Event Planning Guide

Any event that represents the Mason School of Business, the MBAA, or the MBA Program must work with the MBA Program Office. The MBA Program Office will guide you to the correct resources, ,  and make sure that any event that carries the Mason name lives up to the Mason standards. All events should follow the event planning procedure even if they are not being held in Miller Hall. For a printer-friendly version of the information below, please see the MBAA Event Planning Guide in PDF form. 

Step 1: Select an Event Format
Think of the Event Format (lecture, seminar, activity, event) and topic

All MBAA events are subject to the policies and procedures of the Office of Student Activities. The Office of Student Activities website is a great resource regarding events, funding, and policies & procedures.

If your club or committee will be sponsoring any event or speaker, review the information in the student activities webpage first. Not only are there specific rules to be followed, they also have resources for venues, funding, decorations, etc.

Identify potential speakers if necessary

If you are going to host a career-related workshop or event, you must meet with the Graduate Career Management Center first. Email GradCareers@mason.wm.edu for assistance with career-related workshops or events.

If you desire to invite the College of William & Mary President, you must go through the MBA Program office. MBA Programs, the Dean’s office, and the President’s office have certain protocols that must be followed for special invitations. Do not attempt to contact the President’s office on your own.

Assistance through the various offices at Mason is available to help you identify speakers (for example, the EP program, Alumin Relations, and the Development office). 

Identify potential dates for the event

Start with the MBAA Planning Calendar and then check the MBA first and second year google calendars for any conflict.

If you are thinking about a specific date, Michele Mitchell can add your event to the calendar as “tentative” so that no one else plans something on that date (see step 3 below). Please notify Michele immediately if the event is cancelled or rescheduled.

You may, but are not required to, check room availability and request a temporary hold on a room by emailing Dana Headden. The room reservation will become valid when the event is scheduled on the MBA Programs Calendar.

Event Funding

If the event is an MBAA approved and budgeted event, the MBAA will provide funding. All clubs or committees must submit an event budget proposal to the MBAA before the start of the semester. If the MBAA will notify the event organizer of the MBAA’s funding decision.

Other groups on the W&M campus like Student Activites, Multicultural Affairs, and the Reves Center for International Studies, can provide alternative sources of additional funding. To obtain the funding you must apply as soon as possible. Most have a deadline of two weeks prior to an event; however, they have a limited amount of money to give every year, so apply early! Contact Michele Mitchell for more details about the process to obtain the additional funding.

Student Activities: Multicultural Affairs: http://www.wm.edu/multiculturalaffairs/ Reves Center for International Studies: http://www.wm.edu/revescenter/campus/events/funding.php

Step 2: Select a Speaker (optional)

Most speakers respond best when given a choice of available dates. If the speaker has a very tight schedule, the speaker may give you dates. Get more than one.

  1. Take the proposed dates to Michele Mitchell to see if any of them work with the MBA Program Schedule.
  2. Confirm the final date with the speaker.
Step 3: Event Space & Approval

An MBAA event will not be recognized as an official event if it has not been placed on the first and second year calendars by MBA Programs. Please allow at least 3 days for processing. Events involving larger spaces or alcohol must be submitted 3 weeks prior to the event.

To Submit a Request to add an event to the MBAA Calendar
  1. Visit http://mason.wm.edu/programs/full-time-mba/mymba/roomscheduling/index.php and select the link “MBAA Event and Room Request Form”
  2. Complete the online form: ***Please note that your event can be placed on the calendars as tentative with a date, time, location, and title with more information to come***
  3. Include the following information in your request:


    Event Name: input the event name (ex. Spring Formal or Trends in HR)

    Student(s)/Club/Committee/Organization: input the name of the group sponsoring the event (ex. ISA)

    Date of Event: input the proposed event date

    Event Start Time: the time the event starts (ex. 6:00 p.m.)

    Event End Time: the expected time the event ends (ex. 9:00 p.m.)

    Estimated Total Attendance: the number of people estimated to attend the event

    Event Location(s) Requested: for example, Miller Hall Classroom, Brinkley Commons (the entire room), Brinkley Commons (1/3 of the room), Brinkley Commons (2/3 of the room), Executive Dining Room, Courtyard, Lounge, etc. Make sure to indicate if you have already requested an event space through another office or person.

    Event Description: the event description should include the Event Title, MBAA Group, Date, Time, Location, a description of the event purpose, and RSVP. **Please note that the event description will be copied to my.wm.edu**
    Example: Mason International Night - ISA. Friday 4/30/10,6-9pm, Brinkley Commons. "Come and experience the diversity of cultures in the Mason Community. Enjoy performances from various countries, cuisines of different  countries and a fashion show of students dressed in traditional attire. Please RSVP to John Smith at jsmith@email.wm.edu" 

    Indicate Yes or No to the following questions: Will event be catered? Will the event involve alcohol? Is this a career-related event? Will Alumni be involved in the event?

To Submit a Request to add an event to the Official Calendars
  1. Access https://events.wm.edu/calendar/upcoming/wm and click on “Sign In” in the top right corner
  2. Click on “My Events” in the list on the left hand side and follow the instructions under “Create an Event”
  3. Fill out the form, making sure to include the Title, Start Time, Location, and Event Type. Other information, such as summary and contact information are optional, but recommended. After filling out the form, hit save.
  4. Upon saving, you will receive a message indicating that your event has been saved as a draft. Select the calendar you would like to share it to, by clicking on “Choose calendars” under All Calendars, and highlighting the Mason School of Business.
  5. Once you have selected the calendar(s) you would wish to share to, hit recommend. This allows Michele to review your event request. You will need to follow up with Michele via email to ensure that the event is put on the calendar.
Step 4: Event Management

All aspects of your event are your responsibility

Ordering Food (optional)

The person(s) organizing an event is responsible for the arrangements of all food and drinks served at the event. For all MBAA approved and budgeted events, food, drinks, and supplies (plates, cups, utensils, etc.) may be paid in advance by the MBAA if a vendor’s invoice is provided to the MBAA treasurer at least 72 hours before an event. Otherwise, the organizer should pay and submit a reimbursement request along with the original receipts to the MBAA for reimbursement within 60 days of the event.

Please note that MBA Program Administration does not provide food or drinks.

Serving Alcohol at Events

All student events held on campus that serve alcohol must 

  1. Follow the guidelines listed at http://www.wm.edu/offices/deanofstudents/services/studentconduct/studenthandbook/alc ohol_beverage_policy/index.php.
  2. Be registered with Student Activities at least 3 weeks prior to the event.
  3. TIPS Training will be required for all Club and Committee leaders and will be held within the first two weeks of the Fall Semester. At all events involving alcohol, a TIPS-trained student must be present and responsible for following TIPS procedures.
Event Promotion

Terms or illustrations descriptive of alcoholic beverages or which encourage or promote the consumption of alcoholic beverages (including but not limited to “cocktails,” “happy hours,” “beverages”) are prohibited.


RSVPs for MBAA club and committee events may be collected online through Qualtrics, through a Google Drive or TribeLink Spreadsheet.

Guest Speaker Hospitality
  • Parking passes: The event organizer should obtain a parking pass for the speaker. Parking passes may be requested through the Building Coordinator. Request a parking pass by submitting a parking request form to the Building Coordinator at https://forms.wm.edu/14032. Requests should be submitted at least 48 hours prior to the event.
  • Speaker Gifts: MBA Program Administration does not provide speaker gifts. The MBAA has a stock of gifts available for speakers along with wrapping paper, ribbon, and thank you cards for you to provide to your speaker.

The event organizer is responsible for formatting & printing name tags, programs, and tent cards, if needed, for the event. The paper for name tags and tent cards is available from the MBA Program office. Programs can be printed at Swem Library.

Event Set Up

The MBA Program Administration is available to provide:

  • Assistance with your event in the form of guidance
  • Contact information for on-campus resources (AV, Funding, Catering)
  • Policy standards for events (alcohol policy, what forms you need to file with campus)
  • A liaison between you and building management
  • Room reservations
  • Furniture set-up (along with your room reservation we will give a description of items needed for the event. If you are reserving Brinkley Commons, you will be required to meet with the building manager one week prior to your event to confirm the space.)


Sign In Sheet

The organizer of an MBAA approved event should have a sign-in sheet at all events. Please provide a copy of the final sign in sheet to the MBAA Internal Vice President.

Please contact Michele Mitchell (757-221-2895) if you have any questions regarding the event planning process.