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Key Policies

Planning Expectations

Planning Time

  • Consult early. You are expected to consult with OSE staff at the beginning of your planning process and before any commitment, on or off-campus is made.

Build a Budget

  • Actual estimates are required. Your budget should be based on actual quotes for space, tech, food, lodging, travel etc. 
  • Use university preferred agents. Want to know how much a speaker costs?  Consult with OSE to learn about "preferred agents".  Few speakers have exclusive agents and many do not know Stanford's policies and practices. 
  • Amount of fee. Take care when considering the fee you asked to pay. You do not have to pay the initial quoted amount of the "fee," especially if the speaker is local or already be in the area.  Also, determine other related costs such as travel, lodging, meals and technical requirements early on. Faculty and staff are already employees of the University and should not receive a fee unless the commitment is unsually long or away from campus.  When in doubt, ask.
  • Consider invitations through faculty. Speakers will come without a fee if invited by a colleague.
  • Read the fine print.  Ask to see a standard contract before any commitment is made. Avoid high-cost travel, such as first-class and tickets for traveling companions.

Get Funding

  • Student sources. Seek other campus partners, especially ASSU Speaker's Bureau for both financial and planning assistance.
  • Departments. If soliciting funds from multiple departments, plan on at least 4-6 weeks for transfers. To expedite, give your potential funder the ASSU "PTA number" and your individual account number right away.
  • Request funds early, usually 3-4 months in advance, especially if you want to book an auditorium, since auditoria costs are high.
  • Funds on hand. You must have the bulk of necessary funds in your account before your event can be approved, you can sign a contract or can advertise the event. If your budget is large or deemed a stretch, full funding may be required.
  • Be organized. Have one person keep track of all funding requests, offers, and transfers.
  • Don't forget honoraria! This may include your speaker(s)'s travel, lodging, meals, transportation, and 'thank you'. Contracts often have specific requirements as well.

Contracts and Agreements

  • Do not make an offer on your own. Student orgs cannot make offers or contractual commitments over $500 without OSE approval.
  • You can discuss, but do not commit until you have funds, space, and approval and consulted with OSE.
  • Adequate funding and confirmed reservations for major event spaces (e.g campus auditoria) are required before speaker invitations are made or event promotion occurs. Events that involve major university spaces, high profile speakers or significant fundraising may also require review and approval by a number of university departments.

Inviting International Officials

  • All inquiries and requests received from international officials must be forwarded to the Office of International Affairs (OIA) for initial review and approval. OIA serves as the point of contact for consulates and embassies in arranging visits for foreign officials to meet with Stanford faculty, administrators or students.
  • For additional information, please visit International Visiting Delegates.

Advertising and Ticketing 

  • Entrance requirements and ticketing.  Your audience and entrance requirments must be determined early in your planning and require university review and approval.  
  • Tickets cannot exceed capacity. The number of tickets distributed cannot exceed the facility capacity but you can consider a "wait-list" reservation.  We recommend using Eventbrite for a "reservation".  If people don't show on time, the reservation can be released to others waiting in line.
  • University approved vendor required. If you want to charge attendees you must use an approved University vendor. 
  • Advertising and press. Off-campus advertising and work with the press should be discussed with OSE early in your planning. 
  • For high-profile speakers, the university may require a ticketing system, specific entrance requirements and extra University staff onsite.

Order Equipment and Services

  • Early estimates. Get estimates for your work orders very early on in your early planning process.  
  • Early work orders. File all necessary work orders as early as possible, at least 3 weeks in advance.
  • University technicians required. All campus auditoria require the use of on-campus technicians and services. Inquire if you are unsure.

Security and Safety

  • A security review and estimate is required before an event will be approved.  Ultimate security levels, and, at times, venue, are determined by the Department of Public Safety.
  • For events requiring extraordinary resources, please refer to University policy.

Useful Resources

For Final Approval

  1. A realistic written budget with quotes for tech from Events Services and security from Public Safety.
  2. Needed funds in your account.  
  3. A confirmed space approved by the university.
  4. Clear and achievable entrance requirements.
  5. A carefully reviewed and signed contract. All contracts over $ 500 must be co-signed by OSE staff; some also require an ASSU signature.
  6. A security and noise plan.
  7. A completed event checklist.

Please note:

  • Large, complex and high-profile events require planning meetings with OSE.  Some will require a formal review by multiple univeersity departments.
  • On occasion the University may cancel an event after approval because funds proved insufficient, work orders for required tech or security were not done or other compelling circumstances.