Skip to main content

event space

Event Planning Tips

Tips and questions to consider when planning your special event.

1. Plan Early

Contact us as soon as possible to ensure availability and allow time to create a well-planned event. For single orders with minimal complexity, we suggest at least 3 weeks before your event.  For large events, conferences or complex styles of service we recommend beginning your planning 2-3 months in advance.

Our client expectation is that all catering orders are finalized: menus approved, guest count confirmed, payment received and MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed no later than seven business days before the event date.  Requests for new orders or revisions after seven business days are not guaranteed.  We will always do our best to try to meet your requests and find a solution for you and your guests.

2. Define the Event Objective

We will work with you to define the purpose for your event and what you hope to achieve. Will there be entertainment, speeches or a presentation? If this is a repeat event, what did you / your guests like about the last event, or what would you like to be different? These details can assist in determining timing, staff requirements, menu, style of service, and more.

3. Consider Your Budget

UC San Diego Catering is happy to help you determine the appropriate budget for your event; factors to consider include number of guests, menu, style of service, and amount of staff required.

If you’re paying with department funds, please be aware of entertainment maximums.

4. Quantity of Food and Beverage

UC San Diego Catering can provide ideas on how to maximize your budget while providing plenty of options for your guests.

Example: We’re sometimes asked to provide half and half of two entrée options or two different buffet menus on a self-serve buffet line in order to offer more choices for guests. In our experience, we might recommend different options, as you risk running out of some items before all guests have gone through the line.

5. Pick a Location

How will your location affect food and beverage service? We know the campus, and can advise on the best setup for your event—assessing space constraints, appropriate number of food and beverage tables, guest seating, set up area, rental equipment needs, and more.

If we’re not familiar with your location, we’ll be happy to conduct a site inspection and discuss the options, including the amount of time needed for us to set up for the event.

6. Special Menu Requests

We will work with you to provide appropriate menu choices for dietary requests, allergies, restrictions, and more.

Additional Resources for University Hosted Events:

Thank you so much for aiding in the coordination of our Materials Science and Engineering Open House Mixer today.

The food was delicious! We appreciate your help with our event, and we look forward to working with you in the future.

Akemi and Katie
MatSci Graduate Advising
Materials Science and Engineering Department

I wanted to say thank you for your excellent customer service at the 2018 Senior Awards Luncheon on June 2!

You helped make this awards luncheon a success with the students, faculty, staff and donors. Your professionalism helped everything run smoothly.

Holly Godden
Student Affairs Specialist
UC San Diego School of Medicine

Thanks to you and your catering team for providing wonderful food and set up during our event last Friday!

It was well received by all that came!

Dana Jimenez
Graduate Advisor
Department of NanoEngineering

I have had so many people come up to me to tell me that they really enjoyed today’s lunch and the food was outstanding!!!

Thank you so much and please let your team know!

Susan Bourgeois
Clinical Laboratory
Administrative Assistant UC San Diego Health

First off, our event on Monday went fantastic!

The food was great and the spread was impressive, so many thanks to both you and your team!

Ana Marie Buenviaje
Events & Fiscal Specialist
Institute of Arts and Humanities