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University Events Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) To establish requirements for the planning, production, execution and delivery of University Events, including the level of support provided by the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit.

Background

(2) Events play a vital role at Macquarie University, delivering value and supporting strategic outcomes by rewarding student and staff achievements, enhancing the student experience and attracting new students, researchers and partners. The University’s Events and Domestic Protocol Unit develops, manages and produces conferences, public lectures, seminars and other events that are strategically aligned and showcase the University and its research.

(3) This Policy, and the University Strategic Events Procedure / Annual Events Schedule, provide clear direction to staff regarding the function and support available from the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit in the development, approval and delivery of University Events.

Scope

(4) This Policy applies to all University Events.

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Section 2 - Policy

Strategic Events

(5) All ‘Strategic Events’ must be managed, produced and executed through a central events support model overseen by the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit. Strategic Events are those that meet the criteria below.

Strategic Event Criteria

(6) To be deemed a Strategic Event, the University Event must:

  1. be established with a strategic objective aligned to one or more of the seven priorities specified in the Strategic Plan Our University: A Framing of Futures; and
  2. attract a targeted audience from one or more of the ‘key six’ groups (funders, alumni, academic staff, professional staff, current students, and future students) or industry partners; and
  3. fulfil at least one of the criteria below:
    1. high net worth and / or pose high reputational risk and / or unique to the University – this includes events that highlight a purpose, finding or representation of the University that is likely to generate public or media interest and / or attract high volumes of participation;
    2. University-wide or cross Faculty events;
    3. Faculty-wide events; or
    4. focussing on student recognition / engagement; and
  4. be included on the Annual Events Calendar as a budgeted and approved activity.

Reputational Risk Considerations

(7) Any event hosted by or in partnership with the University that is identified as having any level of reputational risk must include consultation with the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit.

(8) Event reputational risk factors include (but are not limited to):

  1. attendees that include University Council members, University Executives, Government representatives, VIPs or people of public interest;
  2. generation of public or media interest;
  3. potential for significant number of attendees;
  4. any possible security risk to the University; and
  5. identification of excessive overall event production costs.

Other Events

(9) Activities that are not considered Strategic Events will not be managed, produced and / or executed by the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit. Such activities are to be managed within the relevant faculty, department or office. Examples of other events include:

  1. facilitation or provision of updates on department standard business / operations – this includes but is not limited to staff meetings, staff training and development workshops or seminars;
  2. recognition of individual staff members (i.e. birthday celebrations, long service, retirement / departure); and
  3. student group based / driven activity.

(10) Responsibility for the execution of such events, including promotion and registration management, is that of the organising faculty, department or office.

(11) The Events and Domestic Protocol Unit may provide a limited level of support including event planning advice, access to event management toolkits and templates, and protocol guidance and support. Where costs are incurred by the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit in the course of providing support for other event activity, those costs will be on-charged to the organising faculty, department or office.

Budget Responsibilities

(12) The budget for events, both strategic and other, is the responsibility of the Event Owners in the faculties, departments, and offices and must be in accordance with the University’s Entertainment Policy.

(13) For Strategic Events, the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit will:

  1. obtain approval from the Event Owner prior to costs being incurred;
  2. ensure event budgets are kept in real-time and flagged with the Event Owner if exceeding approved budget levels; and
  3. report all event budgets through an actual vs estimated listing.

Timeline

(14) The Events and Domestic Protocol Unit will only provide support for Strategic Events where sufficient lead-time is provided in accordance with the Annual Events Schedule. Where lead-time requirements are not met, the Director, Events and Domestic Protocol, has discretion to decide what, if any, support the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit may provide (including logistical / communication support) and any additional costs that may be required for such support. If the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit is unable to provide appropriate support due to insufficient lead times, alternatives will be discussed at the discretion of the Director, Events and Domestic Protocol. These may include cancellation or postponement of the event, chargeable external support, and / or use of self service event tools.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(15) Refer to the University Strategic Events Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(16) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(17) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Annual Events Calendar means the list of events submitted by faculties, departments, and offices that have been approved for Events and Domestic Protocol Unit support. These events must be submitted and approved for support in the year preceding the event date.
  2. University Event means a planned event by a faculty, office or department with an internal or external audience and where the University is represented in any form.
  3. Strategic Event means a planned and approved event that is of strategic value to the University and meets the Strategic Event Criteria as specified in this Policy.
  4. Other Event means an event or activity that does not meet the Strategic Event Criteria, however is recognised as having value to the faculty, department or office undertaking the activity.
  5. Event Management means the application of project management criteria to a planned University hosted / sponsored / partnered occasion that achieves a defined purpose and outcome(s), including analysis of the success (engagement level rating) and return on investment (ROI).
  6. Event Owners means University staff from the faculties, departments and offices who are responsible for the event planning and liaising with the Events and Domestic Protocol Unit.