IT Communications

Planning your own events

Self-help guide for event planning at Indiana University

Planning your own event?

There are a lot of things to know about IU policies and best practices. Before you get started, answer the following questions: 

  • What is your primary objective with this event?
  • Is an event the most appropriate strategy to achieve the stated goals and objectives?
  • What type of event is most appropriate? (e.g., tabling, expo, reception, conference)
  • Do you have the time and resources necessary to execute an effective event?
  • How will you measure event success? 

Next, determine a budget, a timeline, and identify your resources. Once you've identified the size and complexity of your event, you'll be ready to consider the following elements of event project planning.

Project considerations

Create a timeline and consider using a project management app. This will help you keep track of deadlines, budgets, and the following to-dos: 

  • Site selections and reservations for venue, hotel blocks, and transportation (e.g., shuttles, parking passes)
  • Room set-up, audio/visual needs, signage
  • Catering or meal arrangements
  • In-conference transportation (if necessary)
  • Ordering supplies and giveaway and promotional items
  • Paying vendors
  • Printing name badges and info packets for attendees
  • Planning and executing sponsorship drive (if necessary)
  • Set up online registration
  • Creating and printing name badges
  • Determining location and hours for event check-in
  • Coordinate staff to work registration tables
  • Make recommendations for programs and info packets
  • Hotel lodging and meeting spaces
  • Catering
  • Transportation
  • Design graphics for event (including digital and print, signage, giveaways)
  • Create event website
  • Secure video and/or photography resources
  • Select promotional items or giveaways
  • Create plan for communications such as:
    • Flyers and/or posters
    • Digital signage
    • Email lists and HTML invitations
    • Newsletters
    • Campus event calendars
    • Social media
    • Newspaper ads
    • News releases before/after event
  • Working with on-site staff to:
    • Set up rooms
    • Place audio/video equipment
    • Arrange directional signage
  • Staffing registration tables

Conference facilities

The Indiana Memorial Union (IMU)
The IMU offers meeting spaces to suit every need, as well as an experienced meetings and group services staff to help you along the way. All rooms feature state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment services.

Cost: Free to IU departments unless an event is for outside entities.

Cyberinfrastructure building (CIB)
The CIB is the hub of IU’s growing tech park. Together with the IU Data Center and the IU Innovation Center, the CIB places IU’s IT talent in close proximity to the latest technology resources and research, as well as the Bloomington campus.

The facility has two meeting spaces (MP-B and the Wrubel Atrium). The spaces can be combined into one large room that can hold up to 100 attendees (classroom seating) or 250 attendees (theatre seating). Tours of the CIB and Data Center are also available.

Cost: None

Innovation Center
IU’s Innovation Center has one large meeting space: IC 105.

Cost: None

IUPUI Campus Center

The Campus Center plays a vital role in the support and development of students as part of the greater campus community. It is the "living room" of campus, serving as a community hub for informal interaction with lounge, meeting, commercial, and food service spaces. 

The Campus Center has more than twenty meeting, lecture, and banquet rooms that hold from 30 to 925 people. 

JW Marriott 
The JW Marriott Indianapolis Downtown is a landmark amid the five Marriott hotels connected to the Indiana Convention Center. This luxury hotel in Downtown Indianapolis offers 54 event rooms and more than 103,000
sq. ft. of meeting, banquet and exhibit space, as well as two full-service restaurants.

JW Marriott is only a 15-minute walk to the ICTC and a 20-minute walk to the Campus Center on the IUPUI Campus. 

The Alexander
The Alexander, a Dolce hotel, has 17 indoor flexible meeting and banquet rooms and three outdoor venues. 

The hotel can accommodate receptions of 300, banquets for 250, classroom seating for 150, and theatre seating for 350.

Lodging & attractions

Biddle Hotel and Conference Center
900 E. Seventh St.Bloomington, IN 47405
Reservations: (800) 209-8145

Hyatt Place
217 West Kirkwood Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47404
Reservations: (812) 339-5950

SpringHill Suites by Marriott
501 N. College Ave
Bloomington, IN 47404
Reservations: (812) 337-7772

Visit Bloomington
Brown County, Indiana


JW Marriott

10 South West Street

Indianapolis, IN 46204 
Reservations: (866) 704-6162

The Alexander
333 South Delaware Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Visit Indy


The Indianapolis airport is the closest and most convenient airport for both Bloomington and Indianapolis. The following shuttle services are available for travel:

To/from Indianapolis International to IU Bloomington

Go Express Travel (airport shuttle)

SOA Shuttle

To/from Indianapolis International to IUPUI
Go Express Travel (Indy Express)

Lessons learned

ITCO has years of experience planning and executing successful events on IU campuses across the state. We've compiled a list of hurdles and challenges we've encountered along the way. 

Check out the tip sheet »

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