The place setting for a table during a gala at the Armstrong Student Center.

Planning Guidebook

Hosting an event at Miami University requires advance planning; understanding of what needs to be arranged and how to execute your plan. This guide details many of the questions and solutions needed for a successful event.

For more specifics on policies and space rental, please consult the Conference and Event Services policy for space usage or by speaking to a planner at 513 529-3770.

6 to 60 months in advance

  • Select a date and time for your event
    The more specific the date, the further in advance the date should be reserved. Alternative dates should be considered in the event that the primary date is not available.  Conferences requiring overnight accommodations, meal service and classroom use should be discussed with a planner as early as 60 months prior to the conference to ensure that resources are available and reserved.
  • Request a menu proposal or a catering menu if food is being served
  • Sign catering menu proposal to guarantee pricing in advance
  • Create a budget for the event
    Setting a budget well in advance of the event helps to identify the items that you wish to include in the event package and helps to determine how many attendees you can have at your event. Identify services that need to be added to the event such as florists, musicians, parking, in depth audio visual, photography, security, alcohol, food, rental equipment, room rental or speakers.
  • Reserve a space for your event
    Miami University defines events as multi day conferences or single day events. Multi day conferences that require housing should be planned up to 60 months in advance to ensure housing is available. Single day events can range from simple to complex. Complex events should begin planning a minimum of 6 to 12 months in advance. Call a Conference and Event planner at (513) 529-3770 to discuss your event and identify how far in advance you should reserve a space. Spaces can be requested via 25 live for most venues or by calling a planner at (513) 529-3770. Outdoor events do require a rain site in case of inclement weather.
  • Identify signature details needed for event to ensure that they are available
    If you are aware of services required at the time of booking, these should be included at this point to ensure that they are available. Your planner will be able to direct you to options for audio visual equipment, ticketing needs, recreational options, on campus housing, print or marketing needs, transportation and parking needs, security and other services.
  • University departments only: Provide hosting document following menu confirmation 
  • Develop registration process for attendees
    For some events, a registration process is needed to control attendance and costs. Identifying the person and process responsible allows you to handle those requests earlier. Registration could include special diet information, special needs, sleeping arrangements, seating requests or flight transportation. A fee based registration is available through Miami University Conference and Event services and can be arranged by calling a conference planner at (513) 529-3770.

3 to 6 months in advance

  • Complete all steps listed in the 6 to 60 months in advance section. If your event doesn't match our planning timeline, don't worry! We may still be able to help. Contact a planner today at (513)529-3770 or catering@miamioh.edu to discuss your event needs.
  • Schedule site visit with planner to review event details, event logistics, overnight arrangements and finalize timeline.
  • Provide room set up details to planner including linens, audio visual equipment, and table and chair requirements.
  • Begin to plan menus
  • Confirm security or police presence at event (if needed).
  • Confirm external services with vendors.
  • As registration captures attendees, update planner with attendance numbers if varying dramatically (more than 15% above or below original estimates).
  • Provide event timelines to event planner.
  • Confirm room set up with planner.
  • Order printing and signage for event (if needed).

2 weeks to 3 months in advance

  • Complete all steps listed in the 3 to 6 months in advance section.
  • Arrange specialty linen choices with planner (if applicable).
  • Arrange delivery schedule for external vendors and printed materials and coordinate with planner (if applicable).
  • Confirm sleeping room arrangements and final numbers.
  • Arrange responsibilities of your staff / volunteers during event and coordinate with planner.
  • Set room guarantee including special diet needs, kids meals / high chairs and service time.
  • Confirm the final room diagram if changes have been made.
  • Confirm external recreation needs (if applicable).
  • Provide event itinerary (if applicable).
  • Finalize menu at least 2 weeks in advance. Custom menus requires 30 days notice.

Day of event to two weeks in advance

  • Complete all steps listed in the 2 weeks to 3 months in advance section.
  • Arrange for an onsite visit after introduction to event manager if needed for final walkthrough.
  • Distribute parking passes to attendees.
  • Revised meal count can be made up to 5 buying days in advance.