Engineering | Event Planning Guide


Now that you have the basic information for the event you can check out the location. Do this as soon as you can, especially if you are planning an event on campus. Meeting space at ASU can be booked two years in advance and is often completely booked six months in advance.

Ask what are you getting with the space?  Does the room have tables, chairs, a podium, a white board, a screen, linen, etc.?
Every event has a different room setup and not all locations are appropriate for all events, which is why these items are so important for planning the perfect event. When looking at space keep in mind the size of the group and the seating arrangement.

When reserving a location, have the following information in mind:

  • The date of the event and a list of backup dates.
  • The time of the event and whether you will need early access.
  • Number of persons in attendance.
  • Setup and audio/visual equipment needs.
  • Food/beverage needs.
  • Does the location have a preferred caterer you are forced to use?
  • What is on the floor? (walking on a cement flooring will be noisy while carpet softens most sounds)
  • Does the room have the right acoustics to accommodate your needs?
  • Is the building open during the event time or is it only accessible with a key card after certain hours of the day?
  • Check when your suppliers can access the area for delivery and pickup.
  • Do you have to do the room setup (arrange the tables and chairs) or is that service included?
  • Is the location easily accessible by car? If you are providing transport, such as a coach or minibus, ensure that this is accessible too.
  • Consider carefully the arrangements for car parking and dropping off passengers at the venue.
  • If outside:
    Will it be lit up enough at night?
    Is the space shaded?
    Do you have access to restrooms close by?
    Do you need heaters or cooling fans?
    What is your rainy day backup plan?
    Check to see if you need to have sprinklers turned off for your event.

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Seating Arrangements

  • Theater Seating – rows of chairs without tables.
  • Classroom Seating – rows of chairs with tables. Tables are usually six to eight feet long.
  • Banquet Seating – Round tables with chairs. See equipment for table sizes.
  • Reception Seating – combination of high cocktail tables and round tables with chairs.
  • Hollow Square – setup up of six or eight foot tables; used for conferences and meetings.
  • U-Shape – setup up of six or eight foot tables; used for conferences and meetings.

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Room Size Estimates
For a rough estimate of the size of the room needed, multiply the number of people by the appropriate square footage per person from the formulas below. To determine if a certain meeting room can accommodate a desired setup, divide the room’s total square footage by the appropriate square footage per person from the formulas below. This is only a rough estimate. Room configurations always depend on the shape of the room, what is already in the room that cannot be moved, the amount of décor and other variables.

Theater Seating

  • 12 square feet per person for groups of 60 people or less – allows room for a normal size stage and aisles.
  • 11 square feet per person for groups of 60 to 300 people – allows room for a normal size stage and aisles.
  • 10 square feet per person for groups of more than 300 people – allows room for a normal size stage and aisles.

Classroom Seating

  • 22 square feet per person for groups of 60 people or less.
  • 20 square feet per person for groups of 60 to 300 people.
  • 18 square feet per person for groups of more than 300 people.

Banquet Seating

  • 20 square feet per person – allows room for bars, buffets, a dance floor and a stage.
  • 15 square feet per person, sit down dinner – allows room for table seating only.

Reception Seating

  • 10-12 square feet per person.

Hollow Square

  • 30 square feet per person.


  • 35 square feet per person.

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Event Locations on Campus

The Memorial Union (MU)
The MU is a great choice for meetings and small special events. Rooms can accommodate any size meeting or event from 10-400 attendees. All rooms are mediated with audio/visual equipment for your event if necessary. Contact Event and Meeting Services at 480-965-3406 for details. Rooms can be reserved complimentary if you are not charging fee for your event.  If you fail to cancel a reservation by the deadline on your contract or you make last minute changes to setup, you will be billed a small fee.

If you are hosting your event at the MU, you must use their caterer, ASU Catering 480-965-6508, for food and/or beverage service. The only exception to the rule is if you would like to order a pizza, which can be ordered through Domino’s Pizza at 480-968-5555 (903 S. Rural Road location only). See map of MU and list of meeting rooms.
For more information:

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Old Main
Old Main is the oldest building at Arizona State University. Included in the rental fee are tables and chairs, limited selection of audio equipment, a screen, and a stage (only for Carson). You will need to rent tablecloths yourself or the ASU Catering can help you with that also.

Rooms available include:

Refsnes Conference Room – seats 6 people, rental fee $75.00.
Dotts Conference Room – seats 12 people, rental fee $75.00.
Crown Conference Room – seats 12 people, rental fee $75.00.
Basha Library – seats 50 people, rental fee $250.00.
Tooker Board Room – seats 30 people, rental fee $200.00.
Carson Ballroom – seats 220 people, rental fee $400.00.

Outside Area

Alumni Lawn – free of charge

You might have to pay a non refundable deposit when reserving a room in Old Main.  The Carson Ballroom is ideal for formal dinner events. All food and beverages must be provided by, ASU Catering at Old Main 480-965-1766.

Also available in the Carson Ballroom is a grand piano, which may be played with the approval of the Events and Building Coordinator. All music must end by 11:30 PM.

For reservations only can be completed at Old Main Reservation.
For more information: 480-965-ALUM or 1-800-ALUMNUS or Old Main Website.

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University Club
The University Club is a private membership organization comprised of current and retired faculty, staff and alumni. “The U Club” provides a relaxed atmosphere for informal meetings or gatherings at the restaurant for lunch, Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. For restaurant reservations call 480-965-0700.

Atlasta Catering is in charge of the University Club and is the only caterer allowed to serve there. The University Club has several rooms available for special events. For reservations of catered events contact Event Coordinator, 480-965-2505,

Rooms available are:

Heritage Room – seated capacity 88, reception capacity 120.
Traditions Room – seated capacity 44, reception capacity 60.
Thoren – seated capacity 30, reception capacity 50.
Bistro – seated capacity 54, reception capacity 70.
Patio – seated capacity 40, reception capacity 60.

Note, This is a private club and one of the attendees has to be a member of the University Club in order for you to be able to host a complimentary function there.  If you don’t have a member attending the event a facility rental fee will be charged.  Bistro is only available for evening or weekend events as it is open for lunch for member.
For more information:

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Meeting Rooms in Different Buildings Around Campus
You can reserve meeting space in different buildings on campus using Microsoft Outlook. On your Outlook calendar, double-click the day you would like to hold the event. Under the scheduling tab, choose the option to “add others” from your address book. Buildings are listed as:[building code].[room #]. Double-click the room you would like to reserve and send your request. You should receive a confirmation e-mail. If you don’t receive a confirmation you can’t assume that you have room event if it looked available.  Make sure you contact the department in the building to verify that your reservation is on record. The department in each building/floor is usually in charge of the rooms and they will be able to answer any additional questions you may have.

The listed rooms may also include additional information such as the capacity of the room. Keep in mind that sometimes the rooms can accommodate the number of people listed, but don’t actually have the same number of seats. Make sure you check out the room before your event to ensure that it has everything you need.

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Grady Gammage Auditorium (maximum capacity: 2,797)
Gammage has limited availability outside of the performance schedules, so contact them early- this availability may very likely dictate your event date.  There is a substantial rental fee associated with renting Gammage in order to cover staffing, security, equipment, etc.  To reserve Gammage, contact Betsy CallahanFor more information about Gammage Auditorium

Athletic Sites: Sun Devil Stadium, Wells Fargo Arena, Sun Devil Club Plaza, Packard Stadium, Skyboxes
If you are holding an athletic event contact stadium management at 480-965-3933.
If you are holding a non-athletic event contact Betsy Callahan
Anyone holding events at an Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) facility has to use Sodexho Sports and Leisure catering for any food and/or beverage. For more information or menu options please call 480-965-4215 or e-mail.

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Karsten Golf Course Clubhouse
Located just east of campus ASU Karsten Golf Club has several options available for social occasions.  There are three reservable spaces:

  • Homes Room – conference room
  • Trophy Room – larger space with tables and chairs, for lunchtime event, guests can order off the menu, or it can be catered
  • Covered outdoor patio – Panoramic views of the golf course

For reservations, contact Jamie Jones, Director of Food and Beverage at 480-784-4834, for more information go to website.

Outdoor Space on Campus (Hayden Lawn, Cady Mall, Orange Mall, Tyler Mall, Palm Walk and Student Services Lawn),
These outdoor spaces can be ideal setting for larger events.. Keep in mind that weather and temperatures can affect the success of your event. Make sure you have a rainy/hot day backup plan (tent or another location where you can move your event inside). Contact Event and Meeting Services for details at 480-965-3406 or reserve these outdoor spaces by filling out Outdoor Event Request Form at least two weeks prior to your event.  See a map of available locations.

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These facilitates an environment that promotes new energy, new thinking, and professional pride. SkySong is home to entrepreneurial businesses, ASU units and ASU partners , supporting both new, innovative ventures and established businesses. With 15 conference and meeting rooms, ASU SkySong is ideal for business meetings, conferences, or special events.  Skysong charges a competitive rental fee for usage of the rooms.
To reserve a room contact meeting and event services at 480-884-1860.
For additional information go to webpage see middle of the page for events info.

Academic Classrooms
To reserve space in a classroom or academic hall, you have to go though the assigned scheduler in your department.  If you don’t know who that is, contact Classroom Scheduling at 480-965-6578 to ask them. Remember that classrooms are difficult to get during the school year and cannot be scheduled until after classes have begun each semester.  Please note that food is not allowed in academic facilities, and that you must leave the room clean and orderly when finished.

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ASU Tempe Campus Event Locations

  • Academic Classrooms Scheduling Downtown Phoenix Campus
    Website to Request Rooms  (use website if event is farther out than 3 days, otherwise, just call)
  • Business College Patio
    Business Dean’s Office
    Jennifer Shick
  • Dixie Gammage Courtyard (“Secret Garden”)
    Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
    Donna Geary
  • Gazebo Lawn (Near University Club)
    University Club
  • Karsten Golf Course Clubhouse
    Karsten Clubhouse
  • Secret Garden
    Herberger Institute for Design and The Arts
    Donna Geary
  • Student Recreation Complex – Activity Spaces
    Student Recreation Complex
  • Student Services Building – Indoor Amphitheater & Rooftop Patio
    Brecka Estes
  • Student Services Lawn
    Event and Meeting Services

ASU Downtown Campus Event Locations

  • Academic Classrooms (cannot be scheduled until after classes have begun each semester)
    Classroom Scheduling DPc
    Website to Request Rooms  (use website if event is farther out than 3 days, otherwise, just call)

Conserve Energy:

  • Hold the event during the day and in locations that will provide adequate natural lighting.
  • Calculate the carbon footprint of the event and purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) to offset the event’s CO2 emissions.
  • Carbon emissions can be calculated by working with a carbon offset provider. Carbon offset providers include, but are not limited to: Carbon Fund, Native Energy, Sterling Planet, Terra Pass and Climate Trust.
  • Use solar: Sustainable Waves, provides a Solar Stage for events.