Three Week Event Planning Check List

Learn about creating your own personalized check list by reviewing how to create a backwards timeline.

Three weeks out from your event is a good time to check to see how your planning is coming along. The following is a checklist to make sure your organizers are on track to planning a successful event.

Day of the Event List

The day of the event is often chaotic. We have created a list of tasks to help you organize and keep track of your progress throughout the event day.

Early A.M.

Mid Day


One hour before Event


End of the Event

Guidelines for Providing Notice of Access

Providing Notice of Availability of Information in Accessible Formats


Any publication describing services, programs, or activities (e.g., brochures, handouts, position announcements) must include the following statement:

This publication will be made available in an accessible format upon request. Please call [list the phone number and contact person of the sponsoring department].

Accessible formats can include: large print, Braille, or audio taping. Departments are encouraged to state if specific formats already exist.

Note: Individuals requesting large print usually need font size 18 or greater. Braille transcription is limited on campus, but can be done with advance notice from an ASCII file. Specialized formats and tape recorders may need to be used for audio taping materials. Short passages can often be read directly to the person.

For more information visit the Technology Access Program.


Providing Notice of Opportunity to Request Accommodation Based on Disability

Physical access must be provided for all campus programs, conferences, and events. It is the responsibility of the coordinator of the event to make sure that the location is physically accessible and to be aware of particular limitations of the space (i.e. front and back access to a room, parking nearby). By inviting requests for accommodations by a specific deadline, needs should be met and surprise requests prevented.

  • Accommodations typically requested for programs, conferences, and events include:
  • Preferential seating
  • Portable amplification systems
  • Sign language interpreters
  • Modified formats of printed materials

Allow at least seven working days when scheduling a sign language interpreter. When a formal lecture is given, it is helpful to provide a copy of the speech to the interpreter several days ahead of time. Sessions that last more than three hours will usually require at least two interpreters who share responsibilities. For interpreter services, contact Disability Access Services at (541) 737-3670.

Please note that when academic credit is being received by an OSU student for attending a program, it is the responsibility of the student to request accommodations through the Services for Students with Disabilities Program.


Athletic, Theater, and Music Events

Individuals attending campus events must be given the opportunity to request accommodations within a specific time period. All announcements, ticket information, brochures, posters, etc., should include the following statement:

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made to [sponsoring department contact person and phone number].

Note: If specific equipment is available or is a sign language interpreter has already been scheduled for a specific performance, note that on printed materials.


Lodging Accommodations


To the extent possible, no University sponsored event should be held in an inaccessible location on or off campus. If an event includes arrangements for lodging, the degree of accessibility must be determined and alternatives to inaccessible meeting rooms developed. Hotels should have completed an ADA barrier survey and should be aware of the extent to which their facilities are accessible.

The event coordinator should make certain the hotel understands its responsibility for access and has a procedure for asking if customers have special needs related to a disability. If a lodging facility does not handle registration, the event sponsor needs to coordinate receiving requests for accommodations or insure that a lodging representative is named as the contact person for accommodation requests.

This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity. Please call (541) 737-3556.


This information was provided by the office of Affirmative Action and can be found at the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, disabililty resources web site in the "Guidelines for providing notice of access.

About US Copyright Law

Pre-recorded home videocassettes and DVDs ('Videos') that are available for rental or purchase include the right to exhibit the movie for home use only.
These motion pictures do not include a license for showing outside one's home. If you wish to show movies for any other use or in any other place, you must have a SEPARATE license which specifically authorizes such use.

These simple and straightforward rules are detailed in the federal Copyright Act, as amended, Title 17 of the United States Code. According to The Copyright Act, only the copyright owner holds the exclusive right, among others, "to perform the copyrighted work publicly." (Section 106) In summary, the Copyright Act mandates:

The rental or purchase of a Video does not bear the right "to perform the copyrighted work publicly." (Section 202)

Videos may be shown without a SEPARATE license in the home to "a normal circle of family and its social acquaintances" (Section 101) because such showings are not considered "public."

Videos may be shown without a license for non-profit educational purposes and in certain narrowly defined "face-to-face teaching activities" because the law provides limited exceptions for such showings. (Section 110(1)).

All other public performances of Videos are illegal unless they have been authorized by license. Even "performances in 'semipublic' places such as clubs, lodges, factories, summer camps and schools are 'public performances' subject to copyright control." (Senate Reprt No. 94-473, page 60; House Report No. 94-1476, page 64).

Both for-profit organizations and non-profit institutions must secure a license to show Videos, regardless of whether an admission fee is charged. (Senate Report No. 94-473, page 59; House Report No. 94-1476, page 62)

A party is liable for contributory infringement when it, with knowledge of the infringing activity, contributes to the infringing conduct of another.

Proprietors of a social establishment are vicariously liable for infringement committed by an independent contractor. Vicarious liability arises where a party has "the right and ability to supervise the infringing activity and also has a direct financial interest in such activities." Gershwin Publishing Corp. Vs. Columbia Artists Management, Inc., 443 F.2d1159, 1161 (2d Cir. 1971). Both the property owner and exhibitor must make sure a license is in place before a video is shown by either party.

Non-compliance with The Copyright Act is considered infringement and carries steep and significant penalties. Such exhibitions are federal crimes and subject to a $150,000 penalty per exhibition (Section 506). In addition, even inadvertent infringers are subject to substantial civil damages ($750 to $30,000 for each illegal showing) and other penalties. (Sections 502-505)

Please do not hesitate to call us at (800) 462-8855 or send us an email to with any questions about the U.S. Copyright Law.


Q. We own the video, do we still need a license to view or show it in public?
A. Yes. The location requires a license regardless of who owns the Video. While you may own the actual video, you are only granted the right to view it in your home, not to perform it in public.


Q. We do not charge admission. Do we still need a license?
A. Yes. Regardless of whether an admission fee is charged, a license is required. However, the Umbrella LicenseĀ® covers only those situations where admission is not charged.


Q. We are a non-profit organization. Do we still need a license?
A. Yes. Under the law, it does not matter if you are a non-profit or for-profit organization. You are required to have a public performance license to show Videos.


Q. How much does the Umbrella License cost?
A. In most cases, the MPLC has set license fees based on the type and size of facility. However, if the facility and/or use falls outside of these categories we will determine a reasonably priced license fee within your organization's means based on the nature and size of the audience and anticipated frequency of showings.


Q. We are a preschool; do we qualify for a "face-to-face" teaching exemption?
A. No. The educational exemption is narrowly defined and applies to non-profit academic institutions only.


Q. We show videos on our closed-circuit system. Do we need a license?
A. Yes. The Copyright Act provides that closed-circuit transmissions are automatically deemed public performances.


Q. We are not open to the general public. Do we still need a license?
A. Yes. Any location outside of the home is considered public for copyright purposes and requires a license.


When in doubt, check with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation to make sure your activity is exempt.

Food Service Guidelines

Open events, on or off campus, that involve the service of food by a University recognized organization must be in compliance with the regulations of Benton County Environmental Health Division, OSU and the State of Oregon.

The following is an outline to assist student groups in planning and preparing a safe and successful food event.

  • Food products must be purchased at a licensed food purveyor.
  • All items that require production (mixing, slicing, chopping, cooking) must be prepared in an approved licensed kitchen facility.

Women's Center, Native American Long House, Cesar Chavez Cultural Center, Asian Cultural Center and the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center can be licensed as a Temporary Restaurant by Benton County for small gatherings with limited menus sponsored or co-sponsored by the Centers. Contact Benton County Environmental Health to submit application for license. Events that have an outdoor cooking component may be required to have a Temporary Restaurant License. Contact Benton County Environmental Health to submit application for license.

All groups preparing foods for public consumption are required to have at least one member with a Food Handlers Permit through Benton County Environmental Health. This person is responsible for training volunteers in safe food handling practices. At least one licensed food handler should be present at the event at all times.

Items that are purchased service ready,( i.e., deli trays, baked goods and fruit trays, must meet Benton County requirements during transport, holding and serving. Special attention should be given to maintaining temperature, sanitation and safety and to eliminating the possibility of cross contamination.

Many venues on campus have a specific list of approved food service providers. Make sure your plans fit within the guidelines of the venue.

  • The Organization can hire a licensed caterer for events held on or off campus:
  • A Caterer is a licensed food and service provider who contracts with an organization for a set amount of meals or items. Payment to the caterer is from the organization responsible for the event.
  • The caterer is responsible for:
    • Obtaining a Benton County Temporary Restaurant License for Open Events
    • Completing all food preparation before coming to campus.
    • Maintaining all of Benton County health and sanitation guidelines for handling, preparing, cooking, transporting, holding and serving food.
    • Having in effect a General Liability Insurance policy with a minimum limit of $1,000,000.00 per occurrence. An insurance company licensed to do business in the State of Oregon must issue the insurance. OSU, its officers, employees and agents shall be named as an additionally insured in this insurance policy.
    • Serving the food on site: no self- service is allowed. The sponsoring organization can assist in serving if supervised by the caterer.
    • Maintaining the set-up and service area in a clean and orderly fashion.
    • The caterer assumes all responsibility of liability that arises from the service of the food.
    • A member of the sponsoring organization must be on-site at all times.
    • A contractual agreement between the sponsoring organization and the caterer must be on file with the Event Chair/Coordinator.
    • Lasells Stewart Center and CH2M Hill Alum Center have approved a list of caterers, which are allowed to serve in these facilities. Check with Facilities Managers for the current listings.
    • Sodexho (Beavers Catering) Concessions has the catering contracts with the OSU Athletic Department and is responsible for catering at Reser Stadium, Gill Coliseum, Valley Football Complex and Coleman Baseball Stadium.
  • Notes and other things to consider
    • Food vendor is defined as a licensed food provider that is allowed to sell food products on campus directly to the public.
    • The sponsoring university organization is responsible for ensuring that all university policies and procedures are followed.
    • A member of the sponsoring organization must be available at all times while the food vendor is present.
    • The food vendor is responsible for maintaining all of Benton County Environmental Health policies and must have a temporary restaurant license from Benton County.
    • The food vendor accepts all responsibility for any liability that arises from the service/selling of food.
    • Food Vendor must have in effect a General Liability Insurance policy with a minimum limit of $1,000,000.00 per occurrence. An insurance company licensed to do business in the State of Oregon must issue the insurance. OSU, its officers, employees and agents shall be named as an additionally insured in this insurance policy.
    • An organization should receive compensation for the sponsorship of such vendor, i.e., a flat fee or a % of actual sales.
    • Permission for use of any indoor University location must be requested through the Building Manager of the location. Outdoor requests must be made through the office of Conferences and Special Events, LaSells Stewart Center (Memorial Union does not allow off site food vendors in its building for any purpose.)
  • Non-perishable items can be used for fund raising and publicity:
    • Individually wrapped baked goods and confections can be sold or given away in certain areas of the campus. Check with your desired location to confirm what is acceptable.
    • Canned or bottled beverages manufactured by Pepsi can be used. Any beverage that requires mixing must be obtained from a licensed food purveyor or produced/mixed in a licensable kitchen. Any condiment, i.e., cream and sugar, has to be served in individual servings and held at the correct temperature.

Please note: due to a University wide Pepsi contract, no other brand of canned or bottled beverage is allowed during any food event, as of 6/11/2006.


Tips for a Successful Self-Produced Food Event


Investigate possible menu structures Provide 2 or 3 options. Have the committee research best fit options. A variety of items including meat, vegetarian, entrees, side dishes, appetizers, desserts, and beverages should be researched.

When choosing recipes keep these things in mind:

  • Available funding
  • How will the plate look
  • Is the food compatible and varied
  • Vegetarian menu should be equal to meat menu
  • How much time will the item take to produce
  • What equipment is needed
  • How is the item served


  • Buffet (# of lines and set-up)
  • Plate service (at the table)
  • Family style (at the table)
  • Self service (hors D' oeuvres and beverages only)

Collaborate with the Committee Chairs to discuss set-up, decorations

  • Identify service ware:
    • Paper: be sure to purchase restaurant quality (heavy duty) paper products. Determine the size and shape of the plate based on the menu. If buffet serving, try to keep all items on one plate. Always purchase 100 extra items of everything.
    • China: identify local vendor. Identify the number of each items you will need. Arrange for delivery and pick up. Get cost estimate, communicate this to your Event Chair to ensure the funding is available. When receiving China ALWAYS count it in before signing an invoice. This will ensure you have what you need and also protect you from overcharges.

Create a serving plan

  • Number of needed volunteers
  • Training time
  • Set-up time and specifications
  • Dress code, if any
  • Serving time, start-end

Clean up

  • Assign a Kitchen Captain for during the production to maintain a clean and organized work space if not working with a caterer. Have someone available to wash dishes at all times.
  • Appoint an after event clean up chair
  • Create an after the event serving area and kitchen clean up plan:
    • Start time
    • Needed number of volunteers
    • Transportation
    • How to deal with any leftovers
    • List major kitchen equipment that will need to be cleaned
    • Projected end time

Guidelines for Fire Safety

It is your responsibility to make sure your event is safe and within code. No flames (such as candles) may be burned without written permission from the fire marshall. Also, make sure that all exit doors are marked and accessible. For questions regarding Fire Safety contact the Corvallis Fire Department at (541) 766-6961.


Uniform Fire Code Permit Requirements (Word Document)

Creating a Backwards Timeline

Once you have chosen your event components, tasks, event coordinator, and committees, you will want to map out a backwards timeline. The timeline is a guide to make sure you include all the details and tasks to make the event successful.

Begin with the actual day of the event. This is week zero. Write down everything that will take place on the day of the event, including tasks, program, decorations etc.

Then, working backwards from week one, write down what needs to be done in the prior weeks to make your event occur as you have mapped out.

Make sure you map out the most important components first, and then add the less necessary components.

  • Some timeline components to consider Include:
  • Reservation of Space
  • Food
  • Alcohol Service; The alcohol service permit process requires a minimum of three weeks.
  • Decorations (themes, materials)
  • Tickets (design, sales)
  • Budget
  • Entertainment (contracts, equipment, facilities)
  • Committee business (meetings, communication, administrative tasks)
  • Program (sequence, materials)

Also, having your committees map out their own backwards timeline for their specific component can be a very effective way to make sure they are aware of everything they are responsible for.

Backwards Timeline Example:

  • Backwards Timeline
  • Day of the Event: March 24, 2006
  • Program Food Ticketing Marketing
  • Week 0 (day of the Event)-March 24
  • Week 1-March 17
  • Week 2-March 10
  • Week 3-March 3
  • Week 4-February 24
  • Week 5-February 17
  • Week 6-February 10
  • Week 7-February 3
  • Week 8-(beginning of planning)-January 27