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Organising an Event

Before you start

Whatever event you are organising at UCL, whether it be a small reception, high-profile launch, or reunion dinner, it is important to ask yourself a few questions before you start:

  • Why are you holding the event?
  • What are you hoping to achieve?
  • Who are you hoping will attend?
  • What is the message you are hoping to convey to your audience?
  • What is the most effective means to convey your message and how can you make it most appealing to your chosen audience?
  • Do you have a budget to pay for the event?
  • How are you going to publicise the event to your chosen audience?You may find it useful to complete an in-depth pre-event analysis form.

Once you have completed the form and decided that you should proceed with the event you will need to consider venue, catering and publicity.

The Events team would be pleased to discuss your event with you and offer advice where necessary.

Venue and related services

Room Bookings provides a full list of venues at UCL and their capacities.


UCL's Refectory provides a comprehensive catering service for all central UCL rooms, and can provide tailor-made menus as well as a pre-prepared selection.

Audiovisual (AV) Equipment

AVl equipment can be booked directly through the Audiovisual Centre. AV equipment and any technicians that may be required should be booked as early as possible to avoid disappointment.


If you are planning to move a lot of furniture when setting up your venue it is a good idea to contact the Porters, who will save you time leading up to the event.


To ensure that your event runs smoothly and looks professional it is also worth contacting Cleaning Services to ensure that any areas that you plan to use are thoroughly cleaned shortly before the event and any rubbish cleared away afterwards.


Depending on the nature of your event you may choose to promote your event through advertisements in internal and/or external publications, such as 'UCL Bulletin', the university's diary of events, and/or produce invitations. If you think your event might attract media coverage the Media Relations team may be able to help you. For general advice on publicising your events contact the Events team.

Some useful tips

  • Work back from the date of the event to produce a detailed action plan with clear deadlines and divisions of responsibility.
  • Ensure that all your invitations have are sent out at least six weeks before the event to ensure maximum attendance.
  • If you are sending tickets to guests make sure that you leave yourself about two weeks between your deadline for replies and the date of the event.
  • Re-confirm catering requirements two weeks before the event, when you will have a clearer idea of exactly how many people will be attending.
  • Be clear about who will be responsible for what and make sure you get all confirmations in writing.
  • Prepare signage to help guests to find their way to the venue and ensure that it is put up a few hours before guests are expected to arrive.
  • If the event involves guests moving from one venue to another, or is difficult to find, enlist the help of colleagues to help steward.
  • Work out how you are going to measure the success of the event. Collecting tickets on the door, or asking guests to sign in are good ways of tracking attendance.

Page updated on 13 February 2006

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