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Event Planning Resources

HLS offers a wide range of services and resources when planning events on campus. Below you’ll find a list of items to consider as you prepare for your event at HLS.

Note:  If you are not affiliated with HLS and would like to host an event on our campus, please review the guidelines for Harvard University clients and External clients to request space. Please note that there are limitations on when outside groups can reserve space at the Law School.

Things to Consider Before You Finalize Event Plans

  1. Planning and Preparation Time
    Be sure to allow enough time to plan and publicize your event. Publicity materials should be ready several weeks before your event; arrangements for most other services, including catering and technology services, should be requested at least two weeks before the event. Events requiring invitations, registration or other special arrangements, always need extra planning and preparation time.
  2. Space
    Make sure the space you reserve and the services you order will work for the size and needs of your event. For example, having fewer than 40 people in your audience generally allows you to use an unamplified room; if you expect more than 40 people, you will need a larger room, with amplification.
  3. Timing
    Timing for your event depends on several factors. Late fall term (November) and late spring term (April-May) are busy times for conferences. Other times in the academic year are also exceptionally busy, and it may be difficult to secure on-campus space or hotel accommodations. Before scheduling your event, be sure to check the HLS Calendar and other University calendars to see if there are other competing events at the same time.
  4. High-Profile Guests/Events
    If your event will include high-profile speakers or guests, or if you’re expecting a large audience, special arrangements may be necessary. If you are inviting high-profile speakers or guests, or if your event is especially newsworthy, please contact the Public Information Officer from the Office of Communications about your event as soon as possible.
  5. Video and Audio Recording
    Recording and reporting on events requires special permissions which will take more time to procure.

Event Planning Checklist

  • Event Plan
    • Event size and scope
    • Date(s) and times
    • Key sponsors, participants and audiences
    • Room reservations
  • Registration, Budget, Publicity and Permissions
    • HLS Calendar listing
    • Campus video screens
    • Online publicity
    • Printed materials (invitations, posters)
    • Photography
    • Permissions
  • Technology
    • Media Services
    • Information Technology Services
  • Catering
    • Harvard University Dining Services
    • Alcohol (license and/or security)
  • On-Site Planning
    • Number of attendees
    • Room setup
    • Staffing
    • Event materials (program, agenda, directional and/or informational signage)
    • ADA accessibility
    • Rain location (if applicable)
    • Parking for guests
    • Sustainability
  • High-Profile Guests/Large Events
    • Special arrangements for high-profile guests
    • Security
    • News coverage
  • Off-Site Arrangements
    • Hotel rooms
    • Transportation
    • Parking