Now that you've crafted a strategy for your event, and determined your basic timeline and budget, let's get into the nitty gritty details! Start by finding your perfect venue: many of the other choices you make will be determined by the location of your event. 

Use the rest of the planning resources on the left sidebar to fill in the details of your event after a consultation with us, or simply use the downloadable consultation form in conjunction with the resources on this site to plan your event.

Tip: Always customize planning materials to reflect the scale and purpose of your event. No two events are exactly alike!

General Booking Questions

Be sure to ask these questions when you are contacting a venue, vendor, or service provider.

  1. What dates are available? (Are your preferred dates available?)
  2. What types of events do they accommodate?
  3. Will the venue add UT as additionally insured on their liability policy?
  4. Pre-set contracts?
  5. Are there any additional fees?
  6. What methods of payment are accepted?
  7. Are there any photography restrictions?
  8. If you are unsure or undecided, can the vendor provide references to aid you in your decision?
  9. Any specialties? (Food, themes, etc.)?
  10. Finalized choices due by?
  11. What is the average price range?
  12. Who will oversee the event on the day of the event?
  13. Is there a premium or discount for booking during certain times of the year?
  14. What is the refund and cancellation policy?

Terminology

Advance Order

An order for services (or goods) prior to an event

Amenities

The facilities and features of a property, venue, or hotel

Back of House

Support and service areas usually not seen by guests of a hotel, restaurant, or other venue

Blackout

Days or periods when tickets, certain prices, or venues are unavailable, usually coinciding with holidays and peak travel seasons

Breakout Session

A smaller meeting as part of a larger conference or meeting where participants are broken up into smaller groups for the purpose of discussing a specific topic

Courtesy Hold

A complimentary period where services or a venue are placed on hold without a deposit being paid

Cut-Off Date

The day when a facility releases a block of rooms or a function space on hold, or a service provider releases a courtesy hold

Definite Booking

Guest rooms, function space reservations, or vendor services confirmed in writing

Event Order

Also known as a “Banquet Event Order” or “Function Sheet,” a detailed document that a venue or caterer provides with instructions and a timeline for how the banquet, meeting, or event will be run

Gala Dinner

A festive occasion or a lavish social event usually with entertainment or a speaker

Head Count

Actual number of guests attending an event

High Season

When travel is most active and rates are at their highest, also known as “Peak Season”

Itinerary

Schedule of a visit or the route of a tour

Load In

Specified period of time for loading in equipment; charges may be incurred for an early load in

Load Out

Specified period of time for loading out equipment; charges may be incurred for an extended load out

Off-Season

A period of the year when demand for a location decreases and prices go down; also known as “Low Season”

Specifications (Specs)

Meeting or event requirements

Spec Book

A document used by a planner to record all the specifications and detailed supplier instructions for a specific event

Task Force

Group or commitee established to work on a single defined challenge, task, or activity

Terminal

Loading dock or freight handling area

Theme Party

A party organized around a single theme, like Hollywood, 1950s, Hawaiian or masquerade, that affects the behavior of guests, i.e., what they wear

Welcome Reception

Opening event to welcome guests, usually includes food and drinks

Working Lunch

Meeting around the noon hour, lunch is usually served

Wrap Around Event

Can occur before or after a larger fundraising event, where guests decide to raise money at their own event to increase donations