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Event Standards Guidelines

(As of November 2016)

Purpose: The Event Standards Guidelines assists the University community with the planning and implementation of successful events that are consistent with University policies and procedures. University departments are encouraged to develop events that enhance a sense of community, advance the University’s mission, and honor tradition in a manner that’s fiscally responsible and cost effective. These Guidelines are intended to serve as a best practice for planning events in conjunction with the available support from the Department of Hospitality and Event Services.

Definition of University Events: (As per the Business Reimbursement Policy) University events may be campus-wide or on a smaller scale including:

  1. Ceremonial and official functions.
  2. Conferences / retreats / seminars (not as part of a sponsored grant/contract).
  3. Recognition/morale activities including department wide staff events. Events should be reasonable and modest in nature.
  4. Public relations / development/fundraising events for the purpose of soliciting or generating the goodwill of prospective donors and alumni.
  5. Departmental business meetings.
  6. Recruiting of prospective employees.
  7. Community engagement and research collaboration with external sponsors.
  8. University sponsored meetings and conferences of an external organization.
  1. Guidelines for providing food & beverage (meals) at meetings and events: All best efforts should be made to avoid meetings during meal times. However, if these meetings cannot be adjusted the following guidelines should be followed and expenses should be reasonable, appropriate and modest in nature:
    1. Events and business meetings on or off campus, being held on properties owned, operated or controlled by the University, that include food and beverage must be provided by University Dining services.
    2. Reasonable menu items are encouraged to be selected for events to minimize costs and maximize sustainability for the university. (As per the Business Expense and Reimbursement Policy)
  2. Campus Space Usage: The use of university facilities, spaces and conference services is required, unless prior written approval from the Dean or Executive cabinet, for all University events, functions and business meetings. Hospitality & Event Services coordinates all meetings and events. (As per the University Space Policy.)
    1. Holiday Parties / Annual Events: Holiday and annual department events sponsored from University funds must be reasonable and modest in nature and approved by Provost, Dean or Vice Chancellor.
    2. Retirement Parties – Departments are encouraged to participate in the university annual retirement celebration in lieu of hosting individual celebrations. However, when retirement celebrations are hosted on the departmental level they should be reasonable and modest in nature and must be approved by Provost, Dean or Vice Chancellor. University funded events should only be considered for employees who have been employed by the University for a significant period of time, generally 20 years or more.
    3. Functions may also be held for directors, department heads or higher who are stepping down from their positions and are either remaining with or leaving the University; they must have held the position for five years or more.
  3. Bar & Alcohol Requests: Bar and Alcohol Requests at business meetings and events should follow the following guidelines. (As per the University Alcohol Policy)
    1. The Board of Trustee Business Expense Policy states, “Purchase of alcoholic beverages is highly discouraged due to the expense and the potential liability involved. However, when written authorization is obtained prior to the event, purchase and distribution must be made through Food Services [University catering service] or their approved substitute.”
    2. Any UMass Lowell-sponsored event that includes alcoholic beverages, must be approved by the Chancellor or their designee
  4. Types of Event Enhancements and Event Support: The University uses both internal and external event enhancements. These resources are utilized to support and improve the look and atmosphere of events on campus. Many of these resources exist in house for internal event usage at no additional cost. Internal event enhancements and décor are encouraged to be used when possible.
    1. These resources are encouraged to be used to manage unnecessary expenses.
    2. In house linen is preferred for University events, and should be ordered through Dining Services, or the Inn and Conference center.
    3. When outside rentals are needed for events, Hospitality & Event Services will manage the ongoing relationships with external vendors providing the university with discounted rates.
    4. All other rentals and event resources should be coordinated through Hospitality & Event Services. The outline below highlights the main categories of commonly used event enhancements on campus.
      1. Frequently Used Event Enhancements:
        • Item:
        • Purpose:
        • AV Support: Throughout the campus additional AV needs exists to enhance events. Support can include rentals of additional microphones, speakers, event tech support, and projection/plasma screens. (Internal & Rental)
        • Light Support: Additional light support for major events includes, stage lighting, table and event perimeter lighting, and event spot lights. (Internal & Rental)
        • Pipe and drape: Used to transform event space with different looks. (Internal)
        • Floral: Table enhancements custom for each event.
        • (Rental) Tent Rentals: Used to support outdoor major events throughout campus utilizing premier outdoor space.
        • (Rental) Table & Chair Rental: Rentals to increase campus inventory of resources to support large scale events.
        • (Rental) Stage Rentals: Rented to improve campus wide spaces for major events. (Rental)
        • Table Linens: Table covers needed for food service; gives opportunity for unique event décor. (Rental)
  5. Program Enhancements: All best efforts should be made to limit the number of program enhancements, including personalized branded items for specific events and gift items for participants.
  6. Sustainability: When planning any University function or event all efforts should be made to support the University’s ongoing sustainability efforts (e.g. reuse of flowers, minimize food waste, reuse of lanyards and/or name tags where possible, etc.)