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Budgeting is a critical part of the event planning process. It is important to develop an effective budget on which you can rely so appropriate decisions and adjustments, if necessary, can be made.

Before making a commitment to hold the event, examine the financial elements involved, considering all expense estimates and the funds you have on hand for this event. If there is a shortage of funds, revisit your expectations and determine whether you wish to scale down or change the overall approach. You may also wish to consider whether financial assistance can be obtained from other sources (e.g., ticketing or registration fees, and co-sponsorships with other Stanford departments).

Proposed budgets should also be submitted to your department chair and/or school dean, or director for initial review and approval. To insure that the event can remain within budget create a tool/spreadsheet for tracking all estimated costs.

Contact our office for a sample budget.

Planning Tools and Sample Documents

There are a variety of tools available when planning an event.  The most common tools are free applications available to all university faculty and staff such as Excel and Word, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Box and Web Forms, as well as licensed applications such as Social Tables and Smartsheet. Select and use the tool(s) that work best for you and your event and get started with your planning! Most software can be accessed through the University IT website.

Event Briefing

This a summary document generally prepared for sponsor(s) to share the purpose of the event, what you hope to accomplish and what resources are available. It may also include details about the marketing strategy, the target audience, various projections, background information and photos of participants and desired results.

Contact our office for a sample event briefing.

Event Planning Checklist

This sample event planning checklist provides a general guide to all of the tasks you may need to perform for an event and a timeline of when they should ideally be done.

Contact our office for a sample event planning checklist.

Event Sheet

This a complete story outlining every detail of the event include the planning, the resources, and the day of assignments.

Contact our office for a sample event sheet.

Maps & Diagrams

Maps and diagrams provide information about items such as room set up, equipment placement, reserved seating, staff placement, sign placement, etc. These can be from a variety of available options such as an event services diagram created on Social Tables, a venue operations diagrams, Maps and Records provided resources or a diagram that you create on your computer. When planning an event first ask for existing diagrams and or maps for a particular venue and go from there.  

Contact our office for a sample diagram and/or map.

Production Schedule

An event production schedule is a chart, table or list of to-do's that must be completed before your event. It identifies the tasks, who is responsible and completion dates. This tool is especially helpful for complex events involving multiple events or many moving parts.

Contact our office for a sample production schedule.


This is detailed document provided to speakers and/or performers to articulate their specific role in the event. It can include a speaker’s introductory remarks, event details of when and where the speaker needs to be, bios of other guests and where and with whom they are seated.

Contact our office for a sample script.

Task Sheet

A comprehensive list of all the tasks involved in producing a successful event.  This may include to whom each task is assigned.

Contact our office for a sample task sheet.


This a minute-by-minute guide for the actual event that is particularly helpful for participants, staff and technicians supporting the event.

Contact our office for a sample timeline.