Planning resources

Included in this section are best practice processes, resources and contact information available across campus for elements involved in the planning and delivery of an event.

In addition to the resources outlined below, the Community Relations and Events team has many years of collective experience planning and implementing events and may be able to act as a consultation resource and support offering advice, information and guidance in your planning process.

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AccessAbility Services

It is necessary to ensure that events held on camps are accessible to all individuals present for an event, which may include those with disabilities.

AccessAbility Services works in partnership with campus groups to promote equitable access to services and facilities across campus, and provides information by acting as a resource and support to students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities.

AccessAbility Services provides support services and collaborates with community service agencies to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all events and programs while on campus.

For support, resources and questions about accessibility on campus, please contact the AccessAbility Office at access@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 35082.

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Audio/visual equipment and multimedia services

Instructional Technologies and Multimedia Services (ITMS) offers a range of multi-disciplined resources, state-of-the-art technology, and support services to the campus community. The ITMS department takes client orders, co-ordinates equipment availability, arranges delivery, and initiates operator requests and technical assistance to aid in special event executions of various sizes and scopes.

For ITMS supports and orders, contact Bookings and Technical Support Coordinator, Michael Davenport at mldavenp@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 33034

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Branding, gifts and wearables

The University of Waterloo is transitioning to a new brand look and feel that has seen the return of the heraldic shield as a powerful symbol for a leading academy of higher education. The return of the shield is being supported by an identity framework that clearly demonstrates how the logo and a suite of supporting design elements are applied across print and digital applications across and beyond our campus.

Retail Services is the University of Waterloo’s official source for products essential to the enhancement of the overall event experience incorporating the university’s new identity.

Retail Services engages with the university’s brand and community through personalized service, innovative and diversified offerings, and support of the university's mission and goals through a variety of unique, branded event gifts and wearable items.

For special event orders, contact Custom Order Specialist, Erin Pritchard at epritchard@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 35439. 

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Catering and hospitality

Exceptional catering is critical to the success of events. Catering & Event Services serves the University of Waterloo and the Kitchener-Waterloo community as a premier choice for both on and off campus special event catering.

When planning an upcoming event, engage Catering & Events Services and their dedicated team by contacting Sales Coordinator, Karen Majaury at kmajaury@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 33198 or by ordering online.

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Finance, procurement and insurance

When engaging an external supplier or vendor for an event service, it is the university’s goal to ensure any acquisitions and contracts are executed professionally, ethically, efficiently, and transparently.

Procurement and Contract Services can advise on, review and finalize relationships with vendors to ensure institutional standards are met. For more information, contact Stephen Cook, Director of Procurement and Contract Services at scook@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 32515.

When planning an event that involves the general public, it is important to follow university insurance policies to protect against any accidental loss, damage, injury or third party liability. Please refer to the Insurance webpage for more information about insurance forms, grant reviews, etc.

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Health and safety

Ensuring that event guests, staff and volunteers are safe throughout an event is an essential responsibility of the organizing team.

The Safety Office serves as a Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) resource to assist members of the university community in meeting their obligations to provide a safe, healthy work and event environment. 

For health and safety procedures and protocols that apply to on-campus events, please visit the Safety Office Procedures.

There are also other resources that campus event planners can use as emergency resources, these include the following:

  • Developed in partnership between UW Police Services and the Safety Office, the WatSAFE app for mobile devices was created to keep you connected to campus and to stay informed of major campus emergency events. To learn more about the app, please visit WatSAFE.
  • For information regarding the University's policies for how to respond in the event of an emergency on-campus, please reference the University's Emergency Response Plan.
  • First Aid training is provided to staff of the University by the Safety Office a couple times throughout each term. The training takes one day to complete. Dates for the course can be found through myHRinfo (Self Service > Learning and Development > Request Training Enrolment > Search "First Aid").
  • Campus fire evacuation procedures can be found on the Safety Office's emergency procedures. To obtain a campus map outlining fire routes, please visit Fire Safety website.

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Marketing and communications

The University of Waterloo's brand and reputation are valuable strategic resources, with the potential to impact every element of an event. Responsibility for articulating and delivering the institution’s central messages in a clear, consistent, engaging and strategic manner is shared across five functional units under University Relations.

When preparing to integrate messaging and content into an event that touches on the university’s brand and impacts its reputation, consult the appropriate unit:

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Parking Services

Parking Services recognizes that all students, faculty,  staff and community members are welcome to park in designated lots across campus. Considering the parking needs for an event as they relate to date, time, capacity and directional signage is important to the overall success of an event experience and the ever-increasing demands of our growing community.

For special event parking requests or more information regarding on-campus parking policies, contact eventpark@uwaterloo.ca.

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Photography and multimedia

The original instant message – more powerful than a thousand words, a photograph can impact an event by drawing in the viewer and illuminating event material, as well as distilling an event theme into a single image.

To arrange a consultation and/or book a photography session for an event, or to take an event story beyond the ordinary told through the power of video, contact Project Coordinator Jennifer Halcrow at jhalcrow@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 31759.

If you plan to feature external event participants and attendees prominently in photography and video footage promoting your event, with the option of utilizing the resources for promotional purposes at a later date, participants are required to authorize the use of their image by signing a model release form (PDF). Likewise, if you plan to incorporate generic event photography and videography without prominently featuring individual attendees or involving a video interview, you can visibly display an un-signed notice of photography (PDF) waiver on site. 

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Plant Operations and Central Stores

Events require manpower, and as the University of Waterloo’s largest support department, Plant Operations provides a number of services to deliver the resources to assist with event execution.

Work Requests are required for requested building alterations, grounds and custodial work, parking and directional signage placement, etc. Completed Work Request forms can be sent to Plant Operations by e-mailing pltops.workrequests@uwaterloo.ca or by mailing to Work Requests, Plant Operations, GSC.

Central Stores provides a variety of logistical support services to students, faculty and staff across campus. Submit a Work Request online for furniture and heavy equipment moving, storage, bulk mailing, shipping, receiving, etc.  

For more information on bulk mailing, contact Antonio Chaves at achaves@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 32034.

For more information on storage options, furniture and heavy equipment moving, contact Tony Bairos at tbairos@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 36305, or submit a Move Request Form online.

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Police Services

University of Waterloo Police Services is committed to promoting and upholding the policies and practices of the university while working in partnership with the campus community to provide safe and secure event environments.

UW Police Services can be engaged for various event services, including providing security expertise for visiting VIPs or dignitaries, working with the RCMP and/or Waterloo Region Police Service to ensure security measures are met, volunteer Criminal Check assessment, and on-site event presence. To arrange these services and other interactions from UW Police, contact Sergeant Alan Binns, Police Investigations, at ambinns@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 35992.

In the event of an event emergency, contact the UW Police Services dispatch line by calling 519-888-4911 or ext. 22222, or by e-mailing uwpolice@uwaterloo.ca.  

The Campus Response Team (CRT) is also available for on-site event presence to ensure the supervision and safety of guests. Submit a CRT Coverage Request Form at least 14 days in advance of an event to request CRT presence.

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Registration and invitations

An event invitation, be it physical or online, sets a powerful platform for the overall success of an event.

The University of Waterloo strives to engage its campus and community through the power of customized event communications and invitations. Enhance an event and support the university’s brand and identity with specific imagery and messaging by engaging Creative Services design team to template a custom event invitation, formatted as a PDF, HTML or print-ready file. Consult the E-mail Invitation guidelines for more information.

For more information contact Project Coordinator Jennifer Halcrow at jhalcrow@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 31759.

As important as the invitation itself is the corresponding registration system that captures attendance for an event. The university’s Digital Communications team can support the creation of customized online event registration pages in the WCMS that will capture, track and save all detailed event attendee information. For support with event listings, contact Elizabeth Rogers at em2rogers@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 31880.

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Signage

On-campus signage can get lost or become merely a maze of information without form, direction or impact. The design of event signs for drivers, pedestrians and general guests adds the focus that directs and emphasizes the event message and creates a cohesive look and feel across all event locations.

To consult, design and create custom on-campus event signage, contact Project Coordinator Jennifer Halcrow at jhalcrow@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 31759.

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Staffing and volunteers

When planning an event, it is important to consider the appropriate number of volunteers and staff needed to effectively manage implementation.  

Each year the Visitors Centre hires enthusiastic students as Student Ambassadors, providing paid event support to enhance an event experience. For more information on staffing Student Ambassadors, contact Visitors Centre Assistant Manager at vcinfo@uwaterloo.ca or ext.33614.

For more information and opportunities to connect with student volunteers across campus, contact the Federation of Students at ext. 84042 or recept@feds.ca.

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Venues and floor plans

The University of Waterloo boasts a variety of unique event venues set within an esteemed academic environment.

Refer to the Plant Operations building floor plans for venue schematics.

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Visiting dignitary protocol

Visiting dignitaries to the University of Waterloo campus can present an excellent opportunity for students, faculty and staff to engage in intellectual exchange with important local, national, or international figures. It also demands a heightened attention to security and/or protocol, and requires coordination with government offices and agencies and the university office of Government Relations.

Contact Associate Vice-President, Government Relations, Rob Esselment at resselment@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 32562 to act as the designated campus point of contact for all events involving a local, national or international dignitary.

Events involving international dignitaries and heads of state are also coordinated through Waterloo International. For information on the university’s connections and international relationships as they relate to visiting dignitaries contact Suping Zhao, International Relations Specialist, at s3zhao@uwaterloo.ca or ext. 35486.

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