Skip to main content

Logistics

Try to plan the organisation and implementation of your event - the logistics - well in advance. It's best to read the Why and who page first, to establish the feasibility and objectives of your event, before you move on to the logistics. 

Budget

  • Establish the budget for your event before you plan it, as the budget will dictate many of the logistics. 
  • Areas you may need to consider budgeting for include: 
    • venue hire fees, including audio-visual, staging and PA costs, if required 
    • catering 
    • expenses for speakers (honorariums/guest lecturer fees, travel and accommodation costs, dining out) 
    • promotion costs (print materials, social media promotion, podcasts, photography) 
    • equipment costs 
    • hire of services/staff (estates and facilities costs for setting up the room) 
    • materials used for the event (delegate packs) 
    • permissions/licenses (if taking place off Birkbeck campus) 
    • insurance (if taking place off Birkbeck campus). 
  • Don't forget to factor in VAT.
  • Sponsorship for events may be available through research centres and institutes.
  • If you have any queries around finance processes, contact your school/department or the Birkbeck Finance Team. Make sure you discuss and clarify any issues before finalising your budget. 

Date and time

Venue

  • What to consider when choosing your venue:
    • Which venue is most suitable for your target audience? 
    • How many attendees are you anticipating and will you need multiple rooms for the event, such as break-out rooms? Does the venue have the required equipment? Is it accessible?
    • If you book a room on the Birkbeck campus, try to secure it as far in advance as possible. Internal evening requests can be booked around three weeks in advance of the event in order to accommodate teaching requirements first. Daytime requests are booked when received, on a first-come-first-served basis. Bear in mind that the room may have an associated booking cost, depending on your event type, eg if you are charging for attendance.
    • If you are an academic at Birkbeck, please arrange for your school administrators or team leaders to make bookings for you, as the cannot action requests from individual academic staff members.
    • If you are having difficulty booking a room, it is useful to know about rooms that are not centrally allocated, such as the Keynes library in the School of Arts, and the Clore basement lecture theatre (and foyer space), which is dedicated to internal conferences/lectures. Bookings for this room are available daily from 9am to 9pm, and bookings open for each academic year in May.
    • The locations of internal Birkbeck campus venues are shown on our Find us page.
    • Find out about external venues in the area on the central room bookings page and on our own external venue list.
  • Now you’ve chosen your venue: 
    • Book the venue, allowing plenty of time for set-up, audio-visual testing and clean-up afterwards. Decide how the venue needs to be prepared, eg seating and screens. 
    • You can request support with setting up your Birkbeck campus room through a room booking form. If you have special requirements not covered through room bookings, you can contact Estates and Facilities using a works request form (which may incur additional charges).  
    • Familiarise yourself with fire exits and access requirements. Identify any health and safety issues and notify the appropriate person. You may need to create a risk assessment for your event. For further information on health and safety, read the Birkbeck Health and Safety web pages
    • Organise enough staff and volunteers to welcome and register guests. If you require additional support for your event, and you have the budget, consider employing Team Birkbeck students (which would incur an additional charge). 

Catering

  • If you are providing refreshments, ask participants about dietary requirements in advance. 
  • Book catering for a Birkbeck campus room well in advance - at least two weeks - via the Room Bookings Team. 
  • Confirm final numbers for catering at least one week before the event. 
  • To ensure that catering arrives in advance, book it to arrive 30 minutes before it's required. 
  • Plan how food and drink will be served, to ensure there is enough space and there won't be queues and delays. For a large event, an additional, adequately sized room for catering is advisable. 

Attendees and invites 

  • Identifying your audience beforehand will help ensure that your event is attended and can be promoted effectively. Read the Why and who page for more help with identifying your audience before you begin to plan the logistics and promotion. 
  • Dates and invites: 
    • Agree and save the date with key attendees/guests as soon as possible. 
    • Ensure that you give your invitees enough notice of the event. 
    • Ask all attendees to RSVP or sign up through a management system such as Eventbrite (you can read more about Eventbrite and similar systems below). 
    • Send event information in advance and useful reminders in the run-up. 
    • Depending on your audience, a percentage of your confirmed attendees will most likely drop out.

Content

  • What is your event format? 
    • lecture
    • seminar
    • workshop
    • roundtable/panel
    • screening
    • performance
    • conversation with 
    • exhibition
    • conference
    • varied/a mixture of the above 
  • Is the format appropriate to the content? 
  • What will be the most engaging format for your audience? 
  • Will the format meet the audience’s expectations? 
  • Don’t forget to factor in additional time for Q&As, discussion and breaks - this is particularly important for conferences and longer events. 

Speakers

  • Ensure that all speakers are fully briefed in writing and understand exactly what is required. 
  • Organise any speaker fees and/or expenses in writing in advance. It is important that you speak to your school/department administrators beforehand about how fees and/expenses will be processed and paid. If you are paying a speaker please note that they will need to provide a passport (or other appropriate valid document) to prove eligibility to work.
  • Book - or ensure the speaker(s) books - transport and accommodation. Depending on your school/department, you may be able to advise them where to stay.
  • Ensure that your speakers are aware of any tickets/receipts/itemised bills that they may have to provide to process an expenses claim. 
  • Allocate a member of staff to look after the speaker(s) and ensure they are met on arrival, shown where they are speaking and given any assistance with AV, etc. 
  • Ensure that whoever is introducing the speaker is fully briefed about the speaker and their work. 

Literature

  • Ensure that any literature - eg handouts, conference packs, publicity leaflets - are accessible, with:  
    • clear language 
    • legible font 
    • large font size. 
  • Provide event literature in alternative formats, if required - eg large print or easy read. Advice on providing accessible materials can be found at Birkbeck for All
  • If necessary, provide a schedule for every member of the audience, especially if your event is large and features a number of speakers in different rooms or buildings. A map and guide may also be useful. 

Audio-visual, IT services and photography

  • Audio-visual (AV) arrangements
    • Confirm any AV requirements in advance with the venue. These may include access to laptop/PC, projector, or clip-on/roving microphone. 
    • Further details on AV services within Birkbeck can be found through room bookings
    • If you want to screen a film, you could book the cinema at 43 Gordon Square, although this popular room needs to be booked well in advance.
  • IT services
  • Photography
    • If you require photography at your event, contact the photographer well in advance (ideally, once you have confirmed the date and booked the venue).

Accessibility

  • If you are using a registration form, ask your attendees if they have any additional requirements.
  • As noted in the Venue section, you need to make sure that your venue is accessible to your attendees. Does it have good transport links, disabled parking, step-free access/lift, accessible toilets and an induction loop facility? If you are booking a Birkbeck campus venue you can check the accessibility of the room in advance. Please note that some rooms have limited disabled access so it is important to check.
  • Advice on hearing loops is available from the Audio Visual team.
  • Advice on producing accessible materials can be found at Birkbeck for All, and you can find a comprehensive guide to accessibility online at DisabledGo.

registration and charging for an event

  • Birkbeck's events system provides a way for you to create your own page to publicise your event. To add an event to the events system, log in to My Birkbeck and go to the Events tab on the menu.
  • If you want to charge for an event, you can enable booking options within your event, which includes financial details, various ticketing types and additional questions. After you publish your event, you will also have access to view bookings, view waiting list, monitor attendance, and notify attendees.
  • When ticketing an event, it's important to realistically estimate the size of your audience, to prevent underbooking or overcrowding. For free events, up to 50% of your booked attendees may not come on the day, so it is advisable to overbook by 10 to 30%, if possible, to ensure you have a good number of participants. 
  • Please note that there is a flat rate charged for Birkbeck rooms for events where attendance charges are levied.

On the day

  • Walk the entry route into the venue and put up signs giving directions, if necessary. 
  • Set up the venue and test the audio-visual equipment - give yourself plenty of time to do this. 
  • Ensure the catering arrives in advance - book catering to arrive 30 minutes before it's required. 
  • Carry a list of key contact numbers (AV/technical staff, room bookings, catering).  
  • Brief all those involved and allocate a person or people to register the attendees and usher them to their seats. 
  • Liaise with the speaker and any VIP guests. 
  • Ensure your guests are provided with all appropriate information, such as where the toilets are, information on fire alarms and evacuation procedures, and where to get refreshments. 

Useful resources

Next step: Event promotion