YSE Conference and Event Management Guidebook

The YSE Conference and Event Management Guidebook is a comprehensive resource event organizers can use to help plan their events. The guide provides information and best practices for event planning, no matter how big or small the event. The guide will walk event organizers through the event planning process from start to finish.

The YSE Conference and Event Management Guidebook is a comprehensive resource event organizers can use to help plan their events. The guide provides information and best practices for event planning, no matter how big or small the event. The guide will walk event organizers through the event planning process from start to finish.

1. Calendaring at YSE Spaces

A perfect first step to organizing your event is to find a suitable date, time, and location for your event. Check availability through the YSE calendar system.

When booking space here are some tips:
  • Classes and finals schedules will always take precedent over events
  • No events can be scheduled at 12PM on Wednesdays against the YSE Research Seminar Series
  • Be sure to leave time on either end for set up and clean up. If a class is starting directly after your event, you are responsible for clearing the room of food and resetting the furniture
  • Try to avoid scheduling your event against another event to prevent conflict.  We want every event to be a success and get the most people in the room and having conflicts will reduce audience sizes.
  • Schedule EARLY. Space is limited. October and April are the busiest event months.
When booking your space:
Be prepared to provide information on the event including the name of the organizer (including email and phone number), number of expected attendees and whether you will serve food.  If you mark your event as public, it will show up on the YSE website. For events only open to the YSE community choose YSE and for private events, mark private—they will only appear on the room grid. To receive final approval for your event you must complete this form: Event Reservation Request Form, you must include a proper title (i.e. not ‘hold’ or ‘TBD’ or just the speaker’s name), any image you may want to include, and a description of the event. 

Policies for using space at YSE:
Reserved spaces can be used during the day outside of the academic year, and during non-class times during the academic year as long as these uses do not interfere with YSE activities.  To ensure that YSE activities are not disrupted, no requests for reservations to use the facilities may be made before class schedules are set for each semester during the academic year and before planned uses of the building are fixed for orientation programs for new students (summer MODS) in August.

All YSE groups, non-YSE groups within Yale, and external users must agree to abide by the following rules. Outside courtyard requests must be confirmed by the YSE Dean’s Office and requires booking space within Kroon Hall to provide rain backup and facilities access.
  • No smoking is allowed in any YSE Building.
  • Hanging of signs and announcements is limited to designated bulletin boards. There should be no signs on the walls, stair banister and railings, or bathroom doors. No signs should be taped to the glass doors or wooden walls in Kroon Hall.
  • No music, either live or electronically amplified, or sound amplification is allowed in the Knobloch Environment Center during any time when classes are being conducted in Kroon 319, 321, or Burke Auditorium or during business hours (8:30AM-5:00PM M-F).
  • Use of the 3rd floor of Kroon Hall (Knob and Bloch) is not exclusive, therefore please expect students and visitors to be present.
  • Users are responsible for set-up and clean-up of the space. Adequate set-up and clean-up time must be built into the space reservation and all food, beverages, dishes, glassware, and serving utensils must be removed from the event location immediately following the event
  • No furniture may be moved in the lounge area of the Knobloch Environment Center. Other furniture must be returned to its original position at the end of the event.
  • Spaces not reset may incur a fee.
  • Classes take precedent over meetings and events and cannot be moved and cannot be disrupted. For any concerns, email rosanne.stoddard@yale.edu.
Food and Beverage
  • If food is planned to be served, the user is responsible for all arrangements associated with its delivery and service including clean up (see guidebook for detailed instructions).
  • No cooking of food is allowed in Kroon Hall. Candles and open flames are not permitted in any buildings.
  • Wine and beer may be served during group events only in conformance with Yale School of the Environment’ alcohol policy found in Appendix I.
  • If you are serving pizza, all pizza boxes must be removed from the building and taken to the dumpster in the basement service node. Pizza boxes are not recyclable at Yale.
Non-compliance with Policies
Charging instructions are required to book space at YSE. In the event of any damages or other non-compliance with the above mentioned policies, the Event Organizer may incur a fee of $25 (trash left behind, room not returned to original setup, etc.). If more extensive damage occurs (damage to furniture, windows, floors, etc.) there may be additional fees.

2. Workflow for Conference, Event and Meetings Support

Definition of an event, conference, or meeting:
Conferences span a number of days, require registration, and will have more than one speaker. 
  1. For conference proposal submission guidelines and information.
  2. See the sample timeline (Google spreadsheet) for an example of the full life of a conference. The timeline can be truncated to show the life of a single event as well.
  3. Example of conference budget (Excel spreadsheet)

Events are defined by any reservation that requires services including custodial, catering, sponsorship, or ITS.
Meetings are private reservations of less than 20 people don’t require custodial or ITS support. 
Once your room reservation has been confirmed:

  • If funding is being requested, the funding request form must be completed
  • The Dean’s Office will distribute the completed Event Reservation Request Form to ITS, Facilities, Student Affairs, Communications, and your SIG or conference’s Financial Assistant.
  • Event Organizers are responsible for reaching out directly to the appropriate support units in advance of the event (Student Affairs for logistics support, ITS for A/V support, Facilities for climate and doors, Communications for social media and branding, and the Business Office for expense management).
  • For larger events/conferences (50+ attendees), Event Organizers are required to attend a meeting with all support unit leads one week prior to the event to finalize logistics.

3. Selecting Speakers

Please reference the YSE Events Planning Spreadsheet when starting to determine speakers.

Issuing invitations
If you would like to issue an invitation to a keynote or panelist for your event, the Dean’s office can assist. Typically these are for high profile speakers. Please compose your invitation and provide:
  1. Full title of the invitee
  2. Physical address
  3. Email address
  4. Draft email body
Send all elements to melanie.quigley@yale.edu. Once all materials are received, the email will either be sent from a staff member in the Dean’s office or the Dean on school letterhead.
Freedom of expression statement from Yale
Yale University is committed to the robust testing of ideas through scholarly examination and teaching. We adhere to the principles on free expression set forth in the University’s exemplary policy document, the Report of the Committee on Free Expression at Yale. Released in December 1974, it is commonly known as the “Woodward Report.” The report makes clear that faculty and students at Yale have “the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.” Freedom of expression includes the ability to protest others’ speech — but neither to prevent it nor prevent it from being heard by others. The Woodward Report is widely disseminated and discussed frequently. Since the report was released, no speaker invited by our faculty or students that we know of has been disinvited to campus. Yale regularly hosts speakers from across the political spectrum, and welcomes vigorous debate.
Yale and YSE are committed to freedom of expression
Yale Security: 203-785-5555
Yale Police Department (non-emergency): 203-432-4400

4. Fundraising

  1. Communications to potential donors, alumni, etc. should describe the overall goals of the conference/event, explain the reasons for your fundraising efforts.
  2. Always remember to acknowledge event co-sponsors (funds, organizations, student groups, etc.) on publicity.
  3. More information coming soon.

5. Financial Management

The Business Office at YSE provides financial management support to Event Organizers. Student Event Organizers need to be mindful of adhering to the following processes when planning events:
  • Business Office Assistant assists Student Event Organizers with contracts and vendor setups. They also provide the YSE P-card for purchases and process expense reports.
  • Before going to the business office to ask for use of the p-card, the business office must confirm that your event has been fully funded. 
  • Financial Assistants assist Student Event Organizers with budget reviews and policies and procedures.
  • Financial Assistants and Business Office Assistants are not responsible for maintaining budgets, reserving and booking travel, or ordering food.
Event Organizers should have a complete understanding of their budget to ensure they are not spending outside of their means. Event Organizers are encouraged to do the following for events:
  • Maintain an up-to-date budget spreadsheet, which tracks budgeted and actual revenue and expenses in real-time. Things to think about that should be included in the budget:
    • Speaker expenses (travel, accommodations)
    • Food and beverage (event catering, dinners)
    • Marketing material
    • AV (could be additional costs e.g., outside of normal business hours)
    • Facilities (custodial support for events taking place outside of normal business hours)
  • Please keep Melanie and Alyssa in the loop on budget and fundraising updates. A sample budget is included in the Appendix.
Try not to use your own money to pay for anything.

6. Planning Accessible Events and Conferences

YSE encourages event organizers to be mindful of the entire community, and be inclusive of all. Here are some of the things to consider when planning an event:
  • Event Spaces
    Event planners must make it necessary that certain speakers and guest will need special accommodations.  YSE is an ADA compliant school, event planners are responsible for discussing accessibility options with their speakers or attendees (e.g. ramps, wheelchairs, infant changing stations and lactation room).
  • Transportation and Parking
    All YSE buildings are on the public transportation route, there is metered street parking and the school provides access to an indoor parking garage at a special request and an additional cost.

    Campus shuttles run throughout the year and can help to move attendees from downtown hotels to YSE buildings. Please direct visitors to shuttle information.

    If you have attendees who need assistance with transportation due to mobility challenges, Yale's Special Services Van is available.

    If you have special guests and would like to provide parking (at a charge to your COA), you can contact Yale Parking to obtain a code.
  • Holidays
    Avoid scheduling an event during a holiday. Religious holidays are listed on the Yale Chaplain's website. Also consider dietary restrictions during holidays.
  • Assistive Learning
    Consider captions, easily readable slides, interpretation devices. More information on web accessibility.
  • Food
    - Provide an ingredients list for food provided
    - Give participants an opportunity to request dietary preferences
    - Provide quality non-alcoholic beverages when alcohol is served
    - Consider providing a variety of food
    - Consider using minority-owned businesses, New Haven-based businesses, and businesses that prioritize using locally sourced ingredients
  • Advertisement
    - Who is represented in your advertisement?
    - Are you being conscious of using stereotypical images/titles?
    - Are you conscious of language used in advertisement and how it could be potentially bias?
    - Consider using gender-neutral language
    - Consider livestreaming to reduce the need to travel
  • Speakers
    Are you including a diversity of perspectives and background in your panels and with your keynotes?

7. Green Events

The Yale Sustainability Office provides a framework for hosting green events.  For larger events, we recommend that organizers pursue formal certification of their event to help demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.

If you want to have composting at your event, please make sure to request a compost rack from YSE Facilities.  While we do have in building composting in Kroon Hall, other YSE buildings do not have this feature, and the receptacles in Kroon are not sufficient to handle large events.

8. Catering

YSE has a list of preferred caterersused for many events.  When hosting an event, the Event Organizer will need to make arrangements for delivery and meet the caterers to provide access into the building (e.g. back door of Bowers, elevator in Kroon).  For anyone seeking additional input on developing a healthy and sustainable menu for their event, please consult this Yale Health guide.

9. YSE Alcohol Policy

Members of the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) bring to the community varying backgrounds, attitudes and experiences with regards to the use of alcohol. Both the consumption and the non-consumption of alcohol play an important role in our school’s culture, and activities and events where alcohol is served must be attentive to all members of our community.

As a community of adults, the responsible consumption of alcohol has a place within our common life. Nevertheless, in view of the importance of promoting and encouraging the responsible use of alcohol at YSE, the liability issues connected with alcohol service and consumption, and the need for full compliance with Connecticut state law, the following policies and procedures have been adopted by YSE and are in effect.

A YSE sponsored event is any event organized at YSE where school funding is being used to supply food and drink. This includes school-funded conferences.

  1. In accordance with Connecticut state law, alcoholic beverages may be dispensed and served only to individuals who are 21 or more years of age and may not be dispensed and served to any intoxicated person. Though most members of the YSE community are 21 or over, any underage students, spouses, or guests attending a YSE sponsored event may not be served.
  2. Beer and wine are the only alcoholic beverages that may be served and consumed at YSE sponsored events. Mixed drinks or other "hard" alcoholic beverages are not permitted.
  3. Only one alcoholic beverage at a time may be served to an individual.
  4. Alcohol that is dispensed and served on the YSE campus must be consumed within the room or area in which the YSE sponsored event is being held; taking open containers of alcohol to other rooms or areas is not permitted unless prior permission has been granted. For purpose of policy, ‘YSE campus’ includes all YSE buildings, forests, courtyards and surrounding grounds.
  5. All alcohol served at YSE sponsored events shall be procured by YSE community members or by caterers. Attendees may not bring their own alcohol to any YSE sponsored event.
  6. Whenever alcohol is being served at YSE sponsored events, appropriate quantities of non-alcoholic beverages such as juice, lemonade, soda (not just water and seltzer) and a substantial amount of food must be available. For YSE sponsored events, fifty percent of the budget for food and drink must be spent on food and non-alcoholic drinks. Potato chips, pretzels, or any other sort of ‘snacks’ are not considered ‘substantial’ food.
  7. YSE sponsored events and approved externally sponsored events where alcohol will be served to 50 or more guests must include the use of a TIPS or Rserving certified server or licensed caterer. The Office of Student Affairs has the right to limit the amount of alcohol that is being purchased and/or served at any such event.
    • Alcohol that is purchased with YSE funds for YSE sponsored events with over 50 people must be dispensed and served by a server who is of the following:
      • Certified by TIPS or a similar organization.
      • Not a current YSE student with the exception of TGIF events.
      • Can remain on duty for the entire length of time that alcohol is served.
    • A reasonable charge may be collected at some YSE sponsored events to cover the cost of attendance including food, alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages.
    • Alcohol that is not consumed at the end of an event must either be removed by the vendor or secured in a locked designated location.
    • The sponsoring student group or organization will be held responsible for any physical damages to Yale property as a result of the event or conference.
    • YSE funds may not be used to fund private parties, whether or not alcohol is served.

The goal of the YSE Alcohol Policy is to ensure the safety and security of all individuals attending conferences and events held at YSE. In those instances in which an individual appears to be intoxicated, YSE encourages members or the community to assist each other and also their guests, either by contacting the Yale Police (203-432-4400) or Yale Acute Care (203-432-0123) if the person's condition appears serious. You may also help to arrange transportation home by calling the Yale Safe Rides (203-432-6330).

Please see the information on helping an intoxicated person.

10. Information Technology Services (ITS)

The YSE ITS Department is located on the 3rd floor of Sage Hall. YSE ITStechnicians are available to help with an array of audio and visual needs. Event Organizers should submit a request for support at least one week in advance of the event andmeet with an YSE-IT technician prior to the event to go over equipment and event logistics. Please request event support from the YSE-IT Department directly.

YSE-IT provides up to the first 30 minutes of event support at no charge for YSE Students, Faculty and Staff, unless the event is occurring outside of normal business hours (8:30am-5pm). Technicians can be available for an entire event at a cost or they can meet with Event Organizers who wish to self-support before the event to go over classroom/venue equipment at no charge.

If additional technical equipment is needed (Presentation Remotes, Portable PA system, Additional Microphones, etc.) please contact helpdesk.yse@yale.edu, or access the YSE-IT equipment checkout system.

View current capabilities of your requested room.

Things to think about before contacting the ITS Department for event support:
  • Do you need technical support before or for the entire duration of the event?
  • Do you need loaner equipment?
  • What type of audio does the event need e.g., microphones (handheld, lavalier)?
  • Do you need video conferencing?
  • Are you interested in your event being Live Streamed?
  • Do you need a Drop Box folder created to save event information to?
Reminder: always start with the YSE ITS Department as opposed to Central Yale IT.

11. Facilities/Custodial

The Department of Facilities at YSE provides comprehensive event support in a variety of ways from supplying compost bins, to helping with room set-up. To assist Event Organizers in the most efficient way possible, the below checklist was created to help think through your event’s facility needs.

Please email Facilities directly at facilities.yse@yale.edu with the event checklist attached to your email. Support requests should be submitted to Facilities as soon as the event has been confirmed by the Dean’s Office.

YSE Event Planning Checklist Sample (for reference only):

Facilities Event Planning Checklist Items Yes No N/A
If the event is after normal business hours (7:30am-5:30pm) has the event organizer requested open door access?
If the event is during the weekend has the event organizer requested that the building be set-in ‘occupied mode’
Will the event have food?
Does the caterer have a Yale ID and will they need access to the Loading Dock?
Will extra trash containers be needed? If ‘yes’ please note quantity in comments section.
Will extra recycling bins be needed? If ‘yes’ please note quantity in comments section
Will compost bags and racks be needed?  If ‘yes’ please note quantity in comments section.  Please be aware, that the in building compost bins in Kroon are not sufficient for events, and additional racks should be requested!
Will your event need assistance with the removal of leftover food?
Will your event need custodial support (pre and post-event cleaning, bathrooms cleaned and restocked) If yes, then please submit an FWR.    
Will the classroom/venue space need a specific set-up?
Will the event need special furniture (podium, registration table, extra tables and chairs)
Is the event following sustainability guidelines?
Do you need to reserve YSE Vans? If yes, use this form.
Are you anticipating a large audience? If yes, will you need additional support from Facilities with overflow space?

*In the event you arrive at your event and find the doors have not been opened please contact 203-785-5555 and let them know you have an event and you had confirmed green lighting but the doors are not open.

12. Communications

The YSE Communications Office provides guidance, and some assistance, in design treatments, posters, social media, photography and other aspects of marketing School conferences and events. Contact them at communications.yse@yale.edu.

13. Travel and Lodging

Egencia is the preferred site for booking travel (flights, ground transportation, hotels, etc.). Log in to Egencia with your Yale email address, First_Last@yale.edu — note that for this website use "_" in place of the ".".

Please note, YSE has negotiated room rates with the following hotels - New Haven Hotel, Omni, the Study, The Blake Hotel and the Courtyard in New Haven.

Event Organizers planning larger events such as conferences should track their participants travel arrangements to ensure arrival and departure information is on file. Important information to track is:
  • Participant’s name and contact information
  • Flight
  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel
  • Emergency contact number/backup number

14. Supplies

If you need the following supplies for your event please contact joan.mcdonald@yale.eduand you will be able to borrow them. These supplies include:
  • Easels
  • Private Reception Sign
  • Glasses and pitchers for speakers
  • Stanchions and velvet ropes

15. Emergency Planning

Emergency preparedness is important no matter the size of the event being planned. It’s important for Event Organizers to have an emergency plan in place should an incident occur that can affect the event e.g., weather.  To plan ahead, at least one Event Organizer should have on their phone Yale’s alert number, 203-432-5830, as well as Yale’s LiveSafe App. For more information, go to Yale's emergency management website.

16. External Users (Non YSE and Non Yale)

Non YSE groups are any organizations within Yale not associated with YSE (No YSE student representation). There may be fees associated with the use of the space. Please work with the Dean’s office on this.

Non Yale groups are defined as any organization outside of Yale. These organizations do not have COAs and require insurance certificates, along with other documentation.  For Non Yale events, all paperwork will go through Yale Conferences and Events to ensure compliance with Yale’s requirements. Fees are associated with non-Yale events. Please see the Appendix for the current fee schedule.

17. Canceling an Event

The Dean’s Office must be notified of any reservation or service order cancelation no later than 24 hours in advance, or by noon on Friday for a weekend or Monday meeting/event.  The following steps should be followed if an event needs to be cancelled:
  • Notify all guest speakers, participants and attendees
  • Contact Joan McDonald, joan.mcdonald@yale.edu, to cancel the room/venue reservation
  • Notify all service departments that are scheduled to provide event services (ITS, Facilities, etc.)
  • Notify all vendors (caterer, etc.). Some may charge a cancelation fee.
  • Post a sign on the classroom/venue door that the event has been cancelled as some attendees may not have checked their messages.

18. Contacts

Joan McDonald
Sr. Administrative Assistant, Dean's Office
E: joan.mcdonald@yale.edu
Phone: 203 436-8240
Alyssa Pereira
Assistant Director, Student Services & Title IX Coordinator
E: alyssa.pereira@yale.edu
Phone: 203-432-4247
Melanie Quigley
Director of Strategic Initiatives
E: melanie.quigley@yale.edu
Phone: 203 436-2327
Yolanda Quiñones
Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives
E: yolanda.quinones@yale.edu
Phone: 203 432-6618
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