We will help you make your event a success, whether your event is intimate or grand. Read on for helpful tips and guidance.
Registered Campus Organizations
A well-planned event considers the needs and experience of all participants, including those with disabilities. Federal and state laws require that event planners consider all elements of disability access in an effort to encourage full involvement.
- Be sure to ask, at multiple points (registrations, RSVPs, confirmation emails, etc.), about any particular accommodations your guests may require.
- Communicate any special accommodation needs to the proper UCI scheduling office.
- If you are booking your meeting, conference, or event with Student Center & Event Services, ask about our assisted listening devices and the best ADA access routes based on your event venue and the nearest parking location.
When planning for an event, it is important to consider both the design (the overall goal or theme for the space) and décor (the actual items) in mind at all times so they are in line with each other. Below are some specific components to contemplate.
Please note that decorations may not be affixed to walls or other campus surfaces unless approved by the proper UCI scheduling office in advance of the event. Cleaning and damage costs may apply to restore space to its original condition.
- Think about the venue and if the existing lighting at the venue is sufficient for your needs.
- If the event is outdoor in the evening at UCI, you will likely need additional lighting.
- If you are booking your meeting, conference, or event with Student Center & Event Services at the Conference Center, ask about our LED floor lights, spot light, lighting trees, and Crystal Cove Auditorium lighting options.
- Additional lighting for events can be ordered from off-campus vendors. UCI does not have a preferred lighting vendor. The University of California requires that insurance certificates be provided for any vendors/service providers operating on University premises.
- If you are booking a meeting, conference, or event with Student Center & Event Services, your Conference & Event Specialist will be happy to arrange for lighting equipment rentals on your behalf and add the associated charges to your event bill.
- Linens enhance the appearance of an event and can help tie in to your color scheme/event theme. Think about the length of the linens you would like.
- White and black linens (not floor length) for round tables, cocktail tables, and 6’x30” tables can be rented from UCI Catering.
- Specialty linens (including floor length linens for various table shapes and sizes) can be rented from an off-campus vendor. The University of California requires that insurance certificates be provided for any vendors/service providers operating on University premises.
- If you are booking a meeting, conference, or event with Student Center & Event Services, your Conference & Event Specialist will be happy to work with UCI Catering to add the linen/food/beverages charges to your event bill. Your Conference & Event Specialist can also order linens from an off-campus vendor on your behalf. Please note that if you need Student Center & Event Services staff to setup and teardown the linens on your behalf, there will be an associated labor fee.
- Flower arrangements can be ordered through UCI Catering.
- You may also hire an off-campus florist for your event. The University of California requires that insurance certificates be provided for any vendors/service providers operating on University premises.
- When ordering flower arrangements/décor items, make sure you ask when the florist will be delivering the items to the venue and when items that need to be returned to the florist will be collected. This information should be communicated to the proper UCI scheduling office in advance to ensure the venue is available and staff are on hand to grant the vendor access to the space.
- If the vendor does not pick up items and leaves materials behind, you may be charged cleaning fees for removal and disposal and/or storage fees.
- Balloons must be tied down or weighted. For outdoor events, this prevents them from blowing away. For indoor events, if you are using helium, tying the balloons down ensures they do not float up to the ceiling and block air conditioning vents. Charges will apply to recover/clean up balloons that are not properly weighted or tied down.
- If you are ordering a balloon arch or column, ensure you have reserved the space you want to place the item.
- Balloons can be ordered from off-campus vendors. UCI does not have a preferred balloon vendor. The University of California requires that insurance certificates be provided for any vendors/service providers operating on University premises.
- When ordering balloons from an off-campus vendor, make sure to ask about delivery and pickup times. If the vendor does not pick up items and leaves balloon towers and other items behind, you may be charged removal and disposal fees.
Confetti or Glitter
- For venues managed by Student Center & Event Services, confetti or glitter may not be used for decorations due to the extensive cleanup required. Cleaning fees will apply for use of confetti or glitter.
- The layout of an event can also contribute to the overall look and feel. Ensure you have your layout details finalized more than 15 days prior to the event.
- For safety and liability reasons, clients may not rearrange furniture or equipment at a venue managed by Student Center & Event Services. If items are rearranged, a labor charge will be assessed.
Once you have confirmed necessary logistics, it is time to focus on the engaging facets of your event.
UC Irvine has a wide variety of music and entertainment-based clubs to enhance any event.
Think about all elements of the event (guest arrival, duration of event, etc.)
- If you are looking for a UCI student organization to perform at your event, check out the performance and entertainment groups at UCI Office of Campus Organizations using the “Find a Campus Organization” search at the bottom left of this page. Registered Campus Organizations (RCO) may need to register their performance with Mercer to satisfy insurance requirements. More information about RCO insurance needs can be found here.
- If you plan to hire professional, off-campus entertainment provider, be sure to ask if they can provide insurance. The University of California requires that insurance certificates naming UC Regents as additional insured be provided for any external vendors/service providers operating on University premises. If you are part of a UC department, work with campus purchasing staff to ensure a proper agreement is executed and the vendor is properly on-boarded.
- Check with your performers to identify any equipment they plan to bring with them (sound systems, instruments, etc), as well as to ask if they have any equipment or special needs (green room, parking arrangements/permit, etc). Charges will typically apply for equipment rentals and may also apply for connection instruments and other devices provided by external entertainment providers to University sound/technical systems. Some campus systems may not be able to support amplified devices, so ask about these needs early on.
- In general, weapons and weapon like objects are not permitted on University premises, so check with the appropriate scheduling office if you want to have a performance that has/uses these kinds of objects. Insurance and safety requirements are likely to pertain if an exception is granted to allow such activity.
- All performances and event components must comply with Fire Code and UCI Fire Safety Regulations. Keep this in mind when thinking about any acts or décor that require the use of fire/open flames.
- For events with entertainment and/or performances, the scheduling office may require onsite technical or assistance staffing, determined by the specific types of entertainment and equipment needed for the performances. Associated staffing fees will likely apply.
- Raffles and other gambling type of activities in which participants pay to buy a chance to win an item or service are not permitted on University premises. “Opportunity drawings,” in which participants do not pay but are given an equal chance to win items or services are permitted.
As event planners, we have the opportunity each day to provide exceptional customer service and to create a memorable experience for every UC Irvine guest. At the same time, planning events at a world class institution of higher education requires a balance of protocol and tradition.
Consider these details:
- Are your guests arriving from out of town?
- Are your guests high level enough to be greeted at the airport and at the hotel before the event? Or, should they just find their way to the venue?
- Will you have snacks or beverages delivered to their green room or hotel?
- If you are using flags at the event, refer to UCI’s flag protocols for guidance on placement.
- Think about your seating arrangements.
- Consider a token/gift for speakers and VIP guests.
- Brief your support team for the event on any relevant cultural norms pertaining to your event guests.
- For guidance on proper forms of address, check out UCI’s Forms of Address reference sheet.
- For UCI Departments thinking about using campus logos at the event or in your marketing for the event, refer to the UCI Brand Guidelines for information.
For information about (and images of) event venues managed by Student Center & Event Services, visit our Conference Center website. You can even view 360° images of the individual venue spaces located within the Student Center Conference Center.
For a list of other scheduling offices at UC Irvine, click here.
Hosting an event at the Student Center Conference Center?
UCI Catering has first right of refusal.
Hosting an event at an outdoor venue at UC Irvine?
You may use a University approved caterer.
Can food or beverages be served in a general assignment classroom or lecture hall?
No food or beverages may be served in UCI classrooms or lecture halls.
Can Registered Campus Organizations sell food on campus for fundraising purposes?
Yes, RCOs can sell food on campus to fundraise for their organization. The organization must follow Student Life & Leadership regulations (see section 42.30), as well as Environmental Health & Safety requirements (e.g., Temporary Food Permits).
Can off-campus vendors book space at UC Irvine to sell their food products?
Cooking spaces outdoors are limited to specific areas of Ring Mall. Look for the “COOKING” label on the Ring Mall Maps to identify standard cooking spaces. Not all cooking spaces have access to power. Canopies cannot be used over flames. Campus fire extinguisher requirements apply. See UCI Fire Safety Regulations for extinguisher details.
Can alcohol be served at my event?
UCI Catering has an alcohol permit from Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to serve alcoholic beverages within the Student Center Conference Center. Labor charges to hire TIPS certified bar tenders through UCI Catering will apply. In accordance with the campus alcohol policy, you will also need to submit a Request to Serve or Sell Alcoholic Beverages at least 20 business days in advance of the event. Onsite staffing at an hourly rate will be required for events booked in a space managed by Student Center & Event Services. Additional costs (e.g., cost of a day permit from ABC) and requirements (layout requirements from ABC to contain alcohol service) will apply to other venues (e.g., outdoors). Ask your Conference & Event Specialist for more details.
Having individuals or entities sell goods, merchandise, or services at an event can enhance the overall guest experience and the success of the event. Common examples of vendors at an event include entities/individuals selling: books, CDs, phone cases, t-shirts, socks, etc.
- If you are thinking of having a company/individual sell goods/merchandise/services at your event, you will need to have the vendor apply for a Temporary Vendor Permit. To apply for a Temporary Vendor Permit, the entity will need to complete the Temporary Vendor Permit form, a Vendor Agreement, and provide a certificate of commercial liability insurance.
- The University requires minimum of $1,000,000.00 per occurrence and $2,000,000.00 aggregate for commercial general liability and property damage covering activities for general use of University properties. The University shall be furnished with a Certificate of Insurance naming The Regents of the University of California as additional insured and a certificate holder. Additional insurance coverage/documentation may be required by University based on the scope of the vendor’s activities.
- The Temporary Vendor Permit form, Vendor Agreement and Certificate of Insurance must be submitted to the Director of Student Center & Event Services or the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs – Auxiliary Services at least 15 days prior to the event date for review/approval.
- If you have vendors at your event, you need to coordinate the shipping/receiving of any materials. Check with your SCES Conference & Event Specialist for details on their receiving and storage policies. SCES can usually receive items 72 hours or less in advance of an event and hold items awaiting shipment for 24 hours or less. SCES does not accept responsibility for items that are shipped to SCES or are left behind in a SCES managed facility. If you would like to store items on SCES premises, you must request permission from SCES at least 15 days prior to event start date. If SCES can approve the storage request, labor and space usage fees may apply. In addition, you must return a completed Storage Waiver to SCES prior to the event.
Exhibitors (individuals and entities not selling merchandise/items/services at an event) are a common element for enhancing the guest experience. Career fairs, conferences/symposiums, and even lectures often have exhibitors.
- While no application form is needed for an entity to exhibit on UC Irvine property as part of an event, you and your scheduling office will need to collect certain information about the exhibitor including: if they will bring any of their own equipment (banners, computers, display items, etc), if they need access to power, if they need the venue/event sponsor to provide any equipment for them, if they plan to have food or other giveaways, etc.
- SCES will need a list of the names of each exhibitor and the details about what they will bring/need about 3-4 weeks prior to the event start. From this information, you and the scheduling office can determine equipment rental needs, layout for the exhibitor area, if power is available, and any applicable approvals/insurance requirements.
- Exhibitors bringing more than just informational fliers and materials may be required to provide insurance in accordance with campus vendor policies. Additional insurance will likely be required for high risk activities such as bone marrow drive entities, blood drive entities, etc.
- Additional requirements beyond insurance typically apply for the free distribution of food items.
- SCES can help determine requirements based on the information you collect from your proposed exhibitors. If you are working with Student Center & Event Services, our Conference & Event Specialists will help you through the process of collecting information and meeting associated requirements.
- If you have exhibitors at your event, you need to coordinate the shipping/receiving of any materials. Check with SCES for details on their receiving and storage policies. SCES can usually receive items 72 hours or less in advance of an event and hold items awaiting shipment for 24 hours or less. SCES does not accept responsibility for items that are shipped to SCES or are left behind in a SCES managed facility. If you would like to store items on SCES premises, you must request permission from SCES at least 15 days prior to event start date. If SCES can approve the storage request, labor and space usage fees may apply. In addition, you must return a completed Storage Waiver to SCES prior to the event.
- Think about your budget and the elements/décor that will do the most to enhance your guest experience.
- Consider key touch points for your guests such as the entrance and registration area. Consider spending more on enhancing the elements at these locations to get guests excited about the event as a whole.
- Consider how catering and entertainment elements will contribute to the event.
- Table décor and perimeter décor can add to the overall feel of the venue space. Consider drapes, plants, the stage area, mood lighting, etc.
- Consider how to brand the event by incorporating your logos into agendas, signage, and even event giveaways.
- Think about your audience and plan the agenda time line to match their attention span and needs. What do your guests hope to get out of this event? Does your agenda provide what your guests are expecting?
Ideas to Enhance the Guest Experience
- Think about how food/menu items can tie into the event theme.
- Consider how social media, photos, and other technological elements can enhance the guest experience and create lasting memories.
- Consider audiovisual components and use presentations, videos, sound, and other elements to enhance the guest experience.
- Consider how lighting can be used to create different moods for different components of your event.
- Think about whether or not the event should be filmed, livestreamed, or otherwise recorded. Recording events can serve many needs including documenting the event, creating promotional content for future events, and allowing others who cannot attend the event to participate.
- Think about inviting a UC Irvine Student Organization to perform at the event.
- When determining how to enhance the guest experience through imagery, sound, etc., make sure you are not selecting copyrighted/licensed/trademarked materials. If you want to use such materials, you will need to obtain permission in writing in advance. Written proof of copyright permission is due to SCES 15 days prior to the event start date.
Effective event promotion is vital in ensuring your guests are informed of significant event details. After establishing your purpose, target audience, and budget, you can more precisely shape promotional efforts to the needs of your event.
- Any use of names, marks, logos, or trademarks of the University of California, the Irvine campus, or any abbreviations thereof in connection with events held on University property must comply with policy and may require prior approval in writing. See UCI Policy 700-20 for details. Client must notify University of any proposed use of names, marks, logos or trademarks at least 15 days prior to the event start so time is available for any necessary approvals.
- UC Irvine students, faculty, staff, registered campus organizations, and UC departments may post and exhibit noncommercial literature and printed materials only in approved locations, and may distribute such literature and materials only in areas open to the public generally. Printed materials may not be affixed to building surfaces. See the UCI Posting Policy for more details. Posting flyers on the interior and exterior surfaces of the Student Center is prohibited. For a fee, University can hang banners from the ceiling or create and display a variety of custom signs. Client may bring event posters to place on an easel during an event, as long as the placement of easels has been approved by University in advance.
- External organizations (i.e., entities that are not University of California departments) may not solicit the University community without written permission from University in advance. In addition, solicitation activities must comply with applicable regulations and laws, including but not limited to the CAN-SPAM act. See CAN-SPAM Act for details.
- For UC Irvine departments, check out the brand and visual identity standards.
Ideas for Marketing and Promotion
- Student Center & Event Services offers an array of marketing and promotional services/options.
- Looking to make a promotional video for your event? Check out the professional videography and production services available through AntMedia.
- For UC Irvine departments looking to create visual materials, check out the image and history resources available through UCI Strategic Communications.
Off-campus rental and service providers such as equipment rental companies, florists, balloon vendors, DJs, videographers, etc. are a great resource to enhance the look and feel of an event.
- Vendors providing professional services on University property in support of event setup/logistics such as a florist, balloon vendor, equipment rental companies, etc. should be coordinated with your department finance team and campus purchasing to ensure proper agreements and reimbursement procedures are followed.
- Insurance will be required of the vendor by UC Irvine and will vary based on the type and scope of services being provided. General insurance requirements are outlined in UC Policy BUS 63.
- For food services such as catering, only an approved caterer can be used. Additional restrictions may apply by venue. See (link to food and beverage page) for more details.
- The SCES team can order many off-campus services on your behalf and add the charges to your final event bill. This takes the burden of the purchasing, contracting and insurance elements off your plate. Ask your Conference & Event Specialist for details.
Preferred Vendor List
With the exception of caterers (see University approved caterer list), UC Irvine does not have a preferred vendor list. However, different scheduling offices may maintain lists of service providers they regularly work with. Ask your scheduling office contact for more details.
- For outdoor events, “sound” is any sound made outdoors whether amplified (e.g., PA system, DJ, bullhorn, radio, computer speakers, etc.) or not. Sound that disrupts or conflicts with the functioning of operations of the University is prohibited.
- Sound should only be amplified to an adequate and appropriate level for the intended audience and venue, as determined by the University under time, place and manner.
- Permission from University must be obtained in advance to use sound outdoors.
- Sound requests are typically considered on weekdays in designated spaces on Ring Mall and in Aldrich Park between noon and 1 pm. Sound requests for the Student Center Terrace Stage are typically considered between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Use of sound outdoors during other time periods and on weekends may also be considered.
- To request to use sound outdoors, complete and submit the Sound Exception Form. This form should be submitted 15 days in advance of your event start in order to allow sufficient time for review. Submitting this form does not guarantee approval of your request.
- For indoors, sound is any noise whether amplified (e.g., musical instruments) or not (e.g., drums, large group of voices singing without instruments) that could be heard through the walls into adjoining spaces.
- Indoor sound that is loud enough (e.g., singing, drums, other instruments, etc.) that it could disrupt other programs or activities needs to be booked in spaces where there are solid, thick walls or a sufficient buffer.
- Client must inform their UCI scheduling office during the booking process if the event will have loud sound so an appropriate location can be determined.
- Parking permits are required at all times for all vehicles parked on campus.
- Permit rates can be found online.
- The event sponsor will be billed for any event-related services required by Guest & Event Services as a direct result of the event, including but not limited to traffic direction, kiosk/permit attendants, and permits.
- For information about Parking & Transportation Services, Guest and Event Services team at 949-824-2690 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A wide range of policies can apply to an event depending on the nature and scope of the event. Below are some common policies that frequently relate to events booked by SCES. Review these policies to ensure you are familiar with University requirements.
UCI Student Center & Event Services Policies
University of California Policies
- Regulations Governing Non-Affiliates
- Minimum requirements for vendors performing work on University property
- The University of California does not need to be a certificate holder/additional insured on a workers comp policy, but University policy does require these elements for Commercial Liability and for commercial auto insurance. See UC Policy BUS 63 section 3.D.2 for details on additional insured requirements
- UCI Major Events Policy
- Rights of Free Speech and Academic Freedom
- Use of Sound (see section D, item 3)
- Policy on Use and Scheduling of UC Irvine Properties
- Guidelines for Scheduling Campus Properties through Student Center & Event Services
- Policy on Posting and Distribution of Literature and Materials
- Guidelines for the Design and Placement of Banners on the UC Irvine Campus
- Policy on the Sale, Service and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages
- Access Regulations for Employee Organizations
- Guidelines on Display of Flags
- UCI Food Service Guidelines
- Policy on Use of University Name and Seals, Campus Names and Seal and Trademarks
- Policy on Use of Videotapes
- Policy on Temporary Access to University Properties by Off-Campus Vendors and Commercial Entities
- Policy on Filming and Photography on the UC Irvine Campus
- Guidelines for Filming and Photography on the UC Irvine Campus
- Smoke and Tobacco-Free Environment Guidelines
- Parking Permit and Adjudication Guidelines
- Policy on Non-Research Animals on Campus
- Policy on Credit and Debit Card Acceptance and Security
- Guidelines for Performance Agreements
- Fireworks Policy
- Policy on Parking, Transportation and Traffic Regulation
- Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S)
- Dean of Students Conduct Policy
- All events must comply with University safety policies, as well as applicable regulatory codes.
- SCES will review the event details provided during the booking process to ensure compliance with fire code and campus fire safety requirements.
- Proposals for structures or displays must be submitted to SCES more than 15 days prior to an event start for safety review, pending a safety inspection on the event date. If a structure is found to be unsafe, the University will not approve the structure for use at the event. Outdoor displays may not exceed 10’ in height and must fit within the designated reserved location.
- Organizations, groups, and individuals interested in using open flame devices must obtain permission in advance. Open flame devices are defined as candles, torches, gas grills, butane burners, or any other flame-producing device. Each event will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by your UCI scheduling office in coordination with the UC Irvine Fire Safety Division. Open flame devices will only be approved when appropriate measures have been taken to ensure fire safety.
- Events with minors require the following: advanced planning, supervision plans, onsite supervision, consideration of transportation to and from UC Irvine (note: insurance requirements from transportation providers apply), and University waiver documents must be signed by parents or legal guardians prior to the event.
- High risk events, and/or events with minors (individuals under the age of 18) who are not accompanied by their parent or legal guardian, are subject to University waiver requirements. For such events, the event sponsor is responsible for getting the participant’s parent or legal guardian to complete a liability waiver (provided by University) and return it to the event sponsor prior to participant’s arrival for the event. The event sponsor is responsible for distributing, collecting, and storing the signed waivers for two years beyond the minor’s 18th birthday. When working with a group of children of close ages, e.g., 5th graders, the waivers may be maintained as a group and discarded two years after all members of that group are expected to have reached age 18. University waivers may not be changed or altered in any way.
- The event sponsor can be held legally and financially responsible for an event. Signers for a UCI Registered Campus Organization should refer to RCO Insurance Liabilities for more information about personal liability.
- In order to reduce risk and liability, insurance for an event, or a component of an event, may be required or recommended. Consult your UCI scheduling office or Risk Management for more information.
- Talk to your Conference & Event Specialist about an Emergency Preparedness Plan for your event.
- In accordance with California Penal Code, most weapons are not permitted on University property. See UCI Police Department’s Guide for details. To request permission to use weapons (or weapon like objects) at an event, Client must submit their request to University more than 15 days prior to the event start for review.
The presence of University approved security personnel may be required depending on the size and scope of an event. SCES will coordinate with the UC Irvine Police Department on a case-by-case basis to determine security needs. SCES does not take responsibility for equipment or supplies brought to campus by an event sponsor, its vendors, or its participants/guests. You may want/need to request to hire Campus Security Officers (CSOs) to monitor equipment prior to, during, and after the event.
- If your event has guest speakers, be prepared to provide SCES with the speaker’s first and last name, as well as their topic.
- SCES will work with you on any special needs and arrangements.
- Consider whether your speaker needs assistance with transportation, driving directions, parking arrangements, a green room, audio-visual equipment, beverages/snacks, or even a thank you gift for speaking at your event.
- Some speakers have experienced challenges at past events/venue. This could include others disrupting the event/speaker, people harassing the speaker, or the speaker drawing too large of a crowd for the event venue. Ask your speaker if they have had any of these issues and share the information with your Conference & Event Specialist. They can help you plan for any security needs and help you right fit the event venue to the speaker and event logistics.
- If you plan to have any VIP or special guests at the event including members of the media, political figures, celebrities, or even the UCI Chancellor, make sure to inform your UCI scheduling office. Parking arrangements, security, and other special considerations may be necessary or highly recommended.
Event lead times will vary based on the size and scope of an event; some events may fall under the Major Event policy. If an event inquiry or event information is received with insufficient processing time, then SCES will advise the client and assist the client in identifying viable alternative event dates. For example, an event with additional approvals or that requires resources from other UCI departments/external service providers will require additional processing time. A request that does not allow for the necessary processing time will necessitate the selection of a date further out that accounts for the time to obtain approvals and secure partner resources.
Unfortunately, event requests made with less than the lead time indicated below will generally need to be booked for a later date. Late booking fees may apply in some cases.
Please refer to the guide below for minimum lead times by event description. For questions regarding lead time requirements, please contact the SCES Administrative Office at 949.824.5252.
Event in Student Center Conference Center, classroom or lecture hall, Aldrich Park, field, or plaza
One (1) space with low risk activities
One (1) space with medium to high risk activities
Two – five (2 – 5) spaces with low risk activities
Two – five (2 – 5) spaces with medium to high risk activities
Six (6) or more spaces regardless of risk level
Event on Ring Mall
One – four (1 – 4) spaces with low risk activities
Five (5) or more spaces with low risk activities
Any number of spaces with medium to high risk activities
The minimum event lead times listed increase when the event contains elements including but not limited to:
- amplified or non-amplified sound
- cooking or open flames
- structures or displays
- vendors or vendor activity
- non-SCES service providers
- performers or performances
- speakers (especially high profile speakers)
- food trucks
- filming and/or photography
- afterhours usage
- on-campus residential component (note UCI residence halls are only available for conference use from end of June – end of August each summer)
- animals (e.g., therapy dogs)