Events Planning Guide


There are many important and sometimes forgotten elements involved in planning events. This guide consolidates many of the University guidelines surrounding campus events. Additionally, below is a checklist that includes the most important steps needed to effectively organize an event on campus.

Event/Retreat Locations

Docuseek2 Resources - provides free streaming access to documentary film content, discussion guides, and promo posters through UW Libraries

Event Components

Speakers and Entertainment

Facilities, Equipment and Food 


Assessment and Evaluation

Event Accessibility


Event Planning Checklist


  1. Decide what you want to accomplish.
    • How will you connect your event’s purpose back to your organization’s mission?
  2. Set smart, clear, and reachable goals for your event.
  3. Identify your Audience
    • Determine your target audience and identify what you want your audience to get out of the experience
    • Determine the size and scope of your target audience, and decide whether utilizing a card scanner to track attendance would be beneficial. Card scanners are best used for events involving large audiences.
  4. Create a plan of action
  5. Set a budget and seek out funding assistance
    • Refer to the Funding section of the Resource and Policy Guide for more information.
    • It may also be of interest to collaborate with other Registered Student Organizations as well as University Departments who have similar goals as your organization.
  6. Delegation and Follow Through
    • Do not try to do everything yourself! Leadership is about how well you lead others, so involve others in the tasks that need to be accomplished for the program to be successful. When someone is assigned a task by you, follow up with them and make sure they understand what needs to be completed. Also, set dates for follow-up communication and meetings.
    • You may even want to consider writing out an outline for your members in order to clarify what you want.


Event/Retreat Locations

The following links are to area locations that Student Organizations and University Departments have partnered with to host events or retreats. Please contact the locations directly to inquire about availability, cost, and amenities.

Site Name  Location  Distance from Campus 
 UW Arboretum  Madison, WI  4 miles (10 minutes)
 Aldo Leopold Nature Center  Madison, WI  7 miles (15 minutes)
 Holy Wisdom Monastery  Middleton, WI  8 miles (15 minutes)
 Hoofbeat Ridge Camps  Mazomanie, WI  25 miles (40 mins)
 Bethel Horizons  Dodgeville, WI  44 miles (1 hour)
 Easter Seals Camps  Wisconsin Dells, WI  55 miles (1 hour)
 Green Lake Conference Center  Green Lake, WI  68 miles (1.5 hours)