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How to plan an event

Now that your club is up and running, it’s time to start hosting events! Remember it is all about planning in advance

First Steps 

Familiarise yourself with the information listed here, and on our Running Events page

Coming up with an idea
The first step of holding any event is coming up with an idea. Make sure you consider your audience, what works for one club or group might not for another.

It is also important to consider what events other clubs are running, or might be happening in the wider community. There is no point running an event on a specific day if all of your audience will be attending another event, or already went to something similar last week.
The UCSA encourages clubs to work together to collaborate on events.

Make sure you attend our annual “Clubs Mixers” to meet like minded exec from other clubs, and start collaborating for the benefit of your members.
Putting your team together
Events have a number of moving parts, and students have class and work outside of your club roles. Depending on your circumstances, it could be a good to split up the tasks you need to complete in order to run the event between multiple members.

For example, 1 person look after booking, catering, and venue, another looks after promotion, and another looks after performers etc.

Note: Please ensure you only allocate 1 x point of contact with the UCSA in order to streamline communication.
Goal Setting
Now that you have put your team together, It is important that you have a clear vision for what you want your event to be.

We have worked with many clubs who have great ideas, but they try and deliver them all within 1 event. Where as in practice, it should be 2 or 3.

Make sure you narrow down to exactly what the purpose is. Then once you are clear in this purpose, ensure your decisions lead to this outcome.

Booking a Venue

There are a number of different venue options to choose from when hosting an event. But some venues will be more suitable than others:

Running Events at Haere-roa
Booking an event in Haere-roa is a straightforward process, provided the date is available.

Venues include the Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Ti Kouka Room, Bentleys bar, The Room of Requirement and The Foundry. Please remember Haere-roa books up super-fast.

Find out more about Haere-roa

Start the Booking Process
Running Events On Campus
Popular events spaces on campus include Lecture theatres, C-block lawn and the Undercroft. If you’re unsure where to go, get in touch, and we can run you through some options and check their availability.

Booking a room On Campus is different to booking a room in Haere-roa

Clubs must submit an Event Notification Form (ENF) and Hazard Risk Assessment, which are sent to the UCSA. We then send these to UC on the clubs behalf. Note: Forms need to be submitted a minimum of THREE WEEKS before your event.

Find out more about Running Events on Campus
Running Events at your Flat or Home
We get it – running an event at your flat or home seems like a great way to save money and provide a fun, unrestricted atmosphere. However it comes with a number of risks, all of which you should consider before going ahead.

Learn more about running Events at your Flat or Home

Other Considerations

Running Sustainable Events
Remember the ad about keeping NZ beautiful, or at least the retro T-shirt? Its important that we take sustainability into consideration when running events.

Learn more about running sustainable events

Also check out UC Sustainability
Alcohol at Events
To keep the community safe, alcohol is regulated in NZ by the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012. If you’re running a club and throwing events, it’s important to know the law so you can avoid any trouble. 

Learn more about Alcohol at Events
Running a Safe Event
The UCSA is committed to supporting affiliated clubs so that they can provide and maintain safe and healthy environments for their members.

You need to ensure you are prepared if something does go wrong at your event, and that you have attempted to consider every eventuality. Please read through our resources to make help your event safe, or ask our team for support

Learn more about running safe events
Promoting your Event
Start promotion early to give yourself the best shot at selling tickets. Leaving it too late (e.g. a couple of days before a major event), might mean they’re hard to shift.

The UCSA also has a number of channels we can use to help

Learn more about how to promote your events
Selling tickets to your Event
The UCSA uses a company called Flicket to provide our ticketing services. We require clubs to use Flicket if they are running events in Haere-roa.

Learn more about setting up tickets for your event
Applying for Grant Funding
The UCSA receives funds through the student levy to help support clubs in the form of grant applications. These are available for events.

Learn more about grant funding for events here

Staying on Track

Things cost money, and unfortunately now days they cost more than you think!

Costs could include things like catering, drinks, security, production technicians, photographers and more. Some quotes you get will include GST and others won’t

Make sure you keep a budget to ensure you don’t get caught out and put the club into debt.

If you need financial support to get an event off the ground, you can apply for a grant – but make sure you do this early!

Download a Budget Template
As you have already worked out, events can have a huge number of moving parts. These can be tracked on an Event Runsheet.

An Event Run Sheet is a detailed timeline or schedule that outlines the order of activities, tasks, and important details for an event. It encompasses the event’s agenda from the opening remarks to the concluding ‘thank yous’. By establishing a clear event schedule, you’re paving the way for a smooth execution, ensuring no detail is overlooked.

Download a Runsheet Template

After Your Event 

You’ve been organised, and you have delivered an epic event for your members! But there is still more to do:


  • Have you handed all receipts and info over to the treasurer?
  • Did you receive any grant monies? Have you completed the grant receipt form?
  • Have you broken even or maybe even made a profit? Make sure any cash profits are banked and keep a record for transparency.

Report back:

  • Have a debrief with the executive.
  • What worked, what didn’t, what could you have improved on?
  • Do you need to prepare a report for the UCSA, any sponsors, UC, or anyone else you worked with?

Thank Yous:

  • Make sure you take the time to thank the people who actually helped you. personally tailor these thank yous to the company or organisation or even the individual humans who helped you out!
  • Send where appropriate a photo of the event with the note or card.
  • Thank university staff where appropriate, especially don’t forget about grounds and security.

Supreme Clubs

  • The Supreme Club Awards are held at the end of each year, and celebrate all of the epic events clubs run each year!
  • If you think you have done an epic job, start preparing your nominations form
  • You could be in to win awards such as Best Event, and more!
Updated on January 17, 2024

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