Event planning at Penn made simple

Hall of Flags

The Hall of Flags in Houston Hall

You know that old proverb, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”? When planning your next event at Penn, the only thing that is guaranteed to happen is what you arrange to happen.

Take this short “True or False” quiz to discover how much you know about planning events on campus:

1.) The Lower Egyptian Gallery and other spaces in the Penn Museum can be reserved for both University events and private affairs. T or F?

2.) The director of Penn's Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives must grant permission for alcohol to be served on campus in a space formally reserved for an event. T or F?

3.) Reservations for event spaces are processed within two to three business days. T or F?

The correct answer to each question is “True.” Answers to other questions about event planning at Penn and just about everything else you need to know—required forms, policies and procedures—are listed in the “Guide to Planning Events @ Penn,” a free, user-friendly manual prepared by the Office of the Perelman Quadrangle and VPUL Performing Arts Facilities.

You can download the guide at http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/perelmanquad/planning-kit.php.

Bodek Lounge

Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall

“The most common mistake planners make is to start in-depth planning of their event without having secured a space to hold it,” says Thomas Hauber, executive director of the Office of Perelman Quad and VPUL Performing Arts Facilities. “Most planners have no idea of the costs of their event and complete logistics.”

Hauber oversees events held in Perelman Quad venues, such as Houston Hall, Irvine Auditorium, Williams Hall, Cohen Hall and Wynn Commons.

Penn event planners work with student organizations, faculty and staff, and the general public to stage events on campus. Through established relationships with University departments, they ensure that events are handled professionally at an economical cost.

Over the years, Hauber has made arrangements for U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities gracing the stage of Penn’s Irvine Auditorium. He has become a pro at identifying and preventing potential disasters and has dealt with all manners of tricky logistics.

"In 1976, the famous magician Harry Blackstone arrived for 23 magic shows in Irvine,” Hauber recalls. “Little did we know that he was traveling with a donkey, a lion and an elephant. Some quick thinking had us purchasing the food needed for the menagerie. In the end, elephant rides were provided to the Penn staff every noon hour while he was in town.”

If you have any questions about planning events at Penn, stop by the Perelman Quadrangle offices in Room 307 of Houston Hall or call 215-898-5552 to speak to an event coordinator. 

Originally published on May 26, 2011