Event Planning Guide
While the Lottery Events page explains quickly the steps to organizing an event, below is a guide that provides more details on organizing events for the Graduate Student Programming Board. This is just to help you get started. If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, please e-mail the co-chairs.
The goal of the GSPB to increase interaction between students from different departments or living in different residences, and to increase participation of off-campus graduate students. Therefore, events that accomplish these goals are preferred. That being said, GSPB sponsors a wide variety of different events. Examples include brunches, going to the movies, and interdepartmental lunches. For more ideas, go to the page Sample Events. However, the GSPB cannot sponsor events that pose a significant risk to bodily harm (for example skydiving, trips to a gun range or paintball).
2. Proposing an Event
Before you can organize an event, the event must be approved at a weekly GSPB meetings. The current meeting times are posted on the GSPB website. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please email the co-chairs to arrange an alternative method. At the meeting you must be able to answer the following questions:
- What is the name of the event?
- When and where is it?
- How many people are going?
- If it is off campus, how are you getting to the event? (carpool, public transportation, …)
- How much does it cost? You only need to provide a rough budget.
- Are you receiving funding from other organizations? If so, how much?
- How will the event be publicized?
- How will it benefit the graduate community? (interdepartmental intereaction, …)
- Is this for a student group? We cannot fund student groups.
For all GSPB events, the event will be posted on the GSPB calendar, and emailed to the GSPB mailing list. On the first Friday of every month, GSPB events are also publicized through Grad Announce. To submit an event, go to the GSPB Event Submission Form.
For an event to be approved, it must be announced at least twice. This an be both on the mailing list, or once on the mailing list and once on Grad Announce.
GSPB Mailing List
The GSPB Mailing list reaches a number of students who are interested in attending GSPB events. The email is usually sent out on Sundays. To be added to this mailing list, Go to the GSPB mailman list request page.
The GSPB calendar is located on this website under Calendar. The chairs will add events to it after receiving the email with the event’s information.
Optional Publicity Methods
The following methods can only be used in addition to the above methods because the event must be open to all targeted graduate students.
Word of Mouth
Sending an email to your friends and asking them to forward the email to their friends or appropriate email lists can increase the attendance of the event. Please use common sense when writing the email because the email may be forwarded to an administrator or someone else that you did not originally attend to send the email to. Also, alcohol must not be the focus of the email.
Flyering can be a useful technique to publicize a large event. The flyer must clearly identify the sponsors of the event and provide contact information (website or email address). The flyer cannot be focused on alcohol. In graduate residences, the flyers may be posted on bulletin boards and the flyers must be removed after the event has occurred. For more information, see the Advertising and Publicity page on Student Activities and Leadership website. Also, if you are unsure of the appropriateness of the flyer, please contact the co-chairs or the Graduate Life Office.
Facebook can be used to publicize large events. Create the event and invite your friends to the event. Make sure that the event is public, individuals can invite themselves and others to the event, you ask everyone to invite their Stanford friends. The Facebook posting cannot be focused on alcohol, must clearly identify the sponsors of the event, and provide contact information (website or email address). The event cannot be on behalf of another organization. It must be made by an individual. Finally, please use common sense when creating the event because everyone, including administrators, may see the event.
GSPB has an effective budget of $10,000 per quarter (Fall, Winter and Spring). Due to this limited budget, the GSPB will not co-sponsor events with student groups. The student groups should contact the Graduate Student Council (GSC) for funding.
Additionally, the GSPB will give a maximum of $15 per person for an event and the total cost is capped at $300 per event. To receive funding, the event must have broad appeal. Finally, only currently registered students can organize events for the GSPB.
Funding preference will be given to students who actively participate (attend meetings, plan events, and help with events).
For individuals planning large and open events (i.e. tailgate, bus to San Fransisco), they can receive additional funding by talking to the GSC Programming Coordinators. However, this process takes at least 3 weeks because the GSC must vote on the request. For more information, go to GSC’s Funding Guidelines page.
Most of the GSPB events are lottery events, an event with limited space. First, create a survey on SurveyMonkey to collect sign ups for the event. Publicize the event using the techniques discussed above. Make sure to include the link to the survey and a definite time to RSVP by (for example 5 pm on Friday) in the announcement. After the deadline has passed, download the results from SurveyMonkey.
From the results, pick about 1.5 times the number of people that can go on the event. The extra people will be used as a wait list. The individuals chosen to attend the event should be chosen randomly. However, you may want to form more balanced groups or to give preference to individuals that have not attended GSPB events. The best way to form balanced group is to set a rough quota before creating the list of random numbers (for example at least X% should be Y). If you fail to meet the quota after creating the list of winners, bump the last individuals down until you meet the quota. When creating the quota, please consider the subsets percentage of the total population and the target audience of the event.
In the email to the lottery winners, please include any logistic information and ask for a response to verify that they can attend the event. In the email to the students on the wait list, make sure that you state clearly that the individual is on the wait list. Also, mention that people usually drop out so there is a good chance that they may get a ticket. You may want to ask for their phone number so that you can call them if a person no shows on the day of the event.
It is highly recommended that you collect co-pays before the actual event to reduce the number of no shows. Additionally, set the deadline to drop off the co-pays at least a couple of days before the event so that you have time to find replacements. You can have the individuals drop off the copays at the Graduate Life Office (2nd floor GCC, office 207). Please email Graduate Life Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange this and drop off an envelope with the name of the event, your name and contact info.
These events are designed to bring together students from different majors and residences that normally do not interact. To invite people to the lunch, in addition to using the normal publicity methods, you can email an announcement to the administrator in charge of the student email list for that department.
PCard and Reimbursements
By far the easiest way to pay for an event is to use a PCard. The PCard is a Stanford University credit card. To borrow the PCard, please email the Graduate Life Office (email@example.com). After the event, please return the PCard, receipts, and list of attendees promptly to the front desk at the GLO office on the second floor of the GCC (room 207).
You can also get reimbursed if you pay for the event. Reimbursements require filling out a form, that is located HERE. For more information, contact the Graduate Life Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The GSPB has an account with SurveyMonkey for the creating web surveys. SurveyMonkey is very powerful (required questions, skip logic, …). Unfortunately, the more advanced options will not be discussed here because they are not necessary for almost all situations. For more information, see the help center on the SurveyMonkey website.
Creating a Survey
- Log in with the username and password that you can get from the chairs.
- Click the create a survey link in the upper right corner.
- Create the survey from scratch or use an old survey as template. There are many templates beginning with ###. To use it, select it in the drop down menu under copy an existing survey.
- For the title, please use the event name and the year (for example: Bowling 2007).
- Click create survey.
- Click edit page, change the page title and the page description.
- Click on the appropriate button to edit, move, copy, delete and add a question for the desired operation. The most common type of questions are multiple choice (only one answer) and the single textbox.
- When you are done editing the survey, click the preview survey button to make sure that the survey looks correct. Then, return to the edit survey page and click the collect responses button.
- Select “Create a link to send in your own email message or to place on a webpage”, enter an appropriate name for the link and click next step.
- Copy the link (you will need this link for the advertisement emails).
- Verify the survey is working correctly by following the link and entering your information.
Viewing the Results
- Log in to survey monkey and click “my surveys” near the top of the page.
- Click the analyze link (looks like a chart) for your survey.
- The easiest option for viewing the data is to click the “download responses” in the left menu bar.
- Chose “All responses collected” and Columns = “Condensed”.
- Enter your email address and click request download. SurveyMonkey will send you an email in a couple of minutes that will contain a link on where to download the file. The file will be in the zip format.
- Extract the files and open the excel file in the excel folder.
Copays are collected to finance an event that would be too expensive otherwise and to ensure that people actually attend the event. Therefore, the copay should be at least $5. You can have the individuals drop off the copays at the Graduate Life Office (2nd floor GCC, office 207). Checks should be made out to “Stanford University”. Please communicate this clearly to the participants. The Graduate Life Office is open 9 am –5 pm Monday – Friday.
Please email the Graduate Life Office (email@example.com) to arrange this. Also, drop off an envelope with the name of the event, your name and contact info. For auditing purposes, the copays must be deposited into the GSPB account.
The Graduate Community Center (GCC) is the easiest place to reserve space. The GCC is located at 750 Escondido Rd. For more information about the available space at the GCC and to check the availability of the space, go to the Graduate Community Center website.
Hacienda Commons and the Buttery in Rains can be reserved by a Rains CA.
Information about reserving other spaces on campus can be found on Student Activities and Leadership’s website, Find a Venue.