Resources for Events

Funding your Event

Several funding sources exist for your group to fund your event. Visit the Funding sections for more information about funding your event. Below are possible sources of funding:

Each funding source will come with stipulations about how the money can be spent, especially grants and Student Services Fees. Please visit the sources’ websites for specific information about each funding option.

Venues and Spaces

The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus has dozens of reservable venues and spaces available to registered student groups, including theaters, athletic facilities, meeting rooms, reception areas, outdoor space, and classrooms. Below you will find information and links to different venues on campus. In general, the University’s Conference and Event Services is a great place to start when looking for venue and space resources.

Before you reserve…

What are your needs?

When your group has identified a timeframe you would like to host your event, as well as determining back-up dates and times, you will want to determine what reservable spaces will meet your event needs. Consider the following:

  • What atmosphere is needed for your event?
  • What size room do you need?
  • What kind of audio/visual/other technology needs do you have?
  • What have you budgeted for venue and technology costs?

Accessibility

We encourage you to review the Guidelines for Accessible Meetings and Events provided by Disability Resource Center. This will help your student group ensure it’s being as inclusive as possible for all potential attendees and group members.

Not all spaces are reservable

Particular areas throughout campus as well as within Coffman Memorial Union and the St. Paul Student Center are designated shared or public space. The following spaces within the Unions are considered shared/public. They cannot be reserved by student groups, University departments or University guests, nor used to conduct programs or activities:

  • The Cube
  • Fireplace lounges
  • Television seating area
  • Corridors excluding contact tables
  • Lobby spaces

Sidewalks on campus are also not reservable; however, individuals are allowed to distribute information as long as they don’t set up any furniture or impede traffic flow. Per University policy, any food/beverage distribution or fundraising will need to have additional permits approved (see Approvals and Permits below).

Large Venues Spaces

Large venue spaces should be reserved at least two months in advance. Verify space availability before you get too far into the event planning process. Some spaces on campus, particularly the large venues, may be reserved between a semester and a year prior to an event date, so it is never too early to being the planning process.

Student Unions and Activities Venues

SUA offers registered student groups free and discounted rates on spaces within Coffman Memorial Union and the St. Paul Student Center on our reservations site.

Office of Classroom Management Venues

University classroom space can be used for meetings or events that do not involve set-up, food, or decorations (for example, a lecture or panel discussion). Classroom space is free for student groups, as long as it’s used properly.

Outdoor On-Campus Spaces

Outdoor space includes event space, contact tabling space, and the University’s 5K Run routes. The reservation process is submitted via an application. Groups should familiarize themselves with outdoor space policies and procedures as they start planning for outdoor events

Contact Tables

Many student groups find that tabling in public spaces can be a useful way to share their message with other students. There are specific policies in regard to tabling in both Student Unions, as well as the Residence Halls/Apartments.

Student Unions

Contact table reservations can be made online for Coffman Union, St. Paul Student Center and outdoor spaces.

Residence Halls/Apartments

Please review policies and reservation guidelines for contact tabling and use of table tents for Residence Halls. Questions about reserving tables in Residence Halls should be directed reslife@umn.edu or 612-625-2121.

Other On-Campus Event Venues

The University of Minnesota has many other venues available to student groups, including conference centers, theater space, meeting spaces, and sports/athletic facilities. For details on what is available, visit University Conference and Event Services.

Scheduling Venues and Spaces

When your student group has identified which reservable spaces are appropriate for your event, check availability via the venue’s website or by contacting the venue’s Reservations Staff to check on date availability. If your initial dates are not available, tentatively hold the dates they can offer and check with your group, as well as any performers or vendors, to see if the new date will work. Once you have confirmed internally, and checked for any conflicting events taking place at the same time, confirm (or cancel) your room reservation.

The length of time you reserve your event space for depends on your event needs. Remember: you should reserve your room from the time the first person from your group needs to enter the room to start setting up for your event (including dropping off supplies) until the last person leaves the room. Room reservation times are typically much longer than the actual event time.

If you have questions, contact the venue directly.

Venue Coordination Staff

Best Practices for Working with Coordination Staff

  • The venue’s Event Coordination staff and your group’s event planning team have the same goal: for your group to have a successful event. If the Event Coordination staff recommends a change to your room layout or event’s schedule/agenda, it’s because they know the event space you are using. They know what kinds of events have been held there before, how traffic flow works, what room capacity is like, how much time is needed to change over tech equipment between performers or lecturers. They also know when their staff needs to have final event details in order to provide you the service you need for your event. You might need to make changes from your original event vision, but the Event Coordination staff will give you feedback that is going to help you better meet your event goals.
  • The venue’s Event Coordination staff should send you a room reservation confirmation/overview or contract for use of space and tentative room diagram based on your conversations. If necessary, ask for the Event Coordination staff to resend you your event’s room reservation confirmation/overview or contract for use of space and finalized room diagram. That way, you can make sure the event your group has planned matches the event that you have communicated to the venue’s Event Coordinator.
  • The venue’s Event Coordination staff is planning for your event to be exactly as you have told them it will be. However, your group’s event planning team might still be finalizing details or something might change that affects your event schedule and venue requirements. Be sure to communicate any changes or updates to your event to the Event Coordination staff.

Steps for Working with Coordination Staff

  1. Identify point of contact from the group to reserve event space and communicate event needs. If necessary, identify who will take the lead for communicating audio/visual technical needs. Your group’s reservation event contact needs to be a listed officer from your group and will be the sole point of contact with your venue’s Event Coordination staff.
  2. Schedule a preliminary event planning meeting with your venue’s Event Coordination staff to discuss…
    1. room rates
    2. layout and setup
    3. tech equipment and personnel scheduling and rates
    4. catering/food and decoration policies
    5. Security and safety requirements
    6. any need to reserve additional rehearsal, decoration or rain back-up space.

      This meeting will allow you to adjust your preliminary event budget as needed, as well as determine deadlines and communication plans with your venue’s Event Coordination staff. You should try to meet with Event Coordination staff at least six weeks prior to your event date.
  3. Update your other group members and event partners on your preliminary event planning meeting. Go over any changes needed to your event so that the event planning team can make any needed adjustments within their area of responsibility. Make sure the event planning team is aware of your communication plan, timeline and deadlines that you have set with your venue’s Event Coordination staff. Set internal deadlines for communication and event planning goals, so you stay on schedule with the Event Coordinator staff.
  4. Schedule your follow-up event planning meeting at least 2-3 weeks prior to your event. During this meeting with the Event Coordination staff, you will provide your final set-up and tech needs, the schedule of your event, and submit any remaining permits or agreements.
  5. Notify your other group members that the event logistics, room layout, and tech needs have been finalized. If your group discovers they need to make an adjustment, check in with the Event Coordination staff to see if it’s possible. Changes and updates should be minimal leading up to your event.

Approvals and Permits

Student groups are responsible for knowing and following University policies and procedures, as well as following event approval timelines and permit/application deadlines. Applications and permit deadlines vary. It can take the full approval timeline for a permit to be approved, so please plan accordingly for your preferred submission timeline. As a reminder, “business days” for the University are typically Mondays through Fridays.

Serving food during meetings or events

Depending on the type of food you are serving, you will need to submit a Pizza Agreement form, a Potluck Agreement form, or a University Food Permit application. Forms are due a minimum of ten business days (two weeks) in advance of event date.

Fundraisers and Sales

Please see Fundraising and Sales for student group policies and applications related to fundraisers and sales during events. This includes the Student Group Sales and/or Fundraising Permit application and Bake Sale Agreement. Applications are due a minimum of ten business days (two weeks) in advance of event date.

Requesting to serve alcohol at an event

If your group is interested in applying to have alcohol present at your event, you need to submit the Alcohol Use Application for registered student groups. Completed application is due a minimum of fifteen business days (three weeks) in advance of event date.

Public Performance of Films and Video Games

In order to screen a film, you must submit a Public Performance Application and attach a copy of your approved public performance license agreement. Public performance agreements are also needed if you want to play video games in a public venue. Please see Use of Copyrighted Works for more information.

General Liability Insurance Coverage for on-campus events

Please see Student Group Insurance (Link to Insurance policy/process) webpage. You may be required to get general liability insurance coverage to protect your group and its members.

Concerts or Dances

If your group would like to hold a dance or concert, contact Student Activities immediately to discuss your event plans, additional fees for security, and event policies. You must contact Student Activities at least one month in advance of your proposed event date.

Additional Resources and Considerations

Promotion Materials

For information, best practices and resources to promote your event, please see the Promotion webpage.

SUA Information Desk

The SUA Information Desk on the First Floor of Coffman Union can provide services to group events such as ticketing services and providing bins for food/book/toy drives. Please see the Services page for more information.

Directions, Maps, and Parking

Make sure all people involved with your event (including attendees, volunteers, vendors, and speakers/performers) can get to your venue, and what their transportation and parking options are. Many event venues have links and map resource they can provide to you. Event venue staff can also advice on vendor load-in route and options, including the use of loading docks/areas and supply storage options.

Insurance

If a Registered Student Organization (RSO) does not have its own coverage, it may purchase Tenant User’s Liability Insurance Policy (TULIP). This program is designed for third-party facility users who need to purchase general liability insurance for an event. TULIP is a General Liability policy that protects both the facility user and the University. The policy provides coverage for bodily and personal injury or property damage arising out of the use of University premises by external users.

TULIP Coverage Instructions

To purchase coverage for your event:

  1. Visit: https://tulip.ajgrms.com
  2. Click on “Get A Quote” located on the left side of the screen or “QuickQuote” located at the top of the page.
  3. Select the location of your event by following the prompts:
    • State – Minnesota
    • Location – The University of Minnesota
    • Venue – 4025 Regents of the University of Minnesota
  1. Select the Dates and attendance for your events using the calendar function. Note: Coverage is required for all days of your event
  2. Select your event type by following the prompts.
  3. Disregard the “Additional Coverage Options” screen (excess coverage, alcohol and vendors…) as this additional coverage is not required - the policies and paperwork regarding Alcohol Use can be viewed in the forms library.
  4. Review your Coverage and Premium.
  5. Input payment information and click “Submit.”

General Exception: Athletic events, such as ‘fun runs,’ are outside the scope of the coverage. K&K Insurance or sanctioning by USA Track and Field are options for obtaining coverage.

If you have any questions or need further clarification on University of Minnesota insurance policies, please contact the Office of Risk Management, 612-624-5884.

Safety of Minors on Campus

Student Groups hosting minors for an event on campus are responsible to be aware of and in some cases adhere to the Regents policy on the Safety of Minors.

Student Groups that operate programs or activities on campus or in a University facility where minors attend without an accompanying adult, or when the program includes an overnight stay must certify to the University that all individuals who will have ongoing interaction with minors have received training and have undergone the criminal background check that meets or exceeds the University’s Health and Safety Requirements for Programs Involving Minors.

CLP’s would follow the Safety of Minors policy through involvement with a campus department. RSO’s responsibility for meeting safety requirements are similar to an outside organization using space on campus. Responsibility for meeting requirements are shown on the Safety of Minors - Requirements Grid attached to the Safety of Minors Policy.

For assistance in determining your group’s responsibility, please contact Student Activities at sao@umn.edu or 612-626-6919.

How to Adhere to the Safety of Minors Policy:

If it is determined that your group will have to meet the Safety of Minors requirements for an event on campus, your group will be responsible for completing the following steps. Program staff/Volunteers include paid or volunteer students or staff that will be working with minors as part of the group’s event.

  1. Program Staff/Volunteer Background Checks. Program staff/volunteers must complete a criminal background check, which includes a check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry (“sex offender registry”), both before hire or start of service and every three years thereafter.
    • Campus Life Programs should work with their department to have the Office for Human Resources perform a background check on program staff/volunteers.
    • Registered Student Organizations will need to coordinate background checks for program staff/volunteers. Groups can coordinate background checks by working with The McDowell Agency. Groups should set up background check package #3 to be performed on their program staff/volunteers. Groups do not need to collect personal information of program staff/volunteers. Program staff/volunteers will work directly with the agency to go through a background check.
    • The McDowell Agency
    • Contact: Tim Landsberger
    • Local Phone: (651) 644-3880
    • Email: tal@mcdowellagency.com
  1. Program Staff/Volunteer Training. Program staff/volunteers must also complete a training course prior to participating in activities with minors. The course will cover, at a minimum, abuse awareness, safeguards for minors, and mandatory reporting requirements. Groups may choose to provide additional training in these areas. Completion of this training is required, at a minimum, every three years. The University provides a training course through the ULearn site for students, staff and faculty. This training can also be viewed here for non-University program staff/volunteers not able to sign into ULearn.
  2. Safety Guidelines. Program staff/volunteers must receive orientation to the position, including staff/participant interactions, supervision responsibilities, health and safety regulations, and emergency procedures. The document Expectations for Program Staff When Interacting with Minors is one option for conveying expectations with program staff/volunteers as part of the orientation process and would be a way to document that the group’s program staff/volunteers are aware of these expectations.