Event Planning & Support

The Milken Institute School of Public Health 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

Building hours for event start and end times, unless approved by the SPH event manager, are:

  • Monday to Friday: 9 AM to 9 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM to 9 PM
  • Sunday: 10 AM to 6 PM

Event organizers are allowed up to one hour before and after the event start & end time for set up and breakdown.

Bookings are limited to half day (4 hours) and full day (8 hours) options. In addition, time allotted for set up and breakdown must also be included in the event request. If more hours are needed for the event, additional fees will be applied. Learn more about event fees here.

Events that take place after 10 PM during the business week (Monday thru Friday) or after 3 PM on weekends (Saturday/Sunday) are required to have University Police present. Requests can be made here.

The SPH follows the university holiday schedule. View a list of university-observed closures.

Building Access

When attending an event, individuals currently affiliated with the university will need to scan their university ID, or GWID card, when entering the building, and are not required to sign in at the front desk. 

Event organizers must submit a final list of external attendees, as well as the point of contact of the event organizer to SPHspace@gwu.edu at least 24 hours prior to the event start. Organizers are not permitted to directly provide attendee lists to the front desk.

Attendees and vendors not affiliated with the University are required to check in at the front desk upon entering the building and must present identification. Acceptable forms of identification include driver’s license, state ID, passport, and any US government-issued ID.

During check-in, regardless of whether event organizers plan to conduct their own event sign-in, an individual with the event organizer must remain present at the front desk to assist and accompany non-GW affiliated attendees to the designated event space.

The University does not require event organizers, vendors, and guests to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 nor submit a negative test. Masks must be worn at all times in event spaces and classrooms. Face masks are available by request at the building's front desk.

All individuals, whether hosting or attending, are required to wear a face mask when in event and classroom spaces, except when event organizers present or speak and when attendees consume food and beverage.

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.

Furniture & Equipment

Furniture and event materials are included in the price of the space rental fee. Certain items, such as table linens and panelist chairs, come with a fee. All equipment and furniture belonging to the Milken Institute School of Public Health must remain in the building, and cannot be removed or used in another university space.

Below is a list of available furniture and equipment for use by request. When making your space booking request, be as specific and avoid requesting items beyond the limit. Quantities are subject to change.

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

Round tables (6 ft): accommodates up to 8 seats per table, and are ideal for banquets and workshops (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 booths, panelist tables, registration tables, and food/beverage tables. Requestable amount: 30

Cocktail rounds: Ideal for reception-style events in spaces where food & beverage are permitted (each table comes with two stools). Requestable amount: 4

Additional or external furnishings may restrict the number of tables that the center can fit.

Chairs: Seating in the auditorium, executive case study, and lecture halls are fixed.

Chairs: Primarily for use in the Convening Center up to 200 chairs can be requested in the space, depending on the event setup.

Panelist chairs: There are two types of panelist chairs that can be used for speaking events: 3 director-style chairs (fee: $100/set) and 4 cushioned panel chairs ($150/set).

Table linens: Two types of table linens are available for use: Single-use coverings (no charge) used for catering support and multi-use navy blue cotton linens (chargeable).

Banquet round linens: Up to 15 table linens are available by request for banquets and workshops events in the Convening Center.

Conference table linens: Up to 8 are available by request for registration/panelist tables.

While single-use coverings are free of cost, our multi-use linens come with a dry-cleaning fee. Events that hire catering services must order linens directly through the caterer. Please contact SPHspace@gwu.edu for rates and to request table linens.


Banners: The Milken Institute School of Public Health has multiple banners, in varying sizes, and depending on their availability are available by request.

Coat racks: There are three coat racks designated for the Convening Center, two in the Auditorium, and one in the Executive Case Study. Depending on availability, an additional coat rack can be allocated.

White boards: Auditorium, lecture halls, and classrooms come equipped with a dry-erase board. The Convening Center, when partitioned, is equipped with dry-erase boards.

Easels: Up to 8 easels can be requested, depending on their availability.

Podium: One podium each can be requested for use in the Convening Center and Auditorium, and are equipped with a microphone.

The SPH does not have a stage. It is the event host’s responsibility to rent one from an external vendor. A list of university-approved vendors can be found here.

A/V Equipment & Technology

When making your request in the Online Space Portal, please make sure to provide information on any A/V items or support you may require. Depending upon the request, additional charges may apply. Prices for A/V equipment are subject to change without notice and are determined by the Office of Academic Technologies.

All equipment belonging to the Milken Institute School of Public Health must remain in the building, and shall not be removed or used in another university space. All available quantities are subject to change.

A/V Equipment

Microphones: A total of four (or one per convening center unit) wireless microphones are available for use in the Convening Center. Up to three portable lavalier mics or handheld mics are available for request in the Auditorium. 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. All spaces, except for the Convening Center, are equipped with a desktop computer, HDMI cable for laptop connections, and microphone, and can be set up for remote access.

Computers: We do not provide laptops for events or meetings. However, two tech lecterns can be allocated for events in the Convening Center, equipped with webcams to facilitate hybrid and/or remote access. All other spaces contain an in-room computer.

Technical Support

SPH Events and IT staff may be able to assist and troubleshoot issues however, they may not be present or available on-site during the event. University staff, including security guards, are not to be used as additional support or in lieu of the SPH Events and IT team.

A tech test and walk-thru with IT personnel will be conducted no more than one hour 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 A/V equipment. Depending on their availability, IT personnel assigned to the event may opt to be available for the first fifteen minutes of an event to ensure that all university A/V equipment functions properly and as intended.

We cannot guarantee the functionality of virtual platforms, such as Zoom or WebEx. Events & IT personnel will do their best to troubleshoot technical difficulties; however, we cannot ensure the efficacy of access and participation of remote users for hybrid events and meetings.

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 hereOrganizers must submit an inventory list of any rented equipment & materials at least 30 days prior to the event start date. If a vendor has not previously been contracted by the University, the vendor must provide their business license and certificate of liability insurance thirty days prior to an event’s start date.

Events and Facilities staff, as well as 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.

Vendors must use the loading dock entrance when delivering furniture, equipment, and food. Please see the section, Loading Dock Access, below for additional information.

Unless agreed upon prior to the start of an event, all external equipment must be properly removed from the licensed space; external equipment that remains beyond approved event times may incur additional fees, which will be assessed and added to the final invoice, as well as any damage to furniture, equipment, and existing infrastructure.

Event Space Layout & Modification

Our auditorium and lecture halls are fixed-seating, and cannot be rearranged. The Convening Center can be set up and customized in numerous ways to accommodate your event needs. Spaces typically are pre-set the same day prior to the start of an event, or the previous business day, depending on the event start time. View a diagram of different event space set-up styles and capacities for the Convening Center here

Final space design and furniture & A/V equipment requests must be provided at least ten days prior to the start of an event. Any requests made less than seven business days prior to the start of an event will be determined on a case-by-case basis. We will make every attempt to accommodate requests for modifications received within the seven-day period prior to your event. Requests that are made within this period may be difficult to accommodate and will result in a $100 setup adjustment charge.

Once an event space has been set up, changes are not permitted. Only authorized Events, Facilities, Housekeeping, and IT personnel are permitted to handle, move, or manipulate furniture or equipment. Once complete, modifications to the layout will not be accepted, and organizers and guests are not permitted to move furniture or equipment. Failure to abide by these policies may result in future event request not being approved.

Single-Use Plastic Elimination 

The University has committed to eliminating single-use plastics on GW property to the greatest extent possible. In accordance with the University’s Single-Use Plastics Policy, event organizers are required to follow its restrictions and guidance regarding single-use plastics, which should not be procured for use at events. The GW Single-Use Plastics Implementation Plan & Guide provides details regarding options and alternatives to single-use plastics.

Catering Services & Food Preparation

The catering space is reserved exclusively for events that take place in the Convening Center. We do not offer or support catering services, and it is the responsibility of the event organizer to arrange for catering services. A list of university-approved caterers can be found here. The University does not require the use of a specific caterer, but catering services must operate in the District of Columbia and present insurance certification.

Caterers are permitted to enter the space to begin setting up no more than two hours before the start of an event to begin food handling and preparation, and will have one hour after the event’s end for clean up. In certain situations, caterers will be allowed to drop off and set up equipment (not including food, ingredients, perishables) one business day before the start of an event (additional storage and space fees will be applied). Caterers must use the loading dock entrance when delivering equipment and foods. Please see the section below, Loading Dock Use, for additional information.

The catering prep space is equipped with food prep counters, sinks, and waste receptacles; however, it does not have a fridge. Additional space within the Convening Center is available if needed for food prep; a curtain or divider must be utilized to separate additional food prep space from the public and any carpeted area that is allocated for food prep must be covered with a protective covering (preferably a non single-use plastic, when possible). The use of stovetops, flammable gasses, hotplates, or open flames (eg, candles) are not permitted.

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

Events with Alcohol

All events that serve alcohol must abide by GW's Events with Alcohol Policy and Alcoholic Beverage Consumption and Distribution Policy, as well as the District of Columbia’s laws governing the service and distribution of alcohol.

Events with alcohol must have a licensed alcohol handler not affiliated with the university and with alcohol being provided by a licensed distributor. University-approved caterers with a valid liquor license may serve alcohol. More information about the Government of the District of Columbia’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) alcohol laws and license regulations can be found here.

Events where alcohol is served may require security and will be determined on a case-by-case basis through University Police. GWPD must be onsite for events with students. Additional information and instructions for requesting additional security can be found here.

Event organizers are required to verify the age of all students attending an event where alcohol is consumed. Additionally, GW security officers and servers reserve the right to check the ID of event attendees, and may refuse service to any individual at any time.


The Milken Institute School of Public Health does not cover, validate or reimburse the cost of parking for events. Multiple parking garages, which are privately operated, can be found on and around the Foggy Bottom campus. More information on locations and rates 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; however, 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

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. If your organization or department is hosting an event where special accommodations are needed for persons with disabilities, please contact Disability Support Services. Most services provided through their office are free for GW entities; services provided for non-GW entities may require a fee. Please contact us to learn more about additional information on the amenities offered and accommodations available at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Gender-neutral restroom

The Milken Institute School of Public Health offers a gender-neutral restroom on level B1 for individuals who may not feel comfortable using gender-specific restrooms.

Mother’s Room

The School of Public Health has a designated mother's room, a private space on the B1 level for mothers and caregivers to manage lactation and/or care for children. The mother’s room is equipped with a sink, changing table, and a small refrigerator. This space is cleaned before and after an event.

Bicycle Storage

Guests are welcome to use the bicycle storage space, located on the ground floor, to store individually-owned bicycles and scooters. Commercially-operated bicycles and scooters, such as CityBikes or Lime, must be stationed outside the building. Certain events may require bicycles and scooters to be stationed outside.

Conditions & Terms

Face masks are required in our events and classroom spaces. Face masks are available by request at the building's front desk.

Food & Beverage Consumption

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

Single-Use Plastic Elimination 

In accordance with the University’s Single-Use Plastics Policy, event organizers are required to follow its 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, whether in the form of cigarettes or a vape pen, 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)

Sponsored Events

Any university event that is sponsored requires the presence of the GW sponsor to be present, not only during the entirely of an event, but also when the external client or an external vendor is on the premises. This includes in-person meetings between the external client and the SPH Events team, as well as when the external client or vendor is setting up for the event. Failure to comply may result in a change of the event’s classification from sponsored to external, with the Sponsor being held responsible for covering the difference of the event space rental cost.


Event organizers, as well as all participants and guests, must follow the directions of authorized university personnel with respect to use of licensed spaces. The University reserves the right to immediately remove event organizers, contracted service providers, participants or guests, and any other individuals associated with an event while on university property, if any of the following policies are violated:

  • Use of adhesives or fasteners for the purpose of attaching materials to surfaces, walls, windows, and doors.
  • Unauthorized access or use of areas other than the Licensed Space.
  • Possession or use of the prohibited items anywhere on or on university property.
  • Disorderly conduct, drug use, property damage or theft, or any violations of law.
  • Consumption of alcohol by any person under the legal age of 21.

Attendees and vendors are required to comply with these policies. Event organizers that fail to enforce any of the aforementioned violations may be fined or barred from hosting and participating in future events.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The George Washington University is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory, harassment-free, and diverse educational environment, and does not unlawfully discriminate against any person on the basis of protected characteristics or any other basis prohibited by federal, local, or other applicable law.

Event organizers, staff, contractors/vendors, participants, and attendees are prohibited from discriminating against any person on any basis of age, disability, class or economic status, gender identity or expression, marital or familial status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and veteran status.

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.

First aid kits are located in office suites throughout the building. AED defibrillators are located on floors 1, 2, 4, 6, and B1.


In addition, the Events team at the Milken Institute School of Public Health offers several useful resources to help guide, inform, and support event organizers.