Behind the scenes of every event - from the simple to the complex - are folks that work to set spaces up for your event, keep them heated or cooled, unlocked when you need them, powered with lights and electricity, and kept clean and welcoming.
Many of these services are provided by the departments and teams that make up our Facilities Management Division. According to the Facilities website as a group our FAC division is "responsible for maintaining 300 acres of land and more than 2,000,000 square feet of property in 40 major buildings. The oldest building was built in 1852, and the oldest house in 1733." Further there are "approximately 130 of them working in various crafts such as cleaning (night and day custodial, housekeeping), building trades (painting, carpentry, locksmith, electrical, hvac, plumbing), as well as on the grounds, the botanic garden and the stockroom. Collectively they speak eight different languages and have 21 people with more than 20 years service. The office staff handles over 18,000 telephone calls per year and we respond to over 12,000 service requests."
Locked rooms, lighting, heating, cooling, etc...
We often take for granted basic elements of room set-up. If you arrive for your event and discover that the room is unlocked for you, that room dividers are open, that the lighting and electrical supply in the room are working for you, that the temperature in the room is reasonable, that the media equipment is in working order, and that the space is clean and ready for you that is because your event was properly registered and the offices responsible for each were notified of your needs in advance. It's not a crew of psychic elves predicting your dream event and getting it all ready for you - it is campus staff responding to appropriately filed service orders.
It is the event planners responsibility to specifically request chairs, tables, easels, risers, podiums, etc. Often, equipment and furnishings you believe to be a permanent part of a given room are actually moved around campus as need demands. This also means that if on your ERF you request equipment and furniture which are not already in the room you are using there will be a fee attached to delivery and pick up, even if the furniture seems to ‘appear magically'. The first best plan is to select rooms for your event that have the furnishings in place the way the best suit your needs. In some venues the furniture set-up is more flexible or "customizable" (e.g. Blanchard Great Room, Chapin Aud., New York Room, Warbeke Room, Cassini Lounge, Betty Shabbaz House). In all cases there is a "Standard" arrangement to which the furniture needs to return after an event. Sometimes you will be hiring Facilities Services to do these set-ups, other time you may commit to doing them yourselves, but the restoration has to happen.
Custom furniture arrangements can be best accomplished if you supply a room diagram with your Event Registration Form. Ask the Event Coordinator in Student Programs for help.
In ALL cases, event planners are required to guarantee the removal of all decorations and other large trash items from the space, and to leave the facility “generally picked up” with trash in appropriate barrels. For some events, especially dinner events and large party events, additional contracted custodial clean-up may be mandatory and fees will apply. Professional staff make this determination.
Factors that Effect the Cost of Your Event
The size of your audience, the quantity of food and beverage on site, the timing of your event and the location of your event all impact the costs of services. Some common fees are underwritten by the certain offices on campus as a way to decrease costs to students hosting an event, but other fees are unavoidable by event sponsors.
Services that need to be provided outside of routine work hours incur overtime costs. Last minute "urgency" requests will cost more. Services that are ordered and cancelled with less that 4 days notice will incur fines. Good planning always helps everyone involved.
Estimated Set-up/Clean-up Costs
Costs vary a great deal. The Event Coordinator in Student Programs will assist you in making good service order and budget decisions. Here are some budgeting estimates to assist you in planning.
- Chapin: Furniture Set-up/Take down = Standard Cost= $250.00
- NY Room: Set-up/Take down = Standard Cost = $100.00
- Furniture deliveries & Set-ups in other venues are custom billed by the hour and type of service. Ask ahead.
- Blanchard Furniture Set-up = typically done by sponsors with direction from Stage Crew, otherwise there are costs.
- Custodial Clean-up = $25/hr. Outside of regular business hours = $35.00/hr.
- Chapin Clean-up for Large Event: typically = $80.00–200.00
- Blanchard: Clean-up/Set-up = "Free" for most events, (Student Programs sponsors these services).
1. Plan well, and get good advice about avoiding unnecessary charges.
2. Be your own clean-up/set-up crew (approved by the staff at Student Programs)!!
Choosing to set-up and clean-up your own event is definitely one way to save money. The more volunteers you have the faster the process. You can offer your volunteers free admission to your event or other incentives for helping out. Even if you are required to hire cleaning services from FacMan, you can still minimize your cost by doing some preliminary cleaning.
- Have an organized and clear plan together. No one wants to be waiting around with no instruction or understanding on how things are supposed to go.
- Be prepared with trash bags and diagrams of your set-up. Assign sections or jobs to people, or let them pick their own.
- Do a check of the venue when you and your crew are done.
- Did you put the chairs and tables away? Is all the trash cleaned up?
- *Remember, anything overlooked or left undone will be charged to your org!*