Convener Information: Planning Meetings & Events

IAS staff is available to help arrange the logistical aspects of meetings (public and private), and to be a resource as you plan public events (regardless of whether they are in person, virtual, or hybrid). This resource page details ways the IAS can support your meetings and events, and shares additional resources Collaborative conveners will find useful.

Please note that events should not be scheduled for Thursday afternoons (3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. CT), as these conflict with the other IAS programming, the IAS Thursdays series. If you think an event you are planning may fit within the IAS Thursdays series, please reach out directly to discuss a possible event partnership (we typically schedule these events one–two semesters in advance).


Share event information with IAS staff

For reporting purposes, it is essential that the IAS gather basic information about all Collaborative-organized events. We need your help gathering details about Collaborative-organized events, including number of audience attendees. This allows us to communicate the impact of IAS programming, which in turn ensures we can fund IAS Collaboratives for many years to come. Your reporting is essential to this work. Please send information to Saengmany Ratsabout, IAS Program Manager (612-624-6148, [email protected]), or Skyler Dorr, IAS Program Specialist (612-626-5054, [email protected]). You can also submit information via our Event Details Google Form.

At this stage, you might seek IAS support in identifying and securing the right location for your event, consult with IAS staff on hybrid or virtual Zoom event setup, collaborate on a comprehensive communications and publicity plan for your event, or even work with IAS staff to involve larger U of M media or partners when appropriate. The sooner you approach the IAS with your ideas and plans, the more opportunities and resources can become available to you!


Public Event Publicity

Please be in contact with IAS staff 4–6 weeks prior to your event date if you wish to receive publicity support. After contacting Saeng Ratsabout to inform them of your event, complete the Event Details / Publicity Request Google Form to request publicity support for your event and share basic event details, such as date, time, location, title, description, etc. If you are still finalizing some of this information, that is fine. Please be in contact with Abby Travis, IAS Communications Manager ([email protected]) directly at this stage to discuss your publicity hopes and needs.

The IAS can offer publicity via:

  • IAS website
  • U of M event calendar (this may vary depending on campuses)
  • IAS newsletter
  • IAS social media
  • Additional possibilities may include, as applicable: U of M Brief, MyU, Northrop media channels and in-building publicity, additional partner newsletters, additional campus media, off-campus pitches


Honoraria & Payment Requests

Honoraria for event speakers are processed by Skyler Dorr, IAS Program Specialist (612-626-5054, [email protected]). To request an honoraria payment, please submit your request via the IAS Payment Request Google Form. Other payment requests can also be submitted via this form. 

  • Be aware that when you pay honoraria to any U of MN employee (faculty, student, or staff) the payment must go through payroll and your collaborative will be charged for fringe benefits.


Space Use & Reservations

Contact Skyler Dorr, IAS Program Specialist (612-626-5054, [email protected]) to rent space in Northrop for a meeting or event, at minimum 4–6 weeks in advance of your preferred date. Please note that space is limited and is shared with all resident units. Frequently rented spaces in Northrop include:

If you are interested in hosting your event elsewhere, the IAS may be able to assist with this as well. The IAS has a membership at the Campus Club. Collaboratives may use the IAS membership for lunch meetings. Please check with Susannah Smith, IAS Managing Director ([email protected]) at least 48 hours in advance to reserve guest cards. You must collect all meal receipts and submit them to Susannah with the Campus Club Departmental Use form (available at the Campus Club front desk). Contact Skyler Dorr or Saengmany Ratsabout if you have another campus space in mind and aren’t sure how to go about making reservations.

Space notes:

  • TECHNOLOGY: Please tell Skyler Dorr and/or Saeng Ratsabout if you intend to use any of the room technology when you make the room reservation, and if you will require a training session. IAS staff often works from home, and any technology tutorials will need to be scheduled in advance of your event!
  • CLEAN UP: Be sure to clean up after your event. It is your responsibility to ensure that all food is removed from the room. Close the door when you are finished.
  • Please note that the IAS staff does not usually work past 5 p.m. or on weekends. If you wish to have an event in the evening or on a weekend, you will need to make arrangements for support. Additional fees for opening the building may be charged.



Contact Skyler Dorr, IAS Program Specialist (612-626-5054, [email protected]) if you intend to have catering at your event or meeting. Catering orders must be submitted at least 10 business days (two weeks) in advances. Costs will be charged to your Collaborative. If your meeting or event is in Northrop, you will likely be required to work with Northrop’s official caterer. 

Catering notes:

  • You must provide a list of participants if you are serving a meal or if you are buying refreshments and you have 15 or fewer participants. In any case, it’s a good idea for your own records to retain a sign-in sheet. 
  • The University follows strict dollar limits on ordering food: no more than at total of $10 per person for light refreshments, $25 per person for breakfast or lunch, $50 for dinner, tax and tips included. (See more about rules regarding meals on the Reimbursements page.)
  • If you plan to serve wine or beer at your event, you must apply at least 15 days in advance for a permit to serve alcohol. The form is available at; search for “alcohol use.” Funds in your collaborative budget may not be used to purchase alcohol.


Travel & Accommodations

Contact Skyler Dorr, IAS Program Specialist (612-626-5054, [email protected]) to arrange travel and accommodations for any visitors traveling to the University. It is important to do this as early as possible (months in advance) as hotels around the University fill up, and airfares also have peak seasons. When possible and unless otherwise requested, we book guests at The Graduate HotelPlease note that while IAS staff will prepare and share essential reservations, YOU will be responsible for sharing a final agenda and itinerary with your visitor.

To make flight and lodging accommodations, IAS staff will require:

  • Visitor full name
  • Visitor email address
  • Visitor phone number
  • Visit dates (preferred arrival/departure day and time, and any flexibility within this schedule)



Staff Contacts

  • Saengmany Ratsabout, IAS Program Manager (612-624-6148, [email protected])
    Public event planning details and logistics
  • Skyler Dorr, IAS Program Specialist (612-626-5054, [email protected])
    Room reservations, catering, travel/accommodations for guests, honoraria
  • Abby Travis, IAS Communications Manager ([email protected])
    Public event publicity

Note: It is best to be in contact with IAS staff at least 4–6 weeks prior to an event to receive the best possible support. Additional time is even better for planning and publicity, and can open opportunities for additional collaboration.