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Event Planning

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 to help you to arrange your event details. If planning a seminar speaker, the Seminar Speaker Checklist may also be useful.

IGB Event Planning Guide

If you need assistance planning your event at the IGB, please contact

Setting the Date and Location

Scheduling your event

The IGB is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 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 email if your event requires exterior doors to be unlocked 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

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):

  • Groups conducting research in the IGB whose events are related to their research activities.
  • Central and campus administrative units holding events important to the campus as a whole.
  • Units or individuals working in areas scientifically or technically related to IGB research area.
  • Campus units or individuals holding events of academic importance to the campus as a whole but are unrelated to IGB programs.
  • 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.

Meetings/events will be directed to utilize the most appropriately sized, and available conference space. This may mean that meetings/events with smaller groups will be directed to a theme space or other appropriately sized conference space.

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.

Rooms available within the IGB:

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

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.

Note: Using any public space in the IGB requires approval before the event.

Tables and Chairs

When reserving a room, please specify how many people you expect to attend. Also, be sure to ask for a registration table or other tables needed for the event.


Please make arrangements for catering with an approved caterer. For more details about caterers in the area, please contact:

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 needed


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.

Other Campus Venues

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

Available Equipment:

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

Video conferencing/internet/recording

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 promote it properly. The following are guidelines to consider for publicity.

Printed Materials

The IGB Communications Office can help create printed pieces for your event. The office provides promotional support for the Institute as well as services for conferences and events, publications, and advertisements.

Contact Communications to develop materials, including:

  • Conference Programs and Materials
  • Posters/Flyers
  • Brochures


The Communications Office can help create a conference registration or an informational page on the IGB website.


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


If you need photography for an event the Communications Office may be able to assist. Contact Nicholas Vasi, to determine how we can best provide for your event.


University parking meters: contact the Parking Department

City of Urbana parking meters: contact the City of Urbana at or 217-384-2314.

Hotel Information

Tcards can be used for lodging reservations and charges; however, if you are paying for a block of rooms you may need to request a purchase order. Contact for guidance.

Hosting a Sustainable Event

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 packaged.
  • 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.



Angie Patrick

Angela Patrick

Administrative Assistant
IGB Administration
(217) 333-5875

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Office Administrator
IGB Administration
(217) 244-2953