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Event Planning Resources

November 2, 2020 10:53 AM
Dear Members of the UMBC Community,

As we reach the midway point of the fall semester, I want to thank our community for embracing our transition to virtual events and activities. Events and the connections they foster are an important part of campus life, and we appreciate the time and creativity that so many in our community have put into planning events that transcend location and promote UMBC’s sense of community and togetherness even while we are apart. 

With the recent announcement that the spring 2021 semester will look very much like the fall semester, we’d like to call your attention to event planning resources that the COVID-19 Planning Coordinating Committee’s (C-19 PCC) Events and Community Engagement working group has curated based on best practices and lessons learned here at UMBC so far this fall. These resources supplement the C-19 PCC’s Guidelines for Hosting Events, which  provides the framework and guiding principles for in-person event planning, as well as resources and tools to help ensure virtual events are dynamic, interesting, and engaging.

Virtual Events
Virtual events remain the preferred option, and the campus should plan for this guidance to continue into the spring semester. Student organizations are required to hold all events virtually.
  • Not sure where to start? Check out these Resources for Hosting Virtual Events, which include pointers for planning your event, an event checklist, and tips for hosts and presenters.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) stands ready to work with you to determine the best platform for your virtual event, and the resources linked about provide step-by-step tips and tricks for planning and running your events. We encourage you to meet with a DoIT advisor about finding the right platform for your event; to schedule a meeting, please submit a Request Tracker ticket and someone will be in touch with you.

In-Person and Hybrid Events
If an event cannot be hosted virtually, and campus stakeholders wish to seek authorization to host an in-person or hybrid event, they can submit an event exception request. 

The exception process, which requires about ten business days, is designed to determine the feasibility of hosting an in-person event, and to ensure that all possible precautions have been taken to manage risk and accessibility. Before deciding whether to request an exception, we encourage you to review this Step-By-Step Process Overview for Requesting an In-Person Event.

Recently, UMBC’s Event and Conference Services (ECS) hosted a Roundtable Discussion on Hosting Events During COVID-19. This recorded event features ECS personnel and UMBC event planners discussing what they’ve learned during the first half of the fall semester and provides tips for navigating UMBC’s in-person event request process. The recording is about 90 minutes long; the presentation starts about five minutes into the recording.

We are not encouraging in-person events, and not every event exception request application will be approved. You should also have a back-up plan in case health and safety conditions change and you need to quickly pivot from an in-person to a virtual event.

Again, thank you for your continued support as we work together to create engaging, interactive experiences for our students, faculty, and staff.

Greg Simmons, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Tags: covid19
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