Holding a successful event is what makes your society really vibrant and exciting for students, it is important that you consider the kinds of events that your members will enjoy and include those ideas on your annual activity plan. This will give you and the SU a chance to plan your year, making sure that things do not get left to the last minute, and also that you have enough budget to deliver exactly what you want to do.
We appreciate that an idea for an event might develop as time goes on, so the events listed in the activity plan do not have to be very detailed at that stage. They should give a broad overview of costs and will be agreed in principle.
Even though you might not have all the finalised plans, it will be useful to consider the following when planning activities for your members:
What? – What is the type of event you are putting on? What event do you want to put on to further the aims of your society? What has worked well? What will your members enjoy?
When? – When should the event take place? What day and time do you want? Is there any times to consider avoiding such as when exam deadlines are happening? Do you have any backup dates in case it doesn’t go to plan?
Where? – Where will we hold it? and is the venue appropriate? Do you have a backup choice in case your chosen venue is unavailable? What are the costs and can you afford to hire it? How many people are allowed in the venue?
How? – How much do we need to budget? What is going to cost money? How much can we raise through sponsorship? What is the ticket price going to be? How will the event work? What is the schedule? What equipment do I need? When will we start promoting and selling tickets?
Who? – Who is the event for? What do they want from the event? Who do we need to contact in advance? If we are putting on food/catering, who has dietary requirements that we need to consider?
Why? – Why are we running this? What is the purpose? Does it make our society achieve its aims?
All of your events will already have been approved in principle when you submit your annual activity plan, so the SU and your society should have a good idea of when to start planning in more detail.
When that time comes, the SU will contact you and book an initial event planning meeting. You can always contact the SU to instigate that process too.
If you have an idea for an event that is not covered in your annual activity plan, you should complete a Student Group Event Request Form. In these cases, you should do this at least 5 weeks (25 working days) before the date of the event. The SBSU team will then arrange a meeting to discuss whether the event can take place and if funding can be allocated for it. It is really important that you spend a good amount of time planning and preparing for your events. This will help prevent things from going wrong and reduce the amount of work that needs to be done on the day, it will also prevent potential stressful or conflictual situations.
Room Booking Request
One of the first things you need to consider is where your event will be held. SBSU can book spaces on campus for you. These spaces are limited and can be booked up very quickly, so please fill in your room booking request form and send this to us to book your space. Please make sure you list 2-3 potential spaces in case your first choice is unavailable.
All room booking requests require at least 3 weeks’ notice for us to be able to liaise with the university to get your chosen space. Please remember that any space you book, you are responsible for that space. Any damage that is incurred whilst the room is booked out by you may lead to your society paying for damage out of your membership fund.
Unfortunately, space within the University is limited and priority will be given to teaching-related activity, therefore the Union can not guarantee that all booking will be possible. When this happens, the SBSU team will work with the group to find alternatives.
External Speakers Request
If your event has an external speaker coming to attend, then you will need to fill in this external speaker’s request form and submit this to SBSU. Please make sure you follow the External Speakers Policy before you plan any events that have external speakers. In line with the policy we need 21 working days for your application to be approved.
As mentioned in your training this is because there is a number of steps to the process which include multiple stakeholders to ensure your event can run smoothly.
All events are required to complete a risk assessment, regardless of where it is and what the event is. A risk assessment will help do the following,
Identify any hazards
Assess the risk of something serious happening
Decide how you will manage any risks
How the risk will be supervised by the committee
How to implements controls on the event
There are lots of different things which need to be considered when managing the safety of your event. The SBSU team will support you in managing this and provide guidance on any aspect you are uncertain on.
All risk assessments need to be seen and signed off by the appropriate person within the SU before the activity can take place. Going ahead with your event without this, or if the SU have advised they are unable to sign--off the event as unsafe could result in your student group being disaffiliated. The Opportunities Team will support you in putting this together, but it is your responsibility to follow safety measures listed on there.
Contracts and Agreements
If you are using an external venue or provider, it is likely that they will require the SU to sign a contract for services.
This will list things like the fee, the minimum number of attendees and what you are allowed and not allowed to do in this venue.
Please make sure that you do not sign any contracts without consent from SBSU and all contracts and agreements with venues must be countersigned by a member of SBSU staff. This will make sure that we can support you to get the best possible deal, pay any deposits for you from your club accounts and make sure you are able to do what you have agreed to with the venue.
If you use the services of any external venue or provider that does not provide a contract, please let the SU know and we will provide our own for them to sign.
Publicity and Promotion
Please do not publicise any events until all aspects of the event have been agreed upon and signed off within the SU.
The SBSU team can help you set up an event on our website, create posters and flyers, and advertise use the screen within the SU to promote your events. Please contact the SBSU team for details on how to do this.
Student groups are responsible for designing their own content, however, the SBSU team can provide the details of graphic designers who may be able to help you. This is likely to cost money and it should be covered by your membership fund rather than core funds.
All promotional material including posters and flyers should only be displayed in approved areas and noticeboards. If they are displayed elsewhere without approval, they will be removed and may be destroyed.
Once you have agreed on all aspects of your event with SBSU, you can start to sell tickets. You must use our website to sell tickets - we will set them up for you. It can take 5 working days to set up tickets to be sold, so please bear this in mind during the planning stages.
We have a very diverse student population and it is vitally important that your society puts on events that are inviting and welcoming to all students on campus. Please consider the following aspects when planning and delivering your event
Make sure you organise a broad range of events so you are able to engage with students from a variety of backgrounds
Look to run events and activities that are alcohol-free which enables students from a variety of backgrounds to attend and engage with.
Make sure you mix the times of your events up so that you are able to cater to as many students as possible
Please be mindful of all access needs for your events and make sure you are able to support any attendees with access needs for your event. Remember that not all access requirements may be immediately visible to you, so take time to plan this into your event.
Whilst you may not get this right 100% of the time, always make sure that you are considerate of others and your potential attendees.
Remember if you are providing alcohol at your event, make sure that you provide non-alcoholic alternatives and under no circumstances does any peer pressure to drink alcohol happen at your event.