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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society



Event Planning Guide


Whether planning a conference, seminar, symposium, or other outreach event, the following guide can help you plan your next event at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB). Use this guide and our checklist to help you to arrange your event details.


Setting the Date and Location


The IGB is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Access to the IGB outside of normal business hours must be arranged with IGB Operations and Facilities via email at Please let Operations and Facilities know if your event requires exterior doors to be unlocked if your event is taking place outside of normal business hours.

When selecting a date, please check the IGB Website calendar to make sure your event date will not conflict with another event.

Also, check the University general events calendar to make sure your event does not conflict with other well-attended events such as Homecoming, home football games, etc.

Before you reserve a space, please have these answers ready for the planning process:

  • Name of event, event date, time, expected attendance and contact information. Will you need extra time for set-up/clean-up?
  • Room set-up needs (tables, chairs, staging, registration tables, etc)
  • Will you serve, food, beverages, alcohol?
  • Technical requirements (sound system, lighting equipment, audio-visual equipment, decorations, etc)
  • Parking needs for event with large attendance
  • Account number


Space/Room Reservations

To reserve a room at the IGB, please fill out the Space Reservation Form or contact Darci Edmonson,

When reserving a space within the IGB, please note the following special conditions regarding the use of space in the IGB (in order of priority):

  1. Groups conducting research in the IGB whose events are related to their research activities.
  2. Central and campus administrative units holding events important to the campus as a whole.
  3. Units or individuals working in areas scientifically or technically related to IGB research area.
  4. Campus units or individuals holding events of academic importance to the campus as a whole but are unrelated to IGB programs.
  5. Off-campus organizations whose events are unrelated to the IGB will rarely be granted approval.

Use of IGB facilities may be accorded to organizations other than those categorized above, within or outside the University, when such use does not interfere with other planned activities, and when the best interests of the University would appear to be served.

  • Note: Note: The IGB reserves the right to determine the need for additional event staffing. Charges for any services necessary to restore the room(s) to the condition prior to the event may be assessed.


(The conference center holds up to 90 people.)

  • Conference Center (Rooms 612 or 614 combined) holds 90 people
  • Conference Center Divided (Room 612) holds 48 people

**Please note: Using any public space in the IGB requires approval before the event.

When reserving a space, also determine what type of technical support and/or equipment your event will require. Please see the Technical Support section about requesting audio visual equipment for the room.


When reserving a room, please specify how many people you are planning to invite and/or attend and for what type of event for which the room needs to be set up. Also, be sure to ask for a guest check-in table or other tables needed for the event.



Please make arrangements for catering from an approved caterer. IGB works with local, approved catering companies. Below is a list of catering companies that have been used in the past for events. For more details about caterers in the area, please contact:

  • Illini Union / Dining Services, 333-0126
  • L.A. Gourmet Catering, 643-7205
  • Michaels Catering, 351-2500

When planning a catered event, you will want to get the final headcount one week in advance to the caterer. For a large event, the caterer will need a final headcount two weeks in advance. Check with your caterer to review your contract terms.

Information to provide to a caterer:

  • date
  • start time and end time
  • number of people expected
  • type of food/beverages needed
  • budget information
  • linens


Alcoholic beverages may be possessed and consumed at approved events. Event organizers must obtain approval in writing in advance of the event. Contact for details.

If serving alcohol, provide the name and purpose (i.e. educational, social, entertainment, etc.) of the event. All events that serve alcohol should comply with all requirements of the University's Alcohol Management Policy. You will need to supply a CFOP for payment for alcoholic beverages. The IGB will complete the Alcohol Approval Form and obtain approvals. Contact Darci Edmonson at or 244-2200 with any questions.



If you are planning a large event that will be held elsewhere on campus, please consider some of the following locations on campus. Please contact these facilities directly to book your event.


Technical Support

Below is a list of the equipment available for your event. After you reserve your date and room, please contact at least one week in advance to request specific equipment for your event.

Groups are expected to be able to operate the general purpose audio-visual equipment themselves. However, prior training may be arranged by contacting the Building Attendant at


  • Cassette tape recorder
  • DVD/VHS player
  • Easel
  • Laptop computer (Internet ready)
  • Movable poster boards
  • Overhead projector
  • Slide projector
  • Video camera
  • Video conferencing system
  • White board
  • Software


The Computer & Network Resource Group (CNRG) coordinates all video conferencing, Internet, and recording needs. Contact CNRG at to schedule their services for your event.


Publicity and Marketing

After spending time putting an event together, it is important to market it properly. The following are guidelines to consider for publicity and marketing.


The IGB Communications Office can help you create printed pieces for your event. The office provides marketing, media, and public relations support for the Institute as well as services for conferences and events, publications, advertisements, and other promotions.

Contact us to help you develop your materials including:

  • Conference Programs and Materials
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Brochures


The Communications Office can help you create a website for your event, for conference registration, information or a call for papers.


The Communications Office can facilitate media placement as part of a publicity plan for your event, if this is included in your budget. Call us to discuss details to determine if advertising is right for your event.


Whether you need an updated portrait, or photography for an event, the Communications Office can assist. Contact Nicholas Vasi, nvasi@illinois.eduto determine how we can best provide photography for your event.



Parking meters are available on Mathews Avenue and University lot F-28, located near Turner Hall at Goodwin Avenue and Dorner Drive.

Contact the Parking Department for more information or questions about parking at (217) 333-3530.




For hotel reservations and payment information, please contact the IGB Business Office, (217) 244-8443 to ensure appropriate payment methods.



When planning an event at the IGB, here are some simple ways you can make your event more earth-friendly.

  • Ask that all catering plates, cups, and glasses are china or glass (non-disposable).
  • Ask that condiments, beverages, and other food items be provided in bulk instead of individually package.
  • Provide reusable coffee mugs.
  • Use cloth napkins whenever possible.
  • Ensure that recycling bins are present at all catered functions.
  • Print all handouts on two sides using post-consumer recycled paper. Ask presenters to minimize paper handouts; post electronically after the event.
  • Create a Website, offer electronic registration, and publish the conference itinerary online. Reduce the amount of handouts (including registration materials), or make online instead.
  • Choose centerpieces and decorations that can be reused, such as living plants or silk flowers. Give these away as table prizes.
  • Create signage that can be reused in future events.
  • Provide 'reuse' collection bins for name tags.


Contacts for Event Planning

Who do I talk to or meet with when planning an event? Below is a list of internal resources to help you plan your event.