Event Guidelines and Resources 

For successful event planning, execution, and evaluation

Office Operations Assistance

Event Posting Request

Event Logistics support: food orders, room reservations OfficeOps@cal.msu.edu

Guest Travel OfficeOps@cal.msu.edu

Honorariums (event related and RPT) OfficeOps@cal.msu.edu



All events should have a clearly defined purpose that is measurable and aligned with the College of Arts & Letters values.

Equity – inclusivity, diversity, social justice, equitable access, accessibility
Openness – transparency, open process, candor, accountability, open source
Community – collaboration, collegiality, empathy, respect, connection

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities will minimize conflict, miscommunication, mistakes and burnout. Suggested definitions [PDF]

A strong rule of thumb is to allow for a minimum of 6 weeks planning prior to hosting an event.  This allows for adequate time to develop and execute a marketing and communication plan, as well as, coordinating event logistics. Planning should take 80% of the effort for hosting an event.  Committees can avoid errors, delays, and missed opportunities by taking the time to plan.

Event Flyers can be created and distributed by departments.  Design Templates

Mailings to alumni can be coordinated by working with CAL Advancement to request lists. 

CAL online calendar—An online calendar that feeds to CAL, department, and center websites.  Postings should be placed no less than 6 weeks prior to an event. Training and access is offered to departments, centers, and event committees.  Set up Training

MSU invited guests are contacted prior to arriving at MSU. Communicate with the coordinator what assistance the speakers will need. The pre-trip profile is helpful in obtaining information needed to book flight, hotel, and recognize any dietary restrictions or additional assistance. The following forms and information are also helpful when creating vendors.

  • Pre-Trip Profile [PDF]
  • Honorarium
  • Lodging
  • Travel Expectations
    • Direct Bill Airfare
    • Direct Bill ground transportation

The following forms are sometimes required when creating a vendor and processing honoraria or reimbursement.

When considering locations, keep in mind the event type and participant expectations. Venues can be local, urban, or near airports. The following are resources to assist in reserving rooms on campus or in the community.

Some items to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the location is scheduled (reserved) and the room is unlocked. 
  • IPF has been notified to turn on air conditioning
  • Order table and chairs from IPF
  • Microphones, recording devices, and other technology services are requested from IT Services
  • Department of Police and Public Safety can provide access to any MSU campus locations that have swipe access panels.
  • It is important to have a plan for how you would like the room set-up.

TEAMS Events Channel—An online space to access event planning templates, have conversations, ask questions, share ideas. Request access

Trello Events Resources Board –A public Trello board contact book of resources on who to call to reserve venues, catering, graphic designers, printing, videographers, photographers, swag, and more.

MARCOM Templates flyers, social media, PowerPoint presentations, letterhead, and more. Great resources that ensure your event marketing is in alignment with the CAL and MSU brand.  Additional links to information on brand basics, social media, use of brand and logos.

Accessibility MSU Web access Policy and guidelines

Template Sign in Sheet [Excel]

Spreadsheet of catering options [Excel]

CAL Event Project Manager—Mainly focused on College level events, the event project manager is available to mentor, train, and advise department and center level event planning committees. Assists with navigating resources, budget development, brainstorming swag ideas, and cross-checking timelines. The event project manager also develops content for the Teams Events Channel, Cal Connect website, and Trello board.

Event Intern—Assists the CAL Event Project manager with planning and hosting events.  May assist department and centers with event calendar training, development of flyers, collecting data for event marketing and promotion.

Advancement— Experts in knowing our CAL alumni. Departments and Centers can request lists for Alumni engagement and outreach.  Enhance your event by including an alumni component and/or assist advancement’s work by sharing information on your event so it can be communicated to interested alumni.

MARCOM—Mainly focused on College level external communications and promotions, the College of Arts & Letters award winning Marketing and Communications (MARCOM) department is a high quality group of subject matter experts that can advise, review, critique, and guide Department and Center promotions:  graphic design; press releases, articles; photography & video; website design; social media marketing; marketing research and event marketing.

CAL Accessibility  MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities

Events Restrictions [PDF]

Manual of Business Procedures restrictions, food & alcohol, honorariums, raffles and more.

Every event should have a postmortem to capture the lessons learned, analyze post event survey and feedback, review budget and objective outcomes.

At the end of the event, a post event discussion with your committee will help plan for the next event. A Qualtrics surveys, exit questionnaire, or other Feedback Forms can be provided to attendees to help gauge pros and cons of your event. Other things to consider are thank you letters to speaker and reconciling expenses via EBS or P-Card.

What makes a good event? [PDF]

MSU offers courses and workshops for employees in the EBS system. These courses are beneficial when planning various events.

  • Event Planning 101
  • Conference and Event Planning Made Easy
  • Fraud Prevention & Business Ethics MSU


In the spirit of fulfilling Michigan State University’s land-grant mission, the College of Arts & Letters makes serving the needs of community a priority. Faculty members work in partnership with students, alumni, support staff, policy makers and community to strengthen the connections between theory and real world application, providing meaningful opportunities to serve and learn in/with the community and develop civic engagement leaders.

This commitment to service includes providing continuous professional development opportunities.  It means sharing researched-based knowledge with leaders at all levels.  The MSU College of Arts & Letters is particularly engaged in efforts to promote international perspectives, diversity, inclusion and social equity.

The Office of University Outreach and Engagement supports faculty, staff, and students in their engagement activities. From fostering partnerships, to providing learning opportunities, to facilitating service-learning placements, these resources are designed to advance MSU’s culture of high performance by promoting community-engaged research and creative activity, teaching, and service. Overview [PDF]

MSU offers various ways to give.