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Planning Guide

Planning an event at Stanford can be an involved process. There are several requirements to be aware of before planning can begin.

Who can plan events at Stanford

Only officially recognized Stanford departments and organizations may plan and host events at Stanford.

Stanford Event Organizers must be one of the following:

  • Stanford academic departments, schools and institutes
  • Administrative offices within and operating on behalf of the university
  • Non-academic departments recognized by the President's Office, such as Athletics
  • University student groups registered with and approved by Student Activities & Leadership

Stanford Event Organizer cannot be:

  • Individual members of the Stanford community: faculty, staff or student body acting as individuals in providing their name to a group simply so that they can plan an event and use campus facilities
  • University individuals who wish to use of space for private events not related to university business
  • Individuals, groups or organizations (commercial or non-profit) who are unaffiliated with the university

Read the Stanford Event Organizer Requirements policy for more information.

General event planning steps

Step one - develop a plan

Goals and objectives

The goals and objectives of the event must align with the university's mission and relate directly to the educational goals of the organizing department. 

Budget

Before planning begins, the budget should be reviewed and funding approved by the department chair, school's dean or other organizational authority. A sample budget is available on the Resources page.

Timeline

It is important to consider the academic calendar when selecting the date. Events should not occur the week before or week of university final exams and Big 5 events or during university holidays and winter closure. Review the Event "Blackout" Dates policy for specifics. 

Policies

Review the Event Policy Guide page for any policies that may apply to your event. Be sure to read and understand the relevant policies and contact our office if you have questions.

Step two - reserve a venue

Review the Venue Reservation page for information about how to reserve space on campus. If you are looking for a venue, our Venue Guide provides a listing of the most frequently requested venues with details about the space and reservation information.

Step three - submit work requests

Review the Venue Preparation and Clean-Up page for general information about work requests for custodial, PSSI, Grounds and Event Services.

Step four - event logistics and details

Review the following pages on our website for general information about each of the different aspects of event planning.