although there is considerable information here, it is not intended to be comprehensive a checklist. There may be additional considerations for your activity or event. Check in with the Director of Student Involvement before jumping into any major planning!


  1. An active student member of the sponsoring organization must be the person coordinating all aspects of an event.
  2. A public event is any event which is open to more than the active members of the sponsoring organization.
  3. An organization sponsoring a public event is responsible for upholding all College policies as found in the Keene State College Student Handbook.
  4. All performance contracts must be submitted to the Director of Student Involvement for review. Only authorized officials of the institution are permitted to sign contracts. No event may be considered finalized until a contract has been signed by the performer and the proper KSC representative.
  5. No advance deposits will be made to agencies, speakers, bands, etc., without special permission from the Student Center Accounting Office.
  6. No alcohol may be purchased using student activity fees. Also, alcohol may not be consumed by the artist, crew or other guests while on campus.
  7. All finances must be approved, in advance, by appropriate college officials.
  8. All concessions must be approved, in advance, by the Director of Student Involvement .
  9. In accordance with the USNH Board of Trustees policy, the basic guidelines for the College Speakers policy are the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. The rights of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly are fully protected.
  10. Any college group may invite any speaker they desire providing they observe the following procedures:
    1. It is urged that opposing sides of any issue would be presented except in the case of organizations expressly constituted to support a particular point of view; i.e., political or religious.
    2. The organization must clearly state in its invitation and attendant publicity that the speaker is a guest of the sponsoring group.

The organization assumes the responsibility for maintaining order and financial responsibility for any damage which might occur as a result of disorder.

Event Management
Questions to ask before you've settled on an event/performer:

  • What type of program does your organization want to present?
  • Who should be the event coordinator?
  • What dates are available for this program?
  • Where is there available space for this program?
  • Do we have all of the equipment that we need or will we need to rent equipment?
  • Do we need to place a written offer for this event/performer?
  • Do we need to draw up a contract or will one come from the agency/performer?

Budgeting is key to ensuring the success of your program. Careful planning and consideration of program expenses will allow your organization to provide the best possible program within your financial limits. When you budget you estimate the income and expenses related to your activity. When preparing a budget you should consider the following items:

  • Cost of Program (fees for lecturer, artist, performer, film, etc.)
  • Additional performance fees (opening act, emcee, dj, etc.)
  • Agent's fee or commission
  • Hospitality and travel expense for performers
  • Contracted services (sound and lighting)
  • Security expense
  • Facility expense (rental fees, set up)
  • Equipment rentals (lighting, sound, staging)
  • Publicity expense
  • Ticket costs
  • Special arrangements (e.g., tuning piano)

Once you've settled on an event/performer you should remember to:

  • Schedule the facility with the Scheduling Office (3rd floor, Student Center), Arts Center, or Gymnasium by completing a scheduling form
  • Event coordinator should delegate responsibilities as needed
  • Review contract(s) with Director of Student Involvement
  • Submit contract(s) and all forms required for payment to Accounting Office
  • Make arrangements for all technical needs of the event with the Associate Director of the Student Center
  • Order and distribute publicity
  • Coordinate ticket sales
  • Always double check everything!
  • After the event is over don't forget to return rented equipment, clean up, pay all outstanding bills, and evaluate your program

A contract is an agreement to do or not to do something. The paper instrument we commonly call a contract is really a confirmation of what the two or more parties have agreed to. Any student organization who invites an individual or group to perform on campus must negotiate a contract with the individual or group.

All student organizations negotiating a contract must have the contract approved by the Director of Student Involvement. Blank contracts and contract riders are available in the Student Center. All contracts must then be reviewed by the Director of Student Involvement and signed by the only authorized college representative, the Business Administrator.

Before you begin to negotiate a contract, you must have the following information:

  1. Facilities are available, date is open.
  2. Proper equipment can be obtained or is available.
  3. You can afford the cost of the program.
  4. All arrangements and services provided by the campus are known.

A contract must include the following:

  1. Name of performer
  2. Name of sponsoring organization
  3. Date of event: month, day, year
  4. Withdrawal of offer date
  5. Time of event: opening and closing
  6. Place
  7. Number of intermissions and length they should be
  8. Any equipment needs: stage lights, sound, mike, etc., and who will provide these
  9. Amount to be paid and to whom, attached W-9 of payee if not on file
  10. Specify check handling instructions (payments will only be made following the performance, either in person or mailed)
  11. Signatures of performer and/or their representative and the Keene State College Business Administrator

Event Safety and Security
The college may determine that an activity or event requires special security needs including Campus Safety, Keene Police, fire, ambulance or EMT. The sponsoring organization will be responsible for any costs associated with event safety and security. Check with either the Director of Student Involvement or the Associate Director of the Student Center to determine security needs for your event early in your planning process; they will coordinate sharing information regarding the event with Campus Safety. If proper safety and security measures are not in place, the Student Center reserves the right to cancel an event.

Tickets are an important tool for any public event no matter the size. They can serve as an effective means of crowd control. When admission is charged for an event, issuing tickets can be an aid to maintaining accurate financial records. When an event is free, you can make sure that your audience does not exceed the legal capacity of the facility by issuing tickets. For questions about ticket sales please contact the Director of Student Involvement, 358-2664.

The success of an event depends largely on good publicity. You can have a well-known band or speaker on campus and fall short on attendance if you don't get the word out. Appoint a member of your organization to be responsible for publicity. Begin publicity about three weeks before the event, or possibly sooner for a large-scale major event. Remember:

  • Find what methods will best serve your promotional needs
  • Creative publicity is the most effective - brainstorm unusual ideas to publicize your event
  • Posters and flyers are an effective means of advertising on campus.

They should always include the following information about an event:

  • The name of the group sponsoring the event
  • Name of event/performer
  • Date
  • Time
  • Place
  • Ticket prices (or free!)
  • Location to purchase tickets
  • Where to go to find out more information
  • Photos, artwork of event/performer

Hospitality is perhaps the most important ingredient in a successful event. It sets the tone. Often artists' contracts will specify hospitality requirements. It is important to follow these requirements, with the exception of supplying alcoholic beverages. KSC does not supply artists/performers with alcoholic beverages as part of hospitality. If your organization is unsure of appropriate hospitality arrangements for a specific event, speak with your advisor or the Director of Student Involvement.

If transportation or lodging is to be provided by the presenting organization, this must be specified in the contract and arranged for in advance. It is appropriate and much appreciated to send anyone coming to Keene a campus map and general directions to Keene.

For information regarding catering events or meetings, go to

Programming and Alcoholic Beverages
Once your organization has decided to sponsor an event involving alcohol, you must go to the Scheduling Office and pick up a KSC Alcohol Function Agreement Form which will include all the necessary instructions needed to secure the approval and the success of the event. Drinking alcoholic beverages should not be an activity for its own sake, but rather just one of the elements of a program. Remember that non-alcoholic beverages and food must also be a part of your event and that you are legally responsible for the condition in which your guests leave the event. Your advisor must sign your Alcohol Function Agreement Form.


Updated: January 29, 2016 KSC Photos on SmugMug Subscribe to the KSC RSS news feed Keene State on Facebook Keene State on Twitter Keene State on YouTube

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