Event Planning

Planning timeline

The timeline for planning your event depends on several different factors, including how large your event is, if space of the necessary size is available, and whether or not you will be requesting money from the SGA Finance Board.

If you are planning to request money from the SGA, please refer to the list of deadlines found on the SGA website and familiarize yourself with the SGA Budgetary Policy.


Collaborating with student organization, departments, and groups at UMBC and beyond can allow for the creation of new ideas that can enhance your event and further your organization’s mission. It also creates and strengthens close relationships and has the potential to attract more event participants and members.

Identify student organizations who might share similar goals, or who might be able to bring an interesting and beneficial perspective to the event. Academic and Student Affairs departments and groups throughout campus might further serve as potential partners for you events and activities.

Campus Life also encourages collaboration with community partners and partners from other universities. Note that contracts might be needed. If you anticipate a cost of $750 or above, contact Event and Conference Services (schedule@umbc.edu) prior to reaching out to the vendor. Campus Life can help organizations get the best price possible and needs to be the negotiating party for all state contracts.

Planning resources

  • Event and Conference Services can help you with many important logistics, such as room rental and equipment, best practices, and contracts. Note that any performer who is not affiliated directly with UMBC (student, staff, or faculty) must fill out a contract, regardless of whether or not the performer is being paid.
  • The Student Affairs Business Services Center can let you know what funds are available in your organization’s account, help with purchasing items needed for your event, and help you secure required copyrights to show movies. Contact Lan Le (le10@umbc.edu) for more information.
  • SGA can help fund your event and make it more eco-friendly. See the Green Eco-Event Guide for tips for sustainable events. Please refer to the funding and chartstring section for more information.
  • commonvision, UMBC’s on-campus design, animation, and print center, can help with advertising, designing, and promoting your event. There are many talented designers on the commonvision staff, and special pricing is available to student organizations. You can use your organization’s chartstring number to pay for their services.

Event locations

  • If you don’t have an exact space in mind and need help in the event planning process, you can always reach out to Event and Conference Services (schedule@umbc.edu) for help.
  • When hosting an event, make sure to reserve a location big enough to accommodate all attendees. Different locations on campus have different maximum occupancies. The Room Set-Ups and Capacities sheet gives a general overview of many of the more popular locations on campus to hold events.
  • View room and equipment prices.
  • If you would like to make changes to a request that has been already submitted, please do not submit another request. All you will need to do is send an email to schedule@umbc.edu with your reservation number.
  • Log on to 25Live. If you initially log in more than two weeks into the semester, you will also need to email schedule@umbc.edu to complete the access request.


If you are planning on serving food at your event, it must be through a catering company unless you are making baked goods. All required documents (Vendor Contract, License, Certificate of Liability Insurance, and Itemized Invoice) need to be submitted to David Royer (le10@umbc.edu) at least 10 business days prior to your event.

When serving food at your on-campus event, there are several options.

  1. If you would like anything from Papa Johns or Sorrento’s West for your event, simply place that order through the Student Affairs Business Service Center at least 3 days before your event. The food must be given away–it cannot be sold.
  2. You can use one of the UMBC Approved Food Vendors to cater your event. They offer a wide variety of foods and services and were selected based on a competitive process that included a technical evaluation of each firm. The food must be given away and cannot be sold. The six (6) awarded firms are:
  3. If you are using any other restaurant or caterer to provide food, please keep the following in mind:
    1. The food must be given away–it cannot be sold at your event.
    2. Any vendors used to provide food for your organization’s event must correctly complete the Preferred Food Vendor Paperwork and be approved by the Student Affairs Business Service Center. It is recommended that you share our examples and directions with your food provider so that they can be sure to complete the forms correctly. The list of necessary forms, and when they are due, are as follows:
      1. Preferred Food Vendor Contract: Due to the SABSC 30 days before your event.
      2. Quote: Due to the SABSC 30 days before your event.
      3. Invoice: Due to the SABSC 30 days before your event.
      4. Certificate of Liability Insurance
        • UMBC, UMBC’s address, the date of your event, and your student organization name must be listed as a certificate holder at the bottom.
        • The date on the top right corner must be dated within 30 days of your event.

(All of these forms can be obtained from the Student Affairs Business Service Center, located in room 334 of the Commons)

Getting a non-UMBC approved food vendor to cater

In order to have a non-UMBC approved food vendor cater your event, there are three things that must be submitted to the Student Affairs Business Service Center (SABSC).

These three documents must be prepared and given to the Student Affairs Business Center.  They must all be dated within 30 days of the event.

Reserving space

Meeting times

It’s best to choose your meeting time before each semester starts and stick with it through the semester. Having active members who plan to stay involved with your organization vote on what time works best for the upcoming semester can be helpful for retaining involvement.

  • Please note that you are able to reserve spaces on campus for the upcoming semester on the following dates:
    • For spring semester: Immediately following Thanksgiving Break
    • For fall semester: Immediately following Spring Break
    • Residential and academic spaces, including classrooms, are not available to reserve until approximately two weeks into the semester
  • The most popular meeting times are free hours on Monday and Wednesday, so if your organization’s meetings are scheduled during this time, keep in mind that your members may have to split their time among multiple groups

Meeting spaces

Once you have chosen your organization’s meeting time, reserving a space on campus makes it easier to keep your meetings and member attendance consistent.

  • The following spaces are able to be reserved for weekly meetings:
    • Classrooms
    • The Commons 3rd floor
    • Retriever Learning Center (RLC) conference room, has it’s own reservation system on the library’s website

Space reservations

  • Student organizations select two officers to receive access to 25Live, UMBC’s event management system. The two officers with scheduling access can log into 25Live through myUMBC and reserve spaces. All members of the campus community will be able to log into 25Live to see event information for all on-campus events. If you are unsure who the two scheduling officers are, please email Tori Ciorra (toriciorra@umbc.edu), Coordinators for Student Organization.
  • Due to space reservation restrictions, it is very important that you update your officer information when changes occur.
  • Log on to 25Live. If you initially log in more than two weeks into semester, you will also need to email schedule@umbc.edu to complete the access request.