Read How to Plan a Special Event at Dalhousie University text version

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University


Developed By: Conference Services Date: August 2008


Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University


Dalhousie University is proud to host numerous special events on campus ranging from small meetings for 25 guests to large international conferences for up to 1000. Such events include: seminars, receptions, conferences, meetings, lectures and symposia. Each event that is held on the University's campus has an impact on Dalhousie's reputation as both an event destination and academic institution. Every event presents an opportunity for the University to engage with a diverse audience. It is important that all events hosted at the University provide each individual attendee with a positive experience. There are two main benefits to hosting an event at Dalhousie University; the appeal of one of Canada's leading universities and the coastal charm of Halifax, Nova Scotia. From a financial perspective, accommodation, meeting space, food services and audiovisual services are competitively priced to offer affordable event package options. Dalhousie University's Conference Services team offers professional support services to make your event a resounding success. We are here to assist you through the planning process of all stages of your event. Our current services include:

· · · · · · · · ·

coordinating meeting space bookings providing dining hall availability and rates and coordinating arrangements through the University's food services partner, ARAMARK coordinating custodial services, security services and event setup/teardown services providing general conference services and guidance on an asrequired basis providing contacts for external service providers assisting with and/or directly coordinating audiovisual services (through the oncampus supplier) conducting site tours of residence accommodations and meeting space venues oneonone consultations prior to your event oncall assistance throughout your event (where applicable)

Conference Services staff includes two experienced and professional event coordinators. The Meeting Space Coordinator is responsible for managing all meeting space bookings yearround. This includes all events that do not have a requirement for overnight residence accommodations. The Conference Manager is responsible for managing all events that include an accommodations component and are held on campus between May and August each year. Additional event support staff are also available through Conference Services. The Conference Services office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30am4:30pm. Call us about your upcoming event. 2

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University Conference Services Room 1024, Risley Hall Residence 1233 LeMarchant Street Halifax, NS B3H 3P6 Tel.: 902.494.2429 Fax: 902.494.1219 Email: [email protected] Web:

Getting Started ­ Planning an Event at Dalhousie University

There are several important decisions that need to be considered in the early stages of planning your event. o Who is your audience? Consider who you are inviting to your event and what their individual needs will be. For example, when considering overnight residence accommodations for conference delegates, will your delegates enjoy shared washroom facilities or would they prefer rooms with private washrooms? o Choosing your event date. When choosing your event date, it is important to keep in mind the general availability of meeting space and accommodations on campus. The majority of meeting spaces are booked Monday to Friday during the academic year (September to April) as classroom space and some meeting rooms are booked yearround for classes. Generally speaking, classrooms are available yearround in the evenings and weekends and during the summer months from May to August. o Choosing your venue. The venue(s) booked for your event will have a significant impact on guest overall satisfaction, comfort and their impression of the conference and the University so it is important to consider which venues are most suitable for your event and meet your individual guest requirements. Conference Services has the ability to book specific meeting rooms in advance of the academic timetable. For a listing of these spaces, please contact Conference Services directly. The advantage of booking this specific space is that Conference Services has the ability to confirm your booking years in advance. The most popular meeting space options on campus for events include (not listed in any particular order): 1) The Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences Building Ondaatje Theatre ­ 500 seat, tiered theatre with fixed tablet arm chairs Scotiabank Auditorium ­ 250 seat, arcshaped, tiered theatre with fixed tables and moveable chairs


Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University Lobby & Courtyard ­ Open concept, two level space ideal for receptions, coffee breaks and/or conference registration Seminar/Break Out Rooms ­ classroom style with nonfixed, nontiered seating for up to 36 per room with tables and chairs Computer Labs ­ nonfixed, nontiered seating with varying capacities 2) The Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building Potter Auditorium ­ 400 seat, fixed, tiered theatre Lobby ­ open space ideal for coffee breaks, receptions and registration area Room 1020 ­ 120 seat, arcshaped, tiered theatre with fixed tables and moveable chairs Rooms 1007, 2009, 1011, 1014, 1016 ­ capacities range from 58 to 80 per room with all rooms offering tiered seating with fixed tables and moveable chairs 3) Residence Space Howe Hall ­ Cameron Dining Room: multipurpose room with round tables, non fixed, nontiered seating for up to 80. Risley Hall ­ Meeting Rooms 1 & 2: boardroom that can accommodate up to 2025 people around a nonfixed boardroom. Rooms can be booked for one larger board roomstyle meeting or two smaller meetings when the divider is used. Shirreff Hall ­ Victorian Lounge: furnished with Victorianstyle antique furniture and suitable for a reception for up to 25. Tip: It is important to remember that meeting space rates include only the rental of the room. Additional cost considerations include: audiovisual services/equipment, pre/post event custodial, room set up/tear down labour, security services, bar services and catering.

Planning Considerations

· Contacts at Dalhousie. When planning an event at Dalhousie, an important consideration is how many contacts you may establish on campus. The number of contacts is greatly determined by the complexity of your event requirements. For example, the majority of clients work directly with ARAMARK Food Services for specific event catering requirements and Bar Services for alcohol service. Please see section Dalhousie University Event Planning Contact List for oncampus event contacts. In addition, there are three specific venues on the University campus that are booked and managed directly by their inhouse reservations departments. These venues include: · Student Union Building · University Club · Arts Centre (including the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) 4

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University · Conference management services. Services offered by the office are identified on page 1. Additional conference management services can be outsourced; please refer to the section on External Services Suppliers for a listing. Suggested timeline for logistical arrangements. Depending on the scope of your event, typical logistical services include security, custodial, bar services, set up/tear down labour, catering and/or audiovisual. Although it is important to book catering and AV equipment shortly after you confirm your event on campus, the specific details for all of the above mentioned services can be confirmed a few weeks prior to your event especially if anticipate ongoing and frequent changes. Further information regarding logistical arrangements is provided under Logistical Considerations. Booking and confirming all event services on campus. Conference Services will issue a contract for the following services, where applicable: accommodations; meeting space, ancillary services including security, room set up/tear down labour and custodial. Upon receiving the contract from Conference Services, please review, sign and send back with a deposit (when required) in order to confirm your booking at Dalhousie University. Separate contracts will be issued by Bar Services and ARAMARK (as well as for facilities not booked by Conference Services). Tip: When booking equipment through Dalhousie's Instructional Media Services (IMS), Conference Services will obtain a quote and forward to the client for approval and signature. This signed document will be sent to IMS to confirm your order.



Logistical Considerations

· Choosing the appropriate venue(s). Consideration should be given to the following details to determine the most appropriate venue(s) for your event. · What are your room capacity requirements? Dalhousie offers a range of room capacities and configurations. Please discuss your specific capacity and venue requirements with Conference Services. Consideration should be given to the appropriateness of a particular venue to the purpose of the event. · Is audiovisual equipment available in this venue? Some venues on campus either have builtin AV equipment (use of this equipment is an additional cost to the room rental) . For venues that do not have this feature, portable AV equipment may be rented through a variety of on and external service providers. · Is parking available? On weekdays, there is limited parking available on Dalhousie campus. Most guests use parking meters or nearby side streets. Daily parking permits may be purchased directly through Dalhousie Security for any guest not staying overnight in residence. Although a guest may have purchased a daily parking permit, the permit does not guarantee a specific parking space on campus or general parking 5

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University availability. Please contact Conference Services for further information regarding daily oncampus parking. · Is the venue accessible for those with mobility challenges (including wheelchair accessibility)? The majority of the newer academic buildings are wheelchair accessible. It is recommended that you inform Conference Services at the time of your booking if you are expecting guests or presenters that have mobility challenges so that we can ensure the most appropriate meeting and accommodation space is booked for your event. Can I view the space to ensure this will meet my needs? Absolutely. You are encouraged to book a private viewing appointment through Conference Services. Our experienced staff can meet with you to view the venue and discuss your eventspecific requirements to ensure your needs are met. If the event and venue are located outdoors, will the weather be a factor? When hosting an outdoor event, there is always a risk that inclement weather may affect your plans. We recommend that you book an alternative indoor venue as a contingency to your outdoor space. Please note that there will likely be an additional cost to rent indoor space in conjunction with the exterior space.



Tip: Depending on your event, Conference Services may recommend that you book your exterior space directly through Dalhousie's Facilities Management Department. · Can catering be accommodated in this space? Catering can be arranged for the majority of venues on campus. We suggest that nearby lobby space be booked for the service of food and beverage as opposed to having the food served in the meeting room. Please note that there will be additional custodial charges for any event with that offers catering services. Specific venues on campus have exclusive food service agreements including: the Student Union Building, The Grad House, University Club and Residence Facilities. · Booking additional ancillary services · Security Services. Given the nature of select events, Dalhousie security services are often highly recommended as a means of controlling crowds and access to the venue. Depending on the time of day and/or the specific rooms you have booked, security services may be required. Upon making your initial meeting space booking, Conference Services will be able to confirm whether security services are required and we will make all necessary security service arrangements on your behalf and include these charges in your final event invoice.


Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University Tip: Consideration should be given not only to the start time of your event but at what time you'd like to access the facility/venue in advance to make necessary preparations. This would also apply to post event venue/facility access for clean up/tear down if required. · Room set up/tear down services. The majority of meeting rooms have a fixed room configuration, however, there are several venues on campus that can accommodate additional furniture (i.e. head tables) and/or changes to the existing room configuration. Although it is recommended that you maintain the existing room configuration, we understand that not all standard configurations may meet your needs. Should you require changes to the existing room set up, the following details must be communicated to Conference Services at least two weeks in advance: the changes that need to be made to the existing room configuration; requirements for a head table with chairs and if so, specific details on how many. Please note that there is an additional cost for changes to room configurations and/or the delivery and pick up of additional room furniture. Upon making the initial service request, Conference Services will bill the client based on the estimate provided. Please note this estimate is subject to review post event and additional charges may apply. Tip: If you require a skirted head table, we recommend that you request this service through your catering provider or an external service provider. Tip: If the existing room set up configuration does not meet your event requirements, please request changes through Conference Services. Out of concern for your health and safety and potential damage, clients are not permitted to move meeting room furniture. · Catering Services. Consideration should be given to whether or not your event will require catering services for functions such as coffee breaks, receptions, working lunches, etc. There are specific venues on campus that have exclusive food service arrangements. If you wish to obtain a catering quote and or discuss your catering requirements, please contact ARAMARK Food Services (recommended for all buildings that do not have an alternative food service contract in place). Please refer to the contact list. ARAMARK catering services are booked directly through ARAMARK and billed directly to the client by ARAMARK. · Bar Services. Dalhousie University's Bar Services holds the exclusive license for the sale and distribution of alcohol on campus. All alcohol service arrangements for all University facilities must be booked directly through Bar Services. The majority of venues on campus are licensed for the sale and distribution of alcohol; however, please confirm this with either Conference Services or Bar Services directly. Bar Services are booked and billed separately from Conference Services. 7

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University · AudioVisual Services and Support. If you wish to use existing/built in audiovisual equipment found in most meeting rooms on campus we will work with Instructional Media Services (IMS) on your behalf and apply any charges to your bill. However, you are welcome to bring in your own AV equipment and support through an offcampus supplier ­ subject to room compatibility. Note that our meeting room rates do NOT include the use of AV equipment. Custodial Services. Custodial service charges are almost always incurred for events held on campus. These charges help to cover the cost of having our unionized custodial staff service the venue post event. Custodial services are always required when food and beverage is served at an event. We recommend that you communicate your event requirements (a final program is always helpful) no later than 2 weeks prior to your event date to allow ample time to arrange for custodial services. There is an additional cost for custodial services, which will be billed via Conference Services. Conference Services will make all required custodial service arrangements on your behalf. Upon making the initial service request, Conference Services will bill the client based the estimate provided. However, please note this estimate is subject to review post event and additional charges may apply.


TIP: You may want to consider booking your meeting space at least one half day prior to and after your event to allow time for pre/postevent custodial services and to reduce the potential overtime costs. There is typically no additional fee to booking space for ancillary service purposes.

Overnight Guest Accommodation Requirements

· Do you require overnight guest accommodations on campus for your event guests? If so, the following section outlines available options as well as other considerations when making oncampus group accommodation arrangements. Accommodation options. From midMay to late August, Dalhousie University offers oncampus accommodations in a variety of residence facilities. Current accommodation options include; traditional/dormitory style residence rooms with single or double (two single beds) occupancy, shared washroom facilities on each floor with male and female designations available in each residence, 24 hour staffed front desk service, coinoperated laundry facilities, payphones throughout the building and common lounges (some with cable televisions). Residence rooms offer a desk, chair, single bed and closet/armoire and some residence rooms have sinks. Overnight parking. From May to August, onsite overnight parking is available for all guests in residence for a nominal fee. Guests are encouraged to make parking arrangements directly at the residence's front desk upon check in. 8

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University Residence meal options. Depending on business levels, there is normally one dining hall available for breakfast, lunch and dinner (buffetstyle food service). A minimum guarantee of 75 is required in order to open the dining hall for any meal; however, this number is normally achieved through a combination of smaller group bookings. If all meals are paid on one bill, the client will receive an invoice directly from ARAMARK Food Service for all dining hall service charges. Booking accommodations. There are two options available in order to manage overnight guest accommodation arrangements. Both options require a signed contract with Conference Services to book and confirm the residence rooms. · Individually billed accommodations. With this option, the client books a number of rooms for the dates of the event and provides delegates with the details in order to make their own individual reservations. These details include contact information for Conference Services & Summer Housing, available room options and rates. Individuals are responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements and paying for their accommodations upon check in. The contract will include a specified release date when Conference Services will automatically release any unbooked rooms back into inventory for general resale at no cost to the client. Master billed accommodations. This option requires the client to book and pay for all rooms booked under the event room block. The client is responsible for covering the cost for all guest accommodations with the group and Conference Services will issue an invoice (usually two weeks prior to arrival) and payment is due in full prior to or upon check in. Additionally, the client is responsible for cancelling any rooms not required as per the contract. The client is also responsible for assigning guests to rooms and providing this information to Conference Services at least one week in advance of arrival.



Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University

Publicity and Media Considerations

· Use of Dalhousie logo and other marks: Advance approval must be received from Communications & Marketing for the use of any Dalhousie mark or logo on conference material including promotional items, website and printed documentation. Film copyright approvals: For events hosted by internal Dalhousie departments, copyright film approval must be received from the Copyright Office. All other clients are directly responsible for obtaining the appropriate copyright approvals for any film presented at your event. Conference Services requires a copy of this approval prior to the event. Media involvement: Please be sure to inform Conference Services if you expect media to be involved in your event and/or if you are advertising your event off campus i.e. radio, television, web site, etc. Internal departments hosting an event must receive pre approval on advertisements associated with their event that reference Dalhousie. This approval is received through Communications & Marketing. For external clients, Conference Services will notify Communications & Marketing on the client's behalf and work with the client on all event advertising related to Dalhousie. Full disclosure of event details: Dalhousie requires full disclosure of all event details in terms of guest speakers, VIP guests, media involvement, program details and the audience. Event Advertising: If you intend to advertise your event throughout HRM, please remember to respect the environment and the HRM bylaws. It is illegal to put posters on power poles, trees or other signposts. Under Bylaw S800, posters can only be placed on community kiosks or notice boards, approved by the municipality. Anyone who violates the bylaw can face a penalty of a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $10,000. The bylaw is very broad and allows for a fine to be given to a range of individuals and organizations, including those who create or install the posters. It also can be levied against the event organizers who are advertising an event or against the person or organization that owns the property on which the sign has been posted.





Tip: Allow up to two months to obtain copyright approvals for any film presented at your event.

Conference Planner's Check List

The following check list is intended to provide a chronological time line for booking events on campus and is subject to change based on individual event requirements. Reference to accommodation booking details has been included but may not be applicable to every event booking on campus. Your first steps: 10

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University 1) Identify event dates 2) Determine number of delegates 3) Request a site inspection of Dalhousie University's residence and/or meeting space facilities if desired. 4) Book meeting space and accommodations (if required and available) through Conference Services. The following information must be provided in order to confirm your conference booking with a contract: · Event name (including associated acronym) · Main contact for the event and individual responsible for signing and managing the contract including full contact information for this/these individual(s) · Event dates · Accommodation check in and out dates · Number and type of accommodations required · Preferred residence building · Meeting space requirements including approximate start and end times, configuration requirements and specific dates 5) Determine how the event accommodation inventory will be managed. Two options are available including: · Master billed conference option the main event contact is responsible for managing the entire block, confirming rooming assignments and remitting payment for all accommodations. · Individually billed event option conference provides delegates with the contact information for Conference Services and each delegate is responsible for making their own accommodation arrangements and paying for their individual accommodations. 6) Sign contract and submit deposit for meeting space and accommodations (if applicable). 7) Discuss other budget considerations with Conference Services including: security services, custodial, audiovisual, catering and event set up/tear down labour. 8) Obtain approval by Conference Services for the use of all Dalhousierelated trademarks including Dalhousie's logo on all event materials. At least 90 days prior to event: 1) If you manage the accommodation inventory through the individually billed option, all pertinent accommodation booking information should be posted on the event web site and/or in printed event material so delegates are aware of the booking procedures, options and rates available and information required to make an individual booking. This information includes: · · · · Guest's full name as well as full contact information including an email address Arrival and departure dates Number of rooms and type of rooms required Credit card to confirm the reservation

* Delegates are asked to ensure they reference the event name when making a reservation so to ensure they are booked under the conference block. Please also be sure to provide guests with the following information: · Dalhousie University is a nonsmoking and scentfree environment. 11

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University · · · All traditional style residence rooms have shared common washrooms with male and female designations available. All guests staying in Dalhousie's accommodations must be 18 years of age or older, or accompanied by an adult. Dalhousie requires 24hours notice of any change or cancellation. Cancellation after this time will result in a charge equivalent to one night's stay on the guest's credit card.

Two months prior to event: 1) Review meeting space and set up requirements including the time and location of all coffee breaks and catered events. 2) Review event time frames and applicable services such as custodial and security. 3) Review delegate numbers and adjust meeting space and accommodation bookings if required (and space permits). 4) Review and confirm accommodation block to guarantee or release rooms. 5) Review parking availability and fees with Conference Services. 6) Obtain temporary delegate login passwords for oncampus Internet access during the event. 7) Obtain copyright permission (for film screenings). One month prior to event: 1) 2) 3) 4) Ensure meeting space still meets event program requirements. Confirm numbers for event space. Confirm arrival/departure dates (if managing a master billed accommodation block). Identify all audiovisual equipment requirements including onsite technical support requirements. 5) Review dining hall requirements with Conference Services and specific catering requirements with caterer including selection of food and beverage, expected delegate numbers, location, date and time. 6) Book University Bar Services if applicable (note that Bar Services is the exclusive provider of alcohol on campus. Please contact Conference Services for a listing of all licensed venues on campus). 7) Provide Conference Services with a final copy of the event program.

Two weeks prior to event: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) Final invoice will be issued by Conference Services. Send final accommodation rooming list to Conference Services (if applicable). Payment is due in full prior to or upon arrival. Provide a listing of onsite event contacts to all University suppliers. Confirm guaranteed numbers with caterer. Review final program with Conference Services. Confirm final audiovisual and meeting space set up requirements. Inform Conference Services and caterer of any delegates with special needs/requests including dietary restrictions.

Tip: It is useful to meet with Conference Services to review your final event program and finalize all logistics of your event at least 57 days prior to your event. 12

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University


Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University

Dalhousie University Event Planning Contact List

Contact Information Tel.: 902.494.2429 Fax: 902.494.1219 Email: [email protected] Instructional Media Audiovisual equipment rentals Tel.: 902.494.6471 Services and onsite support services Email: [email protected] ARAMARK Food Services Catering services Tel.: 902.494.7198 Fax: 902.494.2174 Email: [email protected] University Bar Services Exclusive bar services provider on Tel.: 902.494.6891 Fax: 902.494.6647 campus Email: [email protected] Copyright Office Approval on all copyrighted films Tel.: 902.494.6685 shown on campus Fax: 902.494.2062 Email: [email protected] University Club Events booked in the University Tel.: 902.494.6511 Fax: 902.494.6599 Club Email: [email protected] Arts Centre (Rebecca Direct booking of space and Tel.: 902.494.2273 Cohn Auditorium) logistics coordination Student Union Building Direct booking of space and Tel.: 902.494.3528 logistics coordination Fax: 902.494.6647 Email: [email protected] Security Services Emergencies and room access Emergencies: 4944109 General Inquiries: 4946400 Email: [email protected] Communications & Event publicity Tel.: 4942517 Marketing Fax: 4941472 Email: communications.m[email protected] Department/Supplier Conference Services Services Offered See pg. 1


Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University

Meeting Room Layout

Depending on what type of conference is being planned, not all seating arrangements will be appropriate. A smaller personal discussion and an elaborately structured conference with guest speakers will require two very different room configurations. Planning the best seating arrangements can: · dictate how formal/personal the conference is · increase the ability for delegates to move without disturbing other participants · allow for easy access to and from seating area without disturbing others Theatre Style Classroom Style Banquets Receptions McInnis Room Boardroom Style Hollow Square UShape 15

Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University

Equipment Providers

Equipment that is listed below is available for rent through external service providers. Contact information for such suppliers can be found under the External Service Providers section. The following service providers is merely a list of local suppliers, Dalhousie does not have any affiliation with any of the following suppliers. The client is responsible for working directly with such outside suppliers. · · · · · · Staging and backdrop requirements Easels and poster boards. Tables and chairs Skirting and linens Podiums Coat racks

External Service Suppliers Equipment Suppliers

1) LeGault Decorating Tel: 902.8358912 Email: [email protected] Web: 2) MacFarlands Rentals Tel: 902.453.0010 Email: [email protected] Web: 3) Global Convention Services Tel: 902.425.1400 Email: [email protected] Web:

Audiovisual Service Providers

1) AVW TelAV Tel: 902.468.4485 Web: 2) Advanced Systems Tel: 902.4544742 Email: [email protected] Web:


Guide to Planning an Event at Dalhousie University

Event Planning Companies

1) Event Specialists Tel. 902.404.3469 Web: 2) Event Trends Tel: 902.748.6424 Email: [email protected] Web:



How to Plan a Special Event at Dalhousie University

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