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Advice for organisers

If you are organising your own event, it is important to consider what your target audience, aims, and budget are. These may help you to define the format, nature and venue for your event.

We've outlined below some practical tips to ensure your event is a success.

Getting started

  • It is a requirement for any internally organised event, that an events management form [UoY login required] is completed well in advance of the event. This form is submitted to the University's Health and Safety department who review all submissions.

Format of your event

  • If your event is a lecture, tell your speaker how long you would like their talk to last and check if they are happy to participate in a Q&A session. We recommend a maximum of a 40-minute talk, with a 20-minute Q&A.
  • Arrange for someone to welcome the audience, introduce your speaker, chair the Q&A and thank the speaker.
  • If your speaker has books that you would like to have sold at your event, you may like to contact the Events Team on events@york.ac.uk and they can check for you to see if book sales are possible.

Venue

  • Think about the size of audience you are expecting and book a room with the correct capacity
  • Think about the activity that will be taking place eg lecture, hands-on activity, exhibition etc
  • Think about which venue might be best placed to suit your audience eg Campus West/East, city centre eg King's Manor, or an alternative private venue in the city
  • University can be booked on Planon [UoY login required] or by contacting roombookings@york.ac.uk
  • Make sure you book your venue for at least 30 minutes before your event is due to start in order to allow time for AV set-up, check the room is tidy, and allow time for your audience to be seated. If your event is more complex than a standard lecture eg hands-on activity, exhibition, you will need to allow extra set-up time for this. You should also book the space to allow time after the event is due to finish to give time for the audience to leave.
  • Some University buildings and/or rooms lock automatically at the end of the working day; please ask Reception Services if arrangements for the building/room to be unlocked for the duration of your event. Please note that the doors of the Ron Cooke Hub auditorium (RCH/037) automatically lock at 6pm and you will need to ask the Reception Staff member on the day to unlock these.

Room set-up

  • If your venue is in a building which does not have portering as standard, you will need to arrange this by contacting Receptions Services on admn700@york.ac.uk. There will be a cost associated with this.
  • If you need any extra tables, chairs, display boards for the room you have booked, or need any extra furniture/furniture removing, please contact the Rapid Response Team (giving a minimum of two weeks' notice) - room-setup@york.ac.uk.
  • If you require extra electricity points for an event (for example, if you are organising a hands-on activity or an outdoor event) you will need to contact the University electricians for support (andy.durrant@york.ac.uk). Please be aware that there may be additional costs associated with this, particularly if support is required outside normal working hours. 

Audio-Visual support

  • Most teaching rooms on campus have integrated AV facilities. You can check which facilities a room has on Planon. If you find you require additional facilities these can often be booked from the Audio-Visual team. You can also book for the AV team to provide you with a 15-minute AV briefing before an event. If you would like an AV team member free throughout the event you will need to find funds to support this.
  • Please ensure that you contact the AV team in good time to ensure that they can give you the best support they can. 
  • If you are organising a lecture which will include a Q&A session, you will need two microphone runners. This is essential to utilise the hearing-loop in venues.

Health and Safety

  • If members of the public are attending your event, you will need a first aider on hand. All portering staff are first-aid trained.
  • Please familiarise yourself with the fire evacuation procedures, and assembly point for the building you are using. In the event of a fire-alarm, the Responsible Person for the event will need to make an announcement indicating the fire exits and the assembly point.
  • If there is need to contact Security at any point during your event, their numbers are: 01904 32 4444, emergency 01904 32 3333
  • You will need to complete a risk assessment for your event (or elements of your event if you have a number of contributors providing hands-on activities). A sample risk assessment for a basic lecture is available on request - contact us via email
  • If you have any helpers at your event, please make sure that they are fully briefing in fire evacuation procedures, and also to check that your risk assessment has been put into effect.
  • If you feel that your event may be contentious in any way, please seek the advice of the Security Office on 01904 32 4444.

Catering

  • If you require catering for your event, you must book this directly through Cucina. They can provide drinks receptions, canapés, buffets or full dinners as required. 

Parking

  • Parking is available for free on campus after 6pm and at weekends. We recommend that, if you wish to attract a general audience, that your event should start no earlier than 6.15pm on a week day. You can direct members of the public to a car-parking map at york.ac.uk/admin/estates/transport/parking/.

On the day

  • Ensure you (and your helpers) arrive in good time to check the room set-up, tidy the room, and set up AV.
  • Provide water and glasses for your speaker/chair if you are organising a lecture.
  • Fully brief your team of helpers about what you require of them including checking tickets (if the event is ticketed), health and safety requirements, microphone running for Q&A sessions etc.
  • Create some signage for your event to display at the entrance(s) to the building and on the door of the venue.

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