Event Logistics

Event Logistics

Logistics are one of the most challenging aspects of planning an event at MIT Sloan, requiring strong project management skills, attention to detail, and a degree of resilience or "Plan B" thinking. Below you'll find guidelines to help you plan logistics for your event from soup to nuts.

This page covers: Selecting and Promoting Your Event Date, Tabling, Space/VenueAtlas Event Setup/Cleaning Requests, Event Registration, Food, Other Vendors (A/V, Facilities, Etc.), Event Setup, Ticket Sales, & Tracking Attendance, SWAG, Local Accommodation, Parking and Transportation, Risk Management, Accessibility and Disability Planning Resources, and Sustainability.

Selecting and Promoting Your Event Date

Deciding on the date and time for your event can potentially make or break its success. When choosing a date for your event, consider:

Does it conflict with other events?

Check the following calendars to make sure your target date avoids conflicting with other events:

  • Sloan Groups Calendar
  • MIT Events Calendar
  • Department calendars (ask target departments, e.g., CDO)
  • Student-run Google calendars
  • Calendars of nearby
    schools (e.g., Babson, Boston University, Harvard)
Does it conflict with classes?

Remember that students cannot skip classes to attend events. This is particularly relevant for Case Competitions, Conferences, and Treks. In some cases, you might provide half-day tickets to students so that they can fit the event in with their class schedules.

I selected an event date. Now what?

Once you've chosen your event date, it is important that you add your event to any of the applicable calendars above, so that other event planners (and your target audience) know in advance about your event (see Publicity & marketing).

Tabling

Check out our helpful video on how to reserve a table in E62 here.

Where to table?

Three locations have been identified in the E62 Roberts Family Forum where MIT Sloan organizations and departments can set up table displays to promote their activities. Your Club Space Signatory may reserve a table in the E62 Roberts Family Forum using Sloan Space.

Table display requests must be approved by Sloan Educational Services and are permitted Monday through Friday, from 9:30am-4:30pm. You are responsible for the set up and break down of your table display. Tables can be picked up in E52-133 after 9:15am and must be returned by 4:45pm. An MIT ID is required for collateral. The furniture (including tables and chairs) in the Siteman Dinning Room/Roberts Family Forum may not be moved or used for table displays. Restrictions on music and food sales apply. The people staffing these table must be members of the MIT community and are expected to remain at said tables and not attempt to "solicit" passersby.

If you are promoting ticket sales or merchandise:

Keep in mind, if you are promoting ticket sales or merchandise, it is against MIT Policy to enter third party credit card information into your laptop. If tabling, clubs must borrow a Chromebook from the Student Life Office to process online payments. The Chromebooks do not have MIT certificates (while personal laptops do) which allows for each third party sign-ins to SloanGroups for selling merchandise and event tickets.

Please contact the Student Life Office at least one business day prior to when you would like to borrow a Chromebook(s) to arrange for pickup. Student Life requires you to leave an ID with us while the device(s) is checked out. Your ID will be returned upon our receipt of an undamaged Chromebook.

Space/Venue

Space is a hot commodity at MIT and in the greater Boston area, so demand typically outstrips supply. We always recommend that you look into booking space ASAP and consider more than one option in case your top choice is booked. This section will walk you through your options on-campus as well as off-campus.

PLEASE NOTE: only the officer designated as space reserver for your club is able to book space for all club events.

Classrooms (Sloan Campus)

For many general events, such as lunchtime speaker series, it makes sense to stay on Sloan's campus and use classroom space. Your club's Space Reserver can request rooms through the MIT Sloan Classroom Request Form.

Public Space (Sloan Campus)

MIT Sloan Public Space includes:

  • E51 (Diebold Lounge, Wolk Lobby, Sherburne Lounge)
  • E62 (Roberts Family Forum, Roberts Family Forum Table Displays)
  • Outdoors (North Garden, Gruber Courtyard).

Your club's Space Reserver can request public space through SloanSpace. Additional information is available in the MIT Sloan Public Space Rules of Use.

Classrooms (MIT Campus)

MIT boasts a wide array of classroom space beyond Sloan's campus (click here for a detailed breakdown). Contact the Student Life Office if you are interested in using this space.

  • Samberg Conference Center: Students can submit reservation requests directly with Samberg. They will reach out to Student Life to confirm the student group has the financing to host an event in that space
  • iHQ
Media Lab (MIT Campus)

The Media Lab is a highly coveted event space on MIT's campus; as such, it is usually booked out months in advance with very little flexibility.
If you would like to look into booking the Media Lab, contact slquestions@mit.edu ASAP.

How to Navigate SloanSpace

Once you click on the SloanSpace link, you will need to login using your Sloan ID/password to get into the system. (You may have set it to be the same as your Kerberos username and password.) You will see a login button under the "My Account" tab at the top left of the page (just under the MIT Sloan logo). Once you've logged in using your Sloan ID, hover over the "Reservations" tab at the top left of the page. Under "Community Spaces" you will see options to click on for table displays (in E62 lobby) and other reservable public spaces (listed above).

Classroom and Public Space Scheduling Policies

Classrooms and public space are scheduled by the Sloan Educational Services Office (SES). Please refer to the following documents for scheduling policies:

Campus Activities Complex (CAC (MIT Campus)

Most multipurpose and theatrical spaces on campus are scheduled through the CAC (W20-500, 253-3913). These facilities include:

  • Walker Memorial (50)
  • Stratton Student Center (W20)
  • Kresge Auditorium (W16)
  • Ting Foyer and Wong Auditorium in the Tang Center (E51)
  • Stata Center (32)

For a complete listing of spaces and capacity, visit the CAC's online Event Planning Guide.

Off-Campus

Greater Boston offers a variety of additional venue options for MIT Sloan events. The Student Life Office will help you take stock of venues that have worked well for prior MIT Sloan events, as well as guide you through finding new spaces.
Make sure you adhere to the following guidelines when taking your event off-campus:

  • Find a venue that fits your date, budget, and capacity requirements.
  • Make sure to contact at least three possible venues.
  • Do NOT sign any contracts. If you receive a contract or agreement from your target venue, contact a member of the Student Life team.
Event Space Scheduling Policies

Event space is controlled by Campus Activities Complex (CAC). Includes Wong Auditorium, Walker Memorial, etc.

  • The designated Space Reserver from each student group may set up an account with CAC by completing this application and emailing it to cacscheduling@mit.edu. Once CAC has your password choice, your account will be setup and you will receive email notification that your account has been activated. Setting up an account will provide you access to the CAC virtual scheduling system.
  • Once this account is set up with CAC that club officer may reserve CAC space online.
  • If you want CAC to set up your reserved space in a particular way then contact them several weeks prior to the event (there is a charge for some furniture pieces)
  • The Event Planning Guide is very helpful and includes information about CAC spaces, room capacities, setup styles, and much more.
  • MIT floor plans can be very helpful for envisioning your event set up.

Atlas Event Setup/Cleaning Requests

Sloan Classroom & iHQ Events

Classroom reservations at Sloan (if food will be served) and all event spaces at iHQ require that "Event Setup/Cleaning" arrangements are made via Atlas.

Please note that students do not have access to submit this type of request.

We in Student Life are more than happy to do so on your behalf. Once we have submitted the request, we will forward you a copy. Please send us the information on the right.

Kindly email slquestions@mit.edu with the following information at least one week in advace of your event:

  • Event Name & Brief Description
  • Building Number & Room Number
  • Event Date and Start Time
  • Event End Time
  • Clean-Up Time
  • If Needed - quantity of: Chairs, recycling bins, trash barrels, food waste bins, attendants
  • Approximate Number of Guests
  • Your Club's Cost Object
  • Event Host Name & Email

Event Registration

MIT requires that certain events be registered in order to monitor risk and ensure the safety of all participants. Below, you'll find guidelines on the event registration process.

Need help registering an event? Check out this helpful video on how to register an event here.

How do you know whether your event must be registered?

Registration is required for on and off campus events when:

  • You are expecting more than 100 attendees at an event.
  • Any attendees are not members of the MIT community. This includes conferences.
  • Events are cosponsored with a non-MIT partner.
  • Alcohol is available (regardless of who pays for it).
  • Minors (anyone under 18) are involved.
When does your event need to be registered?
  • On-campus must be registered at least ten business days in advance. Failure to comply will result in the cancellation of this reservation and may jeopardize future requests with the Schedules Office.
  • Off-campus events must be registered at least one week before the event.
What is the registration and approval process?
  • Event Registration form: fill out the form through Atlas. Based on the details you enter about the event, requests for approvals are routed automatically to the appropriate departmental designates.
  • Host confirmation: Event hosts must read the "MIT host policies" and accept the responsibilities outlined to continue the registration process. The host must complete this step to keep the form moving through the approval process.
  • Space confirmation: The designated approver for the space/venue must confirm that the space has been reserved for this event.
  • Alcohol approval: The designated approvers must approve events when MIT funds are used for alcohol or to cover alcohol-related expenses.
  • Overall approval for event: Either the Events and Information Center, the Student Activities Office, the MIT Sloan Student Life Office, or the Office of Residential Life will review all relevant details and approvals and determine whether the event meets guidelines. These offices direct the planners to obtain the appropriate licenses and permits from the City of Cambridge or other organizations, as warranted.
  • Police approval: MIT Police determine whether police details or metal detectors are required, review issues around public safety, assess parking requirements, and recommend further support, as needed.
  • Keep in mind that the Student Life Office requires you to enter your event into SloanGroups in order to receive approval.

Food

First and foremost (and especially if your event is on-campus), make sure that the space allows food and drink. There are several rooms and venues, such as Wong Auditorium, where these refreshments are prohibited.

How do you make sure to order the correct amount of food? You may want to link to an RSVP form in your event promotions:
  • In your RSVP on SloanGroups, it is best practice to ask about dietary restrictions, though you should be sure to provide vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options to accomodate attendees. When ordering, be sure to ask your caterer about accomodating these restrictions rather than making assumptions about what is/isn't safe for your guests to eat.
  • These food options (and any other indicated dietary restrictions) should be clearly labeled to minimize confusion.

Do I need a certificate of Insurance?

If the vendor you select serves the food (rather than simply dropping it off), you will need to get their Certificate of Insurance beforehand. Give this document to the Student Life Office.

E62 Cafe Vouchers for Event Guests:

There are now 2 voucher options at E62 Cafe:

  • $15 -- good for one entree, one side, and one bottled beverage
  • $20 -- good for whatever the individual wants; cafe will ring up the order and if the total price comes in over $20 the individual will be charged for the difference.

Groups will be charged for the number of pre-determined vouchers up front.
Contact Restaurant Associates (RA), Catering Director, Megan Hayward to inquire about purchasing vouchers. Provide the date and time of your event and the number of vouchers you would like to purchase. Please note: Ordering lunch vocuhers requires three business days notice.

MIT Preferred Food Vendors: Pizza, Salads, and/or sandwiches
MIT Preferred Food Vendors: Hot Meals

Other Vendors (A/V, Facilities, Etc.)

In addition to choosing a suitable caterer, many events require tapping additional vendors. Depending on your event type, you may or may not need to consider the following types of vendors:

Looking for vendors? Check out the Preferred Supplier Search: MIT's online directory of preferred and internal suppliers.

MIT Audio Visual Services

MIT Audio Visual Services provides technical support and equipment for any MIT-related event.

  • To order In order A/V services or equipment, submit your request form via MySloan. You may also contact MIT Audio Visual Services at (617)-253-2808.
Decor

Student Life can help you find vendors that provide furniture (especially tables and chairs), lighting, entertainment, etc.
Please note, there a number of policies to bear in mind when planning decorations for your event. Review the Risk Management section of this page to ensure compliance.

Printed Materials

MIT CopyTech is a full-service print/copy facility on campus.

Sound Choice Events

Sound Choice Events is also a recommended A/V vendor offering sound/lighting/DJ packages that are often less expensive than vendors simply offering A/V services.

Facilities

MIT Department of Facilities provides services including but not limited to custodial, trash, recycling, and room/furniture setup. Additional information may be found on the Event Setup portion of the Facilities website. You can make a service request through your Atlas account.

Event Setup, Ticket Sales, and Tracking Attendance

Many student-led events at MIT Sloan (e.g., case competitions and conferences) require ticket sales, which in turn help student groups and the Student Life Office track attendance. We encourage students to gather data on event attendees in order to better assess your event's success, and we recommend two basic options:

SloanGroups

Through SloanGroups, you can sell tickets or get RSVPs (with language about how binding the RSVP committment is--ie: the potential consequences of signing up and not showing up in regards to catering, waitlist, brand management, etc.)

You can also quickly check in attendees at the door using the app, either by scanning the QR code on their ticket or by looking them up in the system. This allows you, and the Student Life Office, to get data about the attendees, regardless of RSVPs.

Attendance data is useful both for your planning purposes, and also for your organizing team the following year (and potentially, to attract funding in the future).

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is a platform that allows you to easily build and customize your online ticket sales pre-event and generate attendee reports post-event.

The Student Life Office has a discounted rate with Eventbrite: credit card processing is 3% and additional fee per transaction is 75¢ + 1.5% (a 25% discount on the standard 99¢ + 2% fee).

Contact the Student Life Office

SWAG

Stuff. We. All. Get

Giving something to your attendees or speakers to take home with them adds a nice touch to any event. You can purchase SWAG – "Stuff We All Get" – at the MIT Sloan Logo Store. Visit the store's website to scope out available inventory.

Can I purchase SWAG with my club/event logo?

Yes, the MIT Sloan Communications Office has published updated branding guidelines for MIT Sloan Clubs. Please review the latest guidelines and update your club logo as necessary. See how to order club and event SWAG here.

Preferred Vendors for MIT Merchandise

Local Accommodation

Hotels around Campus

VPF Strategic Sourcing has negotiated discount rates for MIT with a dozen Cambridge and Boston hotels, including three hotels in Kendall Square. Click here to view a complete list of hotels and rates.

Who can I share the discounts with?

Feel free to provide the MIT discount codes for these local hotels to your speakers who ask about accommodation options.

Parking & Transportation

Event attendees and speakers will typically inquire about parking and transportation options at MIT Sloan.

Things to Know if you are having an event on-campus:
  • The E51 parking lot is free to use on weekends.
  • Additionally, there is often street parking off of Memorial Drive and on the side streets surrounding the MIT campus.

Check out the MIT Facilities website for an overview of parking and transportation at MIT.

For other transportation inquiries, contact the Parking and Transportation Office.

How to request visitor parking for guests

You may contact the Student Life Office to request visitor parking for guests with a minimum of 3 business days notice. The cost is $34 per daily parking pass. The specific parking lot where your guest may park will be determined based on availability. Include the following information in your email:

  • Name(s) of the visitor(s) needing passes
  • Number of passes needed
  • Date for which passes are needed
  • Anticipated arrival time of the visitor(s)
  • Anticipated departure time of the visitor(s)Name and account number of sponsoring club
  • Name and account number of sponsoring club
  • Your name and contact information

Risk Management

MIT has very clear Health and Safety Policies that must be followed at all events. The MIT EHS website lays out the policies and procedures for running a safe event.

Prohibited items
  • Candles or open flames
  • Confetti
  • Fog machines
Items considered NOT safe

Decorations that burn easily, cannot be effectively treated with flame-retardant, or can ignite nearby items. These include:

  • Natural evergreen trees, wreaths, boughs and other cut greenery
  • Paper, plastic or Styrofoam decorations (NOT labeled safe by the manufacturer)
  • Sheer, mesh or gauze-type fabrics
  • Large light-bulb strands
  • Dried flowers/leaves/grasses, corn stalks, hay or straw
In the following locations, decorations are not permitted without a Safety Program review:
  • Atriums
  • Auditoriums, classrooms and other large rooms (you must obtain permission from the space administrator before purchasing decorations for these spaces)
  • Corridors
  • Elevators (prohibited by Mass Elevator regulations)
  • Exit Doorways (prohibited by Mass Fire Prevention regulations)
  • Lobbies
  • Stairways (prohibited by Mass Fire Prevention regulations)
  • *If you want to use any unusual decorations, consult with the Student Life Office.
Items considered safe:

Decorations that are "UL listed" and/or "flame retardant," such as:

  • Artificial trees and wreaths
  • Streamers or other paper decorations (labeled safe by the manufacturer)
  • Fabrics that are professionally treated with flame retardant
  • Miniature light-bulb strands (for indoor use)
  • Fresh flowers, pumpkins/gourds, indoor plants, fruits or vegetables
Additionally, the Department of Facilities asks that:
  • You DO NOT use duct tape to secure decorations. Use removable tape and adhesives such as Long Mast blue masking tape, mounting adhesive putty, or poster tape.
  • You secure cylinders to helium balloons. Otherwise, use a chain to secure them to a cylinder cart or column.
  • You keep lighting equipment (especially high intensity lights) and other heat sources away from decorations.
  • To prevent water damage, you don't hang decorations from overhead pipes or sprinkler heads.
  • You remove decorations immediately after the event.

Accessibility and Disability Planning Resources

Your event should provide access and support to anyone who may have a disability or special needs.

If your space is not accessible to those with disabilities:

Contact the office through which you reserved your space for help identifying paths of travel, seating arrangements, accessible restrooms, A/V, cart services, and any other necessary special support services.

Sustainability

MIT encourages sustainability across its entire campus. Design your event to produce less trash, use less energy, and incorporate sustainable themes.

How to Make an event sustainable

The MIT Office of Sustainability has created a Sustainable Catering Checklist to guide you through making your event as sustainable as possible. They have also created a Zero Waste Event Checklist to guide you through sustainable event setup and logistics.

Additionally, there are now composting drop sites on the first and second floors of E62--check out the MIT Facilities site on composting for further details about this program.

If your event generates excess food, you may donate it to: