Events Support

Planning 1-01

The SPH events team is here to assist you with planning your event, including technical and A/V support, event set up & breakdown services, and housekeeping. More information on university events and venue guidelines can be found here.

Hours of Operation

Hours of operation for events differ from building hours, and are as follows:

  • Monday to Friday: 9 AM to 8 PM
  • Sunday & Sunday: Closed

Building Access

Even if event organizers plan to conduct their own event sign-in, an individual with the event organizer must remain present in the building entrance to assist and accompany attendees to the designated event space. Organizers must submit a list of external attendees to [email protected] at least 24 hours prior to the event start; organizers are not permitted to directly provide attendee lists to the front desk.

Organizers are responsible for ensuring that guests who do not have a GWID with tap access to the building are able to get into the venue, as needed. Individuals currently affiliated with the university will need to scan their GWID card when entering the building. Attendees and vendors not affiliated with the University are required to check in at the front desk and present identification. Acceptable forms of identification include a driver’s license, passport, and any US government- or state-issued ID.

Events that take place after building hours are required to have University Police present. Requests can be made here.

Decor & Signage

Event organizers are prohibited from modifying, removing, or covering up of any SPH branding, signage, logos, as well as the unauthorized use of SPH or GW logos. Exceptions will not be provided unless written authorization is approved by the SPH Communications Office prior to the start of the event.

The use of adhesives or fasteners for the purpose of attaching materials or signage on any surface of an event space or throughout the building is not permitted. Flyers can be placed on the designated bulletin boards in the 2nd, 4th, & 6th floor shared spaces.

Furniture & Equipment

Event furniture and equipment are included in the price of the space rental. All equipment and furniture must remain in the building and cannot be used in another university space. Furthermore, school-owned equipment and furniture must remain in or directly adjacent to the approved event space, and cannot be moved to or used in other areas of the school. Below is a list of available furniture and equipment for use by request. Equipment & quantities are subject to change.

Tables: There are two primary styles of tables available for events use:

  • Round tables (5 ft): accommodates up to 8 seats per table, and are for use only in the Convening Center. Requestable amount: 15
  • Conference tables (2 ft x 5 ft): each accommodates 2 seats, and can serve a variety of functions including conference support, panels, registration, and catering support. Requestable amount: 30
  • Cocktail rounds (30 in): Ideal for reception-style events in spaces where food & beverage are permitted. Requestable amount: 10

Chairs: Primarily for use in the Convening Center up to 200 chairs can be requested in the space, depending on the event setup. Seating in the auditorium, executive case study, and lecture halls are fixed.

Table linens: Linens for both conference tables and cocktail/banquet rounds are available for use by request, in which the latter come with a dry-cleaning fee ($25/linen). Due to limited supply, events with full-service catering must order linens directly from the vendor.  


  • Banners: The Milken Institute School of Public Health has multiple banners, in varying sizes.
  • Podium: A podium can be requested for use in the Convening Center and Auditorium, and come equipped with a microphone, HDMI cable, and power strip.
  • White boards: Auditorium, lecture halls, classrooms, and the convening center (when partitioned) come equipped with dry-erase boards.
  • Easels: Up to 10 easels can be requested depending on availability.

A/V Equipment & Technology

All equipment belonging to the Milken Institute School of Public Health must remain in the building, and shall not be used in another university space. Quantities are subject to change. When submitting your event request, provide information on any A/V equipment or support you may require.

A/V Equipment

  • Microphones: A total of four (or one per convening center unit) wireless microphones are available for use in the Convening Center, and four for the Auditorium. Lavalier mics are also available for request. A podium with a microphone is available for use in the Convening Center and Auditorium.
  • Projectors & Screens: Event spaces and classrooms are equipped with projectors and screens, as well as one per Convening Center partitioned unit.
  • Computers: All spaces, except for the Convening Center, are equipped with a lectern containing a desktop computer, and HDMI cable & USB-C adapter for laptop connections. SPH Events does not provide laptops for events or meetings; event hosts must bring their own laptop for events in the Convening Center.

Technical Support

A tech walk-thru with a GWIT technician can be scheduled before the start of the event; however, events with advanced tech and A/V needs may be conducted the previous business day to ensure functionality and successful troubleshooting of all technology and equipment.

SPH Events & GWIT cannot guarantee the functionality of virtual platforms, such as Zoom or WebEx, or accessibility of remote participants.

External Furniture & Vendor Equipment Rentals

Event organizers are welcome to rent external furniture, equipment, and materials at their own expense. A list of university-approved vendors can be found here, but are not limited to or required to use one that is university-approved. Vendors not designated as University-approved must provide a copy of their business license to operate in the District of Columbia and their certificate of liability insurance at least 30 days prior to an event’s start date. 

SPH Events does not have a stage. It is the event organizer’s responsibility to rent and pay for one from an external vendor. A list of university-approved vendors can be found here. The SPH also does not have poster board stands. You can learn more about renting poster board stands here. Organizers must also submit a list of any externally rented equipment & materials at least 30 days prior to the event start date.

Non-events and facilities staff, including organizers and guests, are not permitted to move, handle, or install any rental furniture or external equipment. The University is not responsible for damage or theft of external equipment, technology, or furniture. External equipment must remain in the approved event space and cannot be moved to or used in other areas of the school.

All external and vendor equipment must be properly removed immediately after an event’s completion. Any equipment that remains beyond approved event times may incur fees, which will be added to the final invoice, as well as any damage to furniture, equipment, and existing infrastructure.

Event Space Layout

The Convening Center can be customized to accommodate various event types. Spaces are pre-set by GW Facilities. View diagrams of different event space set-up styles and capacities for the Convening Center here. The auditorium and lecture halls have fixed seating and cannot be rearranged.

Final space, furniture & A/V requests must be submitted no later than seven days prior to the start of an event. Requests received after this time will be determined on a case-by-case basis. We will attempt to accommodate modification requests made within this period. Once an event space is set, modifications will result in a $100 setup adjustment fee. 

Only authorized Events, Facilities, and IT personnel are permitted to handle, move, install, or manipulate SPH-owned furniture or equipment. Once an event space has been set up, organizers and guests are prohibited from moving, adding, or manipulating furniture or equipment during any point of the event. 

Catering Services 

The catering prep space is reserved exclusively for events that take place in the Convening Center. It is the responsibility of the event organizer to arrange for catering services. A list of university-approved caterers can be found here. While the university does not require the use of a specific company, caterers must be certified to operate in the District of Columbia and present business/insurance certifications at least 30 days prior to the start of the event.

Caterers are permitted to enter the space no more than two hours before the start of an event to begin preparation, and will have one hour after the event for cleanup. In certain situations, caterers may be allowed to drop off equipment and non-perishables one business day before the start of an event (additional storage and space fees may apply) depending on availability. Caterers must use the loading dock entrance when delivering equipment and food, and must use a curtain or divider and a protective covering must be placed on any carpeted area. The use of stovetop burners, flammable gases, hotplates, candles (and other open flames) are not permitted. Caterers are required to supply their own fire extinguisher.

Upon completion of an event, caterers will have one hour for the clean and sanitize catering prep spaces. All trash shall be removed and properly discarded. A fee may be assessed should the prep space not be sufficiently cleaned or waste is not properly disposed, as well as the removal of stains on carpeted areas or damage to the space if it is determined that the caterer is responsible.

Events With Alcohol

Events with alcohol must abide by GW's Events with Alcohol Policy and Alcoholic Beverage Consumption and Distribution Policy, as well as DC laws governing the service and distribution of alcohol.

Events with alcohol must have a licensed alcohol handler unaffiliated with the university, with alcohol being provided by a licensed distributor. Caterers with a valid liquor license may serve alcohol (more info here). More about DC’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration alcohol laws and license regulations can be found here.

Events where alcohol is served may require security to be present, particularly if students or guests under the age of 21 are in attendance, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis through University Police. Event organizers affiliated with the university must directly submit their request via GWPD. SPH Events will submit requests for GWPD on behalf of external event organizers. Instructions for requesting additional security can be found here.


The Milken Institute School of Public Health does not cover, validate or reimburse the cost of parking for events. Multiple privately-owned parking garages are located on the Foggy Bottom campus. More information can be found here. Visitors are welcome to utilize street parking, when available, and are responsible for metered parking and that city-issued parking passes are valid and up-to-date.

Loading Dock Access

A loading dock, with direct access to the Convening Center, is located behind the building on the corner of 24th and K Street NW, and can be used by event organizers and vendors to unload equipment and furniture at their own expense. Managed and enforced by the District of Columbia, availability and use of the space is not guaranteed; users can apply for a temporary occupancy permit required for the short-term private use here. The Milken Institute School of Public Health does not reserve, schedule or enforce its use, nor does it cover or reimburse the costs associated with reserving the loading dock.

Special Accommodations & Additional Amenities

If your organization or department is hosting an event where special accommodations are needed for persons with disabilities, contact Disability Support Services.

Handicap Accessibility: The Milken Institute School of Public Health has handicapped accessible building entries, both at the entrance and at the loading dock entrance in the rear of the building.

Gender-neutral restroom: A gender-neutral restroom can be found on level B1.

Parents / Caregivers Room: A private space can also be found on the B1 level for mothers and caregivers to manage lactation and/or care for children. Equipped with a sink, changing table, and a small refrigerator, the space is cleaned before and after an event.

Bicycle Storage: Guests are welcome to use the bicycle storage space, located on the first floor, to store individually-owned bicycles and scooters. Commercially-operated bicycles and scooters must be stationed outside the building. Certain events may require bicycles and scooters to be stationed outside.

Emergency Support

Should an emergency occur during an event, organizers should contact emergency services as soon as possible, before notifying on-duty guards or the event staff or attempting to voluntarily resolve a situation or crisis. Please visit the Campus Advisory for more information on who to contact during an emergency. AED defibrillators are located on floors 1, 2, 4, 6, and B1.

Event Policies

A complete description of event policies and conditions of use are available here.

Food & Beverage Consumption

Food and beverage consumption, except for bottled water, is prohibited in auditoria, case studies, lecture halls, and classrooms. Consumption of food/beverage in the Convening Center is permitted.

Single-Use Plastic Elimination 

In accordance with GW’s Single-Use Plastics Policy, event organizers are required to follow restrictions and guidance regarding single-use plastics, which should not be procured for use at client’s event. 

Prohibited Items

The university is a smoke-free campus. The use of tobacco products is not permitted. Other prohibited items include but are not limited to:

  • Glitter, confetti, or helium balloons
  • Stovetops, hotplates, or open flames (eg, candles)
  • Weapons, projectiles, and fireworks
  • Live animals other than service animals
  • Hazardous chemicals or materials
  • Illicit drugs, marijuana, and non-prescribed medications (eg, opiates)
  • Artificial noisemakers (eg, horns, whistles, vuvuzelas)

Event organizers, as well as all participants and guests, must follow the direction of authorized university personnel with respect to use of a licensed space. The University reserves the right to immediately remove event organizers, contracted service providers, participants or guests, and any other individuals associated with an event should any policies be violated.