Event Planning Quick Start

Whether planning a small workshop or a large conference, having the event details organized in one place will aid coordination of a successful event and the processing of expense reports and post-event analysis. For larger events, a post event analysis of what worked well and what didn’t will be very valuable if the event is to be repeated.   Use the information below to prepare for your next event, and the check list included here to help you stay organized.

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Space is at a premium, so book as soon as possible.  First, decide whether The Grove or another campus space has the type facility you need for your event. Note that spaces within in UE/The Grove are generally free to use for inter-department events and meetings.

Booking Spaces in The Grove (UE) 

Reserve Campus Spaces Outside of UE: 

1. Find a room with the size and amenities and availability you need:

2. Reserve your room through Conference and Event Services

3. Make sure your attendees will know how to get there with directions or map with the invite if necessary:

Download maps:

Campus Map

The Grove/SURGE III Map <add link>


Using University Catering (752-2997) or the approved vendors with UC Davis is easiest as these folks have experience catering events on campus.  Be aware of serving sizes as all caterers list them differently.  University Catering has many items with minimum orders of 10-12 servings, others may also have minimums that must be met to ensure delivery on campus. Make sure that your event meal expenses meet the University’s allowable entertainment/meal guidelines here.

Orders for University Catering should be placed at least two weeks in advance.  With events where hundreds are being fed, book the catering as soon as the date and facility are reserved. This is to ensure your event is on the vendor’s calendar and you can make adjustments as needed when attendance numbers are finalized.   Review University Catering policies here.


1. AV needs: 

  • Know exactly what your presenter’s needs are:  Will they be bringing a presentation on their laptop?  On a flash drive? Will they need access to the internet?
  • Know what AV equipment the room has available. For classroom setups, review the registrar’s classroom database, or check with event services if using a Campus and Recreation. You can look up a classroom set up here.
  • Show up early to test the AV and know how the AV works if you do not have a room attendant or AV attendant who does. Many meetings are delayed due to missing a particular cord/adaptor or extension cord.  For assistance with AV, contact Event ATV Support.

2. Equipment Rentals: Some campus facilities have an inventory of equipment they can rent for use within their facility, such as chairs, extra tables and portable white boards. There are three sources for equipment rentals at UC Davis:

  • Extensive information about equipment rentals can be found at Campus Recreation and Unions.   
  • Special Services (Distribution Services) can also provide rentals and labor for delivery and pick up for such things as canopies and poster boards.
  • A Grand Affair is an approved rental vendor as well. 
  • Accessibility:  Remember to make sure any accessibility needs are accommodated!  More information on accessibility is located here if having attendees register for an event, it is always a good idea to ask if they need any special accomodations.
  • Special permits for alcohol and amplifying sound are required.  Contact CES for more information on special permitting.


1. University Catering:  Currently you are still able to process the invoice (a Sodexo invoice emailed to your department) via AggieTravel. However, University food service will be switching from Sodexo to University Management Facilities. At that time, the invoices will be processed as an internal billing through KFS. You will be aware of the cost both with your confirmation as well as with your department’s approval of the internal billing transfer. 

2. You will see rental and facility service charges land on your ledgers as internal billings (IB/GLIB) as well.

3. Event food and beverage from off-campus vendors can be paid for with the Travel and Entertainment card and promptly processed through AggieTravel after the expenses have imported.  

4. Other items for purchase or rental can be processed through PrePurchasing.