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Event Planning

Event Planning

Effective immediately, all in-person, nonessential Cornell events must be postponed, cancelled or offered virtually at this time. More information.

View Cornell's resources and updates regarding the Coronoavirus (COVID-19).

Each year, thousands of events are sponsored by student organizations, university departments, and visitors to Cornell University. Cornell's beautiful campus and buildings form a memorable backdrop for any kind of special event.To preserve the beauty and historic nature of these buildings and areas, and to ensure the safety of all participants, Cornell University has established a set of requirements governing the registration process & procedures, as well as the appropriate use of these spaces during your event. These policies and procedures must be followed to ensure that the event is safe and in compliance with university policy. During certain times of the year, Cornell has additional requirements or limitations on usage. You will need to check with the sponsoring office or department to learn about possible limitations. Examples of university-wide events include the following: Slope Day, Homecoming, Orientation, Senior Week, and Commencement/Convocation.

Conference & Event Services provides numerous resources to those wishing to plan events on Cornell's campus.  Staff members can assist with:

  • Contract Negotiation
  • Ticketing
  • Budget Management
  • Production
  • Talent/Artist selection
  • Promotion and publicity
  • Hospitality
  • Volunteer and staffing issues

Please contact us if you're interested in learning more about event planning/management resources available to you or your organization.

We also oversee the Events Management Planning Team (EMPT), a group of university officials available to assist with planning your event.  

Reserving Space

Access to classroom and event space is provided to support mission-driven activities of the institution. Cornell University has developed policies and procedures designed to promote understanding of the conditions under which an internal Cornell group or unit may reserve space on campus for non-class activities. Below are links to various policies and procedures, along with information on how to reserve spaces on campus.

Space Reservations - General information about reserving space on campus

Access to Space for Events - Includes Policy approved by the Space Use Advisory Committee 

Reservation Contact Information - Contact and/or reservation information for campus buildings/spaces

Event Security

Security at events is a crucial piece of the event planning process. Proper planning when it comes to security can make an event successful for the sponsor, presenter, and guests.

Review the April 30, 2019 Cornell Chronicle article about security fees:
Cornell to cover security fees for student events

Planning Ahead is Essential

Reserving space in advance is critical in the event planning process. Some events may require 2-4 weeks notice. Depending on the type of event, you may be required to complete an additional form as part of the Event Planning Process. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the process, and contact if you have any questions.

Merchandise Approval

Cornell, like most major colleges and universities, has a policy and a licensing program that regulates the use of its marks (i.e., names, trademarks, insignia, logos, images, and the like) on items such as T-shirts, caps, key chains, mugs, pens, banners, table cloths, stickers, etc. This process helps prevent bootlegging, ensures that Cornell marks are used appropriately on quality products approved by the university, and that the products are manufactured under a labor code of conduct that prohibits sweatshop conditions. All uses of university name and marks, including those of schools and colleges, departments, programs, and student organizations and projects that are identified with Cornell, must be approved before any item can be ordered and produced.

For your request to be approved you must select a manufacturer that is licensed by Cornell University. A list of licensed manufacturers is available on-line (see the bottom section of the list). A separate request form must be submitted for each item. Cornell University's Brand Center includes the required on-line request form to obtain approval for merchandise designs. Submissions are typically reviewed within 48 business hours and you will receive an email with a formal approval, or instructions on how to make the design compliant. The email approval is required for expense reimbursement and should be obtained before placing any order.