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Most departments and offices will work with a conference and event services specialist to help manage their events. If you have an event or conference on the horizon, here is how you can start the planning process.

When to Get Started

It's never too early to start the planning process for a conference or event. Most events take a minimum of 12-16 weeks to adequately plan. Anything less will greatly impact core functions of the event and we may not be able to provide all the services you initially desired. Please remember that good planning takes time.

How to Get Started

The process associated with event planning will vary by audience but you can get started by following these 3 steps.

  1. Fill out and submit the event request form.
  2. Review the Responsibilities below, to prepare for meeting with your specialist.
  3. A conference and event services specialist dedicated to your area will contact you to discuss your event and work through the detailed Planning Checklist (doc) together.


Every event has a primary stakeholder, someone who is responsible for and cares most about the success of the event. The stakeholder and event specialist will work along side each other to fully understand the stakeholder's vision and for input in the planning process.

There's a lot that goes into event planning and it's important to know who's responsible for what. So we've identified 17 possible functions or tasks that could be part of the planning process that are split into the following 3 buckets. The buckets help to break down who is responsible for what. The Planning Checklist (doc) offers a more detailed look at these 17 functions that you will work through with your event specialist.

Strategy Bucket

As the stakeholder for your event you will:

  • Define the purpose and desired outcome for the event.
  • Identify event date, time, and ideal space.
  • Gather the guest list or tell us who should be invited to the event.
  • Develop event content (speaker, program, schedule, etc.).

Operations Bucket

Together the stakeholder and specialist will:

  • Identify cost estimates and define your budget for the event.
  • Manage event registration.
  • Determine event staffing (key administrators, hosts, greeters, ushers, etc.).

Logistics Bucket

As professionals in event management we can take put in place the logistics needed per the stakeholders input:

  • Reserve campus space.
  • Identify and help coordinate event publicity (print pieces, invitation, webpage, online registration, social media, email, university calendar, e-announcement, etc.)
  • Identify and help coordinate event-day materials (name tags, print pieces such as a program or handout, gift, etc.)
  • Request traffic, parking, and security support.
  • Request Facilities Management support.
  • Request technical support.
  • Request Sodexo services.
  • Identify thematic elements and suggest decor.
  • Post event signage.
  • Coordinate miscellaneous requests such as a photographer, special guest requests, etc.


Be sure to take a look at our frequently asked questions. If you can't find what you're looking for, contact us at conference-event@bethel.edu or 651.638.6090.

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