Event Planning Guidelines
If you are involved in planning or directing a function or event, on campus or off campus, whether you are faculty, staff, student or an employee of an auxiliary, please read the information contained in this page.
You must familiarize yourself with these guidelines and contact Cal Poly's Strategic Business Services well in advance of the event. You may also need to contact Risk Management for advice regarding Special Event insurance firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hospitality Form (PDF) - to be submitted with event contract (one per event)
- Guidelines to Planning an Off Campus Event (PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s an event?
- Awards banquets, annual meetings, formals/dances
- Student club activities, Senior Projects, Athletic Events
- Career conferences, IRA activities, ASI club events
- Golf tournaments, Parades, Marches, Shows, Rodeos, Competitions, Displays, Art shows, Concerts
Almost any off-campus activity qualifies as an event involving faculty, staff or students
What makes it a "University" event?
- University approved/ASI approved/Corporation approved
- University sponsored and perhaps university/State funded
- Overseen by a faculty/staff advisor or directed by college or administrative personnel
- Some combination of University, Corporation and ASI resources and/or staff.
Where will it be held?
- Hotels, halls/clubs, camps, ranches
- Commercial venues (restaurants, wineries, etc.)
- County/city facilities such as parks
- Private facilities
- Note: On-campus events require all the same considerations plus the requirement to request approval of Conference and Event Planning, University Scheduling, Campus Dining, and University Police Dept.
What funds are being used?
- State, student fees, trust, IRA’s
- Club, donations, ticket sales, fund raisers, personal
- Discretionary, Corporation and Foundation
- Some combination of the above
If your event involves any of the following:
- An agreement or contract required by the venue or a service provider
- Alcohol being served, sold, donated or available
- An assessment of risk or need for special event insurance.
Do not sign any agreements or make any informal commitments! Do not proceed without the involvement of the Strategic Business Services office.
Agreements, scheduling forms, reservation forms, and purchases must all be processed through the Strategic Business Services office (no matter the source of the funds) for any external:
- Facilities – Private property, city park
- Equipment – trucks, mobile equipment, grand stands, table, tents
- Services – food, beverage, tents, chairs, tables, transportation, security
- Supplies – food, paper supplies, materials
There are specific requirements including insurance for all types of contracting essential to protect the university, employees, students and the public.
University employees, faculty, staff, student assistants, and/or students who sign such agreement documents may be held personally responsible for all costs and liable for any injuries or damage.
Strategic Business Services personnel are available to assist event planners with any contracts, agreements or PO's that are required to support the event.
Submit an Hospitality Form (PDF) for each event agreement. Contracts will not be processed without this.
Management of Risk
University policy requires the assessment of risk for special events and documentation of the assessment and mitigation of the risks identifed by the responsible university entity. It is strongly recommended that the sponsoring/hosting University entity complete a thorough review of the planned activities and operations for the special event prior to contracting to ensure the viability of the special event and the mitigation of identified risks.
Risk Management office personnel are available to assist special event planners in their efforts to manage risks through the identification and evaluation of potential risks, as well as a development of risk controls, transfer of risk and financing losses through insurance.
Liability insurance for special events, with low or no deductible may be available through the Risk Management office. The university entity hosting the event is responsible to fund the cost of the insurance as well as any deductible. Special Events insurance is not required, but may be cost effective.
University personnel planning special events should plan to provide a complete application for special event insurance 30 days prior to the event for small programs, 60 days for medium size activities and 90 days minimum for large and or specialized programs such as rodeos, animal science activities, concerts, competitions and events involving external entities (associations, businesses, groups, etc.) It is the responsibility of the university entity hosting the event to fund the cost of special event insurance.
Associate Risk Manager