Oct. 20, 2014 | Volume XXII, Issue 10

Attention students, faculty, staff: Planning a law school event? Start here

Published: January 13th, 2014

Category: News

Businessman writing in day planner uid By Jenna Box (4JM)

Planning an event at UF Law? Don’t know where to begin?

You’re not alone. Pulling off any size event can seem daunting at first: It takes organization, thinking ahead and teamwork.

The questions-and-answer section below will help you address a specific problem you might be facing or, if read through entirely, will provide a way for you to ensure you’ve covered all your bases in the planning process.

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Q: I (or my student group) want(s) to host an event. Where do I begin?

A: Start early — think three months early. Write down a summary of your vision and the purpose of the event, a general date, establish a budget and identify your audience. Additionally, download and print the Event Planning Checklist.

Students should bring this information to Student Affairs Director of Student Programs Michelle Ocepek, ocepek@law.ufl.edu or 352-273-0620.

Faculty and staff should bring this information to the Public Functions Coordinator Colleen Flage in the Dean’s Office; set up a meeting with her at flage@law.ufl.edu or 352-273-0615.

From there, Ocepek or Flage will direct you through the process of establishing a venue, a date and other event details.

You’ll need to decide whether you need equipment such as podiums, microphones, chairs and tables, pens and paper, lighting, staging, dry-erase boards, trash/recycling, whether you’ll charge admission and how to set up registration if it’s a large-scale happening. If you can figure out these needs before-hand, even better.

Q: How do I reserve a location for my event?

A: Research venue options, check availability and review facility policies at www.law.ufl.edu. The following link includes the room request form, list of meeting rooms, terms and conditions and rental rates for UF Law’s meeting spaces: http://www.law.ufl.edu/about/services/event-planning-calendar.

Before you reserve a venue, consider extra room/time needed for support of the event — registration, prep room, dressing room, storage, overnight security, set-up time, etc. — and keep potential weather conditions in mind when choosing an outdoor space.

Q: I want to webcast my event. How do I go about it?

A: Before you make plans to record or webcast your event, make sure you have clearance from your speaker(s) well in advance. Oftentimes the lectures or PowerPoint presentations are a product of many professionals’ work, which makes it difficult to grant permission to have it broadcast to the general public for viewing.

Also, for technology services, fees may apply and availability is limited. It is important to get permission from your speaker beforehand, and then contact Colleen Flage at flage@law.ufl.edu or 352-273-0615.

Q: How do I ensure there will be parking for my guests?

A: For general parking information visit http://www.law.ufl.edu/about/directions/general-parking. For event parking permits, view your options here, http://www.parking.ufl.edu/pages/eventparking.asp, and talk with Colleen Flage, flage@law.ufl.edu, about submitting a request.

Q: Can I host a cocktail party or an event during which alcohol is served?

A: There are stipulations that come with providing alcohol at an event. Alcohol on UF property must be approved by the University of Florida’s Office of the Vice President for Business Affairs, 204 Tigert Hall. To request permission, complete the alcohol approval form as far in advance as possible at http://www.uff.ufl.edu/Documents/Document.asp?DocID=2431. Alcohol forms for student-sponsored events are approved by the UF Dean of Students. After completing the form, students must to submit it to Sylvia Parker, executive secretary to the Dean of Students, listed on the form. For more information and to access the approval form, visit http://www.ufsa.ufl.edu/faculty_staff/committees/alcohol_drug_education/uf_alchohol_policy/approval_forms/.

Q: Are there any rules about providing food or nonalcoholic drinks?

A: When it comes to providing beverages, UF holds a contract with PepsiCo Inc. that requires serving PepsiCo products at events on UF campus. As for food, feel free to research local catering options to fit your needs and your budget.

Q: I want my event advertised. How do I get my event in a news release or email blast, FlaLaw Online, on a poster, and/or on UF Law’s Facebook or Twitter?

A: Depending upon the size, goals and audience, your event can be publicized in a variety of ways. To discuss news releases contact Media Relations Manager Matt Walker at mlwalker@law.ufl.edu. See Communications Coordinator Whitney Smith, smithw@law.ufl.edu, to discuss FlaLaw publicity and coverage as well as social media options such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Walker and Smith can be reached at 352-273-0650 or in the Office of Communications, 244 Bruton-Geer. For general marketing or branding questions, contact Director of Communications Debbie Amirin at 352-273-0651 or amirin@law.ufl.edu.

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