Planning an Event

Want to plan a department event? We are here to help!

The following is what to consider when planning an event. Assistance is available through consultation with the Administrative Coordinator.

+ TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE (OR MORE)

  1. Determine the scope of your event.
  2. Secure funding.
    • Identify and secure sources of income for funding.
    • Support from other departments should be transferred to your central account.
  3. Check the calendar.
    • Check the availability of your preferred date at calendar.uconn.edu. Keep in mind other major department or university events.
    • Contact the Administrative Coordinator to put your event on the calendar as early as possible, even if information is incomplete. It can be updated later.
  4. Reserve your space!
    • Contact the staff to book your preferred space. Let us know the place, dates, and times you need a booking.
  5. Invite the speaker.
  6. Make your arrangements for the speaker:
    • Hotel Accommodation - speakers can stay near campus through direct charge to the department. Provide the following information to the Administrative Coordinator:
      • Name of guest
      • Business reason for stay
      • Check-in and check-out dates
      • Travel phone number of guest
    • Flight, Train, and Rental Car - guests may book their own travel arrangements.  Or guest travel may be directly booked through the University. To make a direct booking, email the Administrative Coordinator with the following information:
      • Legal name of guest (as it appears on a government ID)
      • Date of Birth
      • Legal gender of guest
      • Exact flight to be booked (chosen by you or the guest).
      • Any frequent flyer numbers applicable

+ SIX WEEKS IN ADVANCE

  1. Get the speaker into the financial system for payment. Send the following information to the Administrative Coordinator:
    • Vendor Name
    • Vendor Email Address
    • Vendor Phone Number
    • Purpose of payment (reimbursement-only, honorarium, etc.
  2. If the TOTAL check to your speaker (reimbursement + honorarium) will be over $2,500:
    • A purchase order must be created in advance of the event.
    • This will require a quote of the estimated payment, including honorarium and estimated travel expenses that will be reimbursed.
    • See the Administrative Coordinator for assistance.
  3. Create Posters: Posters can be created through the University Design Services and printed through the Document Production Center.

+ ONE MONTH IN ADVANCE

  1. Make your catering booking(s). Catering options can be found at the Dining Services website. Book through the Administrative Coordinator. Pre-approval is required for business meals, including catering, when:
    • Attendees consist only of UConn Affiliates (rare)
    • The event will have a Department Head, Director, Dean, or Provost at it.
    • The event is funded by Foundation funds.
  2. Get pre-approvals for business meals.

+ ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE

  1. Book Local Transportation for Guests - Arrange for local transport of your guest to campus, as necessary. Local cab bookings can be made through the department. Contact the Administrative Coordinator to request a booking.
  2. Arrange for audio/visual needs -  
    • You may book the department A/V equipment through the staff.

+ RUNNING YOUR EVENT

Hosting a Basic Online Meeting via Zoom

- Zoom versus Webex: UConn faculty members automatically have Webex account; Zoom is easier to use, and has better quality

- Zoom Basic (free) account versus Pro (paid) account. Zoom Pro is more advanced and has more functions available (for example, unlimited time for group meetings). Some members of our department have their own Zoom Pro accounts to teach classes. Our department has Zoom Pro account which can be used for "one off" events or committee type meetings if hosted on behalf of the department (as opposed to individual office hours). - Differences between Pro and Basic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02INJ66Fl-E&ab_channel=ChrisMenard

Things to consider/do before, during and after hosting a Zoom meeting:

- our department does not have a fully dedicated IT specialist to help us with online events

- preparing an online event (workshop, seminar), including via Zoom, is time consuming and requires technical skills, updated computer software and labor

- keep things simple

- read/watch Zoom tutorials and get familiar with functions you want to use (on Zoom.us or YouTube videos)

- practice basic Zoom functions by yourself and/or with another person

- if you have invited guest speakers (or have a panel), discuss technical details of your meeting with them, especially the “host” and “co-host” roles (intellectual vs. technical), time management, Q&A session, etc. Make sure guest speakers know how to share their screen and visuals. It helps to have two people (host and co-host) to manage complex meeting with large audience.

- No matter how well you are prepared to host a Zoom meeting, be patient and ready for unexpected technical “surprises” during the meeting.

Before meeting:

- choose Zoom account (download Zoom App if first time) and sign up to make your own account

- schedule your meeting

- choose proper settings for managing audience (i.e waiting room, muting participants, etc.)

- send your Meeting ID to participants and include it in your poster and announcements

During the meeting:

- enter your meeting room 10-15 minutes before the meeting; ask key speakers to check their audio/video quality; enable “co-host” function for them; allow audience in from the “waiting room”

- if recording: press “recording” button and “stop recording” when the meeting is over

- mute participants during key speaker’s presentation, and ask them to unmute during Q& A session; background noise from participants can affect the presentation

- screen sharing: it helps if at least 2 people (host and co-host) have a copy of the images (PPP/video link) in case if a host or co-host have difficulty sharing their own images; if you share your screen, make sure that on your desktop you open only the document/file you want to share and close other documents and applications before starting the meeting.

- when you start sharing a video, make sure you click “share computer sound” or “optimize screen sharing for video clip”; video quality can be affected by your computer’s processing speed, wi-fi quality, audio/video controls. Video-sharing should be practiced beforehand to avoid last minute difficulties.

- Q&A session; for large audience, the Q&A session should be moderated; combine direct questions from the audience and invite written questions via chatroom.

After the meeting:

- if you recorded your meeting, the link will be saved either on your computer or on Cloud (Zoom Pro allows both options). The longer the meeting, the larger the recording file (MP4 format)

- before posting a recorded meeting online, watch it and make sure it is of adequate quality.

- thank everybody involved in helping to manage your meeting/event; it is stressful to be a “technical host” for large audience especially if the “intellectual host and co-hosts” are not familiar with technical aspects and expect the “technical host” to fix everything.

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To get familiar with terminology and basic functions, read Zoom support materials and watch tutorials in https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us or watch YouTube tutorials like these ones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QyiUAcE2MU&ab_channel=CreativeLifeCenter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwSo4GlFBck&ab_channel=SmartSimpleDigital

or this video for teaching a class via Zoom with useful technical tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvndgRlOH1w&ab_channel=RussellStannard%28TeacherTrainingVideos%29

For high (corporate) quality online events via Zoom or other platforms:

- ask for administrative assistance; request or hire an IT specialist

+ POST-EVENT

  1. Pay your speaker: collect travel receipts from the speaker (as necessary), fill out the Speaker Payment Cover Sheet after the event and submit with required backup to the Administrative Coordinator for payment.
  2. Request reimbursement, as necessary: if you have business meal receipts, see the "Reimbursements" page for instructions to submit your documentation for repayment.