Comprehensive Guideline Outline

Getting Started

Event Planning Timeline

Comprehensive Guide Home

Getting Started

  1. Every event should have a designated individual who serves as the point of contact for Conference and Events Services (CES). Please make sure the CES event specialist you are working with has multiple ways to reach your “point person."
  2. Contact Conference and Events Services at 781-736-4300. All basic planning starts here: dates, spaces and room set-ups; catering; audio-visual requirements; and more. CES will provide you with an event specialist who will be your chief point of contact during your event-planning process.
  3. Contact the Office of Communications to:
    • determine a strategic publicity plan
    • discuss production of invitations, programs and other possible graphic components of your event
    • explore opportunities for Brandeis branding elements.
  4. High-profile speakers: Contact the Office of the Provost. There is a great deal of interest among students, staff and faculty to bring well-known speakers to Brandeis.The administration is trying to be responsive and supportive. As we continue these and other outreach efforts in all areas of the university, it is wise to try to communicate event goals with the support services.

    In that spirit, the provost has requested that the administration be informed prior to an invitation being issued by a member of the campus when the following situations apply:
    • President Lawrence would be expected to attend or participate in the visit
    • security issues would be involved
    • the visit would potentially disrupt other university activities
    • university funding for the event will be needed
    Adherence to these common-sense guidelines and timeline will ensure that such events are well-planned and coordinated. Please contact the Office of the Provost (781-736-2101) if an event you are contemplating fits under these guidelines. 

Things to Remember

While Conference and Events Services will help you plan the logistics of your event, you are responsible for some of the behind-the-scenes work that will make your event a success.


Please contact the university photographer if you would like any or all of the event photographed.

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Convenient hotels for guests include the Boston Marriott Newton, the Doubletree Guest Suites Boston/Waltham, and the Weston Waltham-Boston. Contact the procurement office at (781) 736-4510 to reserve a room in one of these hotels or others with which Brandeis has contracted for special rates.

The Faculty Lodge adjacent to the Faculty Club has a few rooms available. Contact Conference and Events Services for more information. 

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Transportation and Travel

Contact Checker Cab of Waltham, Boston Coach or any other car service with which you are familiar for airport transportation. These vendors accept procurement card payment.

Contact the Office of Public Safety for off-campus conference-related trips that require renting buses or vans.

Brandeis University is accessible by both Route 128 and the Massachusetts Turkpike. Driving directions are available

Airfare and car rental can be arranged through Carlson Wagonlit Travel at (781) 736-2929. You or your guest speakers may contact them directly to make reservations at (617) 451-4200; the agent will contact you for chargeline information.

A campus map is helpful to send to guest speakers for both directions to the event location and parking locations. 

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Public Safety

The Office of Public Safety Web site offers detailed information for parking on and off campus. You will also find emergency telephone numbers and information about on- and off-campus medical facilities.

Please see links on this site to fire safety and other safety regulations that are overseen by the director of public safety. This information will ensure a safe and enjoyable event for all concerned.

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Guest Speakers

The International Students and Scholars Office has created two comprehensive documents —" Hiring Foreign Nationals" (pdf) and "Inviting Foreign National Guest Speakers" (pdf) — that outline procedures for bringing foreign nationals to campus as guest speakers..

Elicit from guest speakers their citizenship and country of residence. For foreign nationals, obtain:

  1. Their current visa status (if already in the United States)
  2. Their previous U.S. visa status
  3. How soon they need to arrive at Brandeis

In addition, inquire about special needs: computer, handicap accessibility, translator, lodging and/or transportation.

Obtain brief speaker biographies for introductions at the event.

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Honoraria or Reimbursements

Determine how guest speakers will be remunerated, i.e., honoraria, travel and food. For honoraria, speakers must complete either a W-9 (pdf) if a U.S. citizen or a W-8BEN (pdf) if a nonresident alien. One of these forms must be submitted with a Non-Employee Payment Request form (Excel). Payments to nonresident aliens are subject to 30 percent withholding unless exempt by a tax treaty. Contact Accounts Payable for more information on withholding.

Travel and food reimbursements must include receipts (including boarding pass if reimbursing airfare). An expense report (signed by the traveler) must accompany the receipts.

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Review the website for the Office of Communications to determine options for attracting the appropriate audience for your event. Keep in mind that the best practice for attracting faculty and students is to reach out to faculty directly, asking them to attend and to invite their classes as well.

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Campus Signage

Conference and Events Services will work with you to post appropriate signage on campus for both the event and designated parking areas.

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Financial, Budget and Accounting

Track all expenses, including commitments that have been made from the budget. There are many forms that can meet your needs, including internal account transfers. These forms can be found on the Office of Financial Affairs and Treasury Web site. This site also has information on university policies for travel, business expenses and consultants.

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Welcome Kits

The following items are suggestions for welcoming your event participants:

  • Welcome cover letter
  • Event schedule
  • Speaker or participant bios
  • Meal card
  • Emergency and other campus numbers
  • Cell phone number of staff contact person(s)
  • Hours of campus attractions (gym, library, dining options, post office, bookstore, etc.)
  • Information from relevant departments
  • Phone number for and driving directions to Brandeis (including from Logan and Amtrak Route 128 Station)
  • Phone number, fax number and driving directions to lodging (including from Brandeis, Logan and Amtrak Route 128 Station)
  • Campus map
  • Parking information (and parking permit if not mailed ahead)
  • Commuter rail and subway routes and schedules
  • Evaluation form
  • Expense reimbursement form and self-addressed stamped envelope
  • Brandeis fast facts and campus newspapers
  • Times and locations of religious services on campus (and a staff person to contact for off-campus service location)
  • Notepaper, pens and pencils

Enclose all materials in a pocket folder or three-ring binder.

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