students happily roller skate in the campus center

Event Planning

Congratulations! You have decided to participate in creating an event with your organization for the campus community to enjoy! Effective planning is very important to the success of your event and the time you spend planning will help your program succeed. The amount of time you will need depends on how much time your are willing to spend developing and implementing your program. The process will be different for each event- since specifics of each event will vary. The following will outline the steps you need to take to have an effective event. Remember program planning is a learning experience and you may encounter difficulty along the way.

Feel free to visit the Student Engagement office if you would like discuss your event or need assistance with the event planning process.

How to Plan an Event

  • What is your program?
  • What will your program accomplish?
  • Who will benefit?
  • What is the purpose and goals of the program? Recruitment? Provide service to the College? Have fun?
  • Is your program realistic and can it be done? Will your group be able to implement the event? Are students interested in this event?
  • Create a timeline in order to accomplish your tasks.

Student organizations can receive funding for events through the Student Finance Committee of the Self-Government Association. Budget hearings are held during the second week of classes each semester.

Budgeting tip: Be realistic about costs. Ask if you will need to pay for hotel, food, travel, security, etc. and incorporate these costs into your itemized budget.

When and where will your event be held? Your organization may want to have several dates and locations in mind since your first choice may not be available.

Also, please review the College calendar to determine what else is happening on campus on your selected date. This will prevent major events from occurring on the same date.

Most importantly, be realistic about the location! For example, if your event is a movie, reserve a space that is conducive to watching a movie.

Space on campus is reserved through the Office of Conferences and Events (x7329, located on the lower lever of the Campus Center). Since campus facilities are in constant demand it is in your organization's best interest to reserve the space well in advance of your event. Also, be sure to reserve the space prior to contracting an artist.

Students should become familiar with the online room reservation system. You will be expected to complete the online form and submit the information for publication on the College Calendar.

When completing the room reservation form you should know the following:

  1. Room Set-up: What does your organization want the room to look like?
  2. Equipment and Technical Needs: Does your organization need tables, chairs, etc. for the event? Also, what are the technical needs of the artist? Will you need to provide sound, microphones or other technical equipment? Does the artist need a dressing room?
  3. Food: Will your organization have food at the event? Please remember food must be provided by Bryn Mawr College Dining Services unless a catering waiver form is completed and approved by Dining Services.
  4. Event Time: When will your event start and end? Also, how much preparation time will you need in the space prior to the event?
  5. Do you need additional spaces to use as, for example, dressing rooms?

Important: Students who are planning to have food at events should review the College's Catering Policy. Completion of the Catering Waiver is required for all outside food.

Your organization has an idea of what they want to see happen. Now is the time to make that idea reality.

Click here to go to the Contract Process website.

  • I know what I want, who will provide it and where to get it ...
    If you know what you want to have on campus and who will provide it, you are ready to proceed to the contract process.
  • I know what I want but don't know where to get it ...
    Your organization will need to do some research for your event. Here are some ways to find what you are looking for:
  • Student Engagement promotional material: many artists and agencies send material for potential booking. This material is available for student organizations to look through.
  • Email Student Engagement Looking for a cotton candy machine or other novelty items? We may know of someone who has what you are looking for.
  • Internet, magazines
  • Get out and explore the area; you may see a great band and want to bring them to campus

How will other students find out about your event? Here are some ideas:

  • Fliers and posters
  • College Calendar
  • Table Tents
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Press Release
  • Sandwich Boards
  • Bookmarks
  • Campus Newspaper
  • Tabling in the Campus Center or Dining Hall
  • Submit your event to the Daily Digest (a daily campus-wide event email)


  • Publicity should be true, specific, easy to understand and read.
  • Don't forget to include all of your event information — time, date, location, etc.
  • Be creative! There are lots of posters out there — make your organizations stand out!
  • Make time for a publicity campaign — start advertising at least two weeks in advance!
  • Remember good publicity is creative and different!

Make a list of what needs to get done to make the event a success.

Examples of what might be on the checklist:

  • Contact Conferences and Events with updated event information
  • Pick up decorations/ food
  • Work with Student Engagement on the contract
  • Contact Artist/Agent to work out event day details
  • Create and distribute publicity

Remember your organization is responsible for the event and everyone should participate in making the event a success. One person should not be responsible for everything — delegate!

Make a list of what needs to get done to make the event a success.  Examples of what might be on the checklist:  Contact Conferences and Events with updated event information Pick up decorations/ food Work with Student Engagement on the contract Contact Artist/Agent to work out event day details Create and distribute publicity Remember your organization is responsible for the event and everyone should participate in making the event a success. One person should not be responsible for everything — delegate!

Additional Planning Considerations

In order to host a party at Bryn Mawr all students must:

  1. Review the Party Policy, Alcohol and Drug Policy, and
  2. Successfully complete Party Training each academic year

Party Forms and Public Space Notification Forms must be submitted to Student Engagement in the Campus Center two weeks before the party. Please see below for Party Training sessions which all students who wish to be a host, server, or bouncer must successfully complete each academic year. Forms are due 2 weeks prior to the event planned. 

Bryn Mawr College Alcohol, Drug, and Party Policies

Fall 2023 Party Training Sessions
Carpenter 25

September 11 - 5:30pm
September 27 - 4:00pm
October 2 - 6:00pm
October 11 - 5:30pm
October 24 - 6:00pm
October 26 - 4:00pm
November 9 - 4:00pm
November 27 - 5:30pm
December 1 - 5:30pm
December 16 - 4:00pm

If the person who is coming to campus is not a United States citizen it is important for you to know:

  • Foreign nationals, except for lawful permanent residents, who receive income from Bryn Mawr College are required to use GLACIER, a web-based, tax compliance system. The College will use the information that international guests enter into the GLACIER system to determine tax residency as well as the appropriate tax treatment of income received from the College, including eligibility of tax treaty benefits.  It is the policy of Bryn Mawr College to maintain compliance with all federal, state, and local tax regulations. The artist/performer will receive this information directly from the College after submission of this form.
  • It is the sole responsibility of the artist/performer to ensure they have the necessary documents and are able to obtain entry to the United States. The College will not sponsor, provide guidance or advice for Visa obtainment for any artist/performer.  
  • The artist/performer must have already obtained the appropriate travel documents prior to a contract being created for the event.
  • The College will only reimburse travel, overnight accommodations, and meals for international performers. We will not arrange or pay for these accommodations in advance. Reimbursement will only be provided if adequate receipt are submitted, GLACIER is successfully completed, and documentation is approved during the on campus visit.
  • Payment can only be made once a fully executed contract is received, GLACIER is successfully completed, and documentation is approved during the on campus visit. 

If the person who you are hiring is a current Bryn Mawr College student, a Contract Request Form is not necessary. Student Engagement hires current students as temporary employees for student club or organization events. Please remember that students are to be paid the going rate through Student Employment per hour for work and your club must having funding in order to complete payment. 

Please complete the Individual Student Payment Form to request payment for a Bryn Mawr or Haverford student who completed work for your student club or organization. A formal contract via a Contract Request Form is required to pay Swarthmore students. 

Student organizations or any individual student are not permitted to show a film which does not carry a Public Performance license on campus in a public forum. Showing a film in public without a Public Performance license is a violation of the Copyright Revision Act of 1976.

Films rented from local video stores, mail order services or purchased in a retail outlet do not carry Public Performance licenses. These films are licensed for personal use only. Students cannot show films rented or purchased from any retail outlet in a public forum on campus. Information on Copyright Law from Swank Motion Pictures.

The College maintains a contract with Swank Motion Pictures for Registered Student Clubs that receive funding through SGA to obtain films for screening in a public forum. Swank is the authorized public performance licensor for a majority of Hollywood studios.

The Bryn Mawr College library has a selection of documentary films with public performance license included. Search Tripod for keyword "public performance bryn mawr." If the College holds the public performance license the record will state: "BRYN MAWR: Library copy purchased with public performance rights." Remember, this is for documentary films only. The library does not have any feature films with public performance rights.

The majority of films under the College's contract with Swank are provided to the Bryn Mawr Film Series for their weekly film screenings. However, there is a limited number available to student organizations.

Registered Student Clubs which receive funding through SGA can request one film per semester free of charge. Please be aware that Swank does not carry all films. If you want to show a film that Swank does not carry it may be possible, however; it will not be free and may cost your organization several hundred dollars for temporary access to the Public Performance license if the licensor can be contacted.

If you would like to reserve a film, please complete the Film Request Form two weeks prior to your screening date.

It will take two weeks for your film to arrive on campus. Requests for films less than two weeks from the screening date will not be honored.

When the requested film arrives, you will be contacted and must come to Student Engagement in the Campus Center to pick up the film. The film must be returned to the office no later than noon on the next business day after the showing. Because the College does not own the film, the student organization requesting the film will be liable for all costs of replacement should the film be lost while in their possession.

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