Resource Guide

Admission Fees

While charging admission to a lecture or symposia is not standard practice, faculty members may be producing a conference that will require attendees to pay a conference registration fee. The simplest way for the University to accept payments is by checks made payable to the University of Pittsburgh. Checks can be collected and deposited into a department account through a Cash Receipt. 

If the department would like to allow participants to pay for conference registration fees by credit card, it can be done, but it is not a simple or quick process—it can take up to two months to secure the necessary approvals. Department administrators should contact Vanessa Guenther ( if they want to collect payment via credit card.

A/V and Photography

The University’s Center for Teaching and Learning (formerly CIDDE) offers a number of services to help with special events, including large screen projection, microphone rental and set up, customized PowerPoint presentations, and more. In addition, the Center's photographers and videographers are available to document your event for newsletters, Web sites, and archival purposes. Visit the Center's Web site, e-mail, or call them at 8-3013. Also, this helpful blog post includes additional useful tips.

Direct Billing or Prepay

We encourage you to consider direct billing and paying via disbursement for airfare, ground transportation, and hotel (including guest meals at the hotel) as the most straightforward method of booking travel arrangements for out of town guests. Travel Management has negotiated rates and contracts with Execucar and SuperShuttle for ground transportation needs. Contact Travel Management for details.


Booking entertainment for your reception or dinner will require a contract. The University has a Performance Event Contract that is a little different from the normal PSA. Anyone needing this contract should contact Procurement Specialist Michael Smith at 4-1747 .

Facilities Management

The Office of Facilities Management is an important partner for on-campus events. They offer furniture and equipment rental, pre- and post-event cleaning, temporary signage and banner production and installation, and temporary utility hook ups.

Their useful event planning tip sheet includes a detailed breakdown of services and costs, as well as contact information for room reservations in a number of venues across campus. For more information, visit their Web site or call 4-9500.

Food and Beverage Service

Whether you require simple snacks or a sit down dinner, Campus Catering provides an extensive array of options to fit your budget and your needs. Their Web site includes menus, fees, policies, and a handy tip sheet to assist you in your planning process. Contact their event coordinator  or 8-2302. Be sure to have Kosher and vegetarian options available for attendees.  Avoid foods containing common allergens such as peanuts.

Outside catering may only be brought in with prior approval from the Department of Dining Services by groups needing religious or ethnic food not offered on campus. Any alcohol service on campus must be done through Catering (8-2302).

Alcohol Guidelines


The following apply to ALL events or meals that are University-sanctioned or sponsored:

  • Alcohol is never permitted at events where undergraduate students are invited/present.
  • Alcohol is never permitted at events open to the general public.
  • Alcoholic beverages are never reimbursed or permitted as a cost of recruiting graduate students.
  • Review and approval of all requests related to alcohol has been delegated to Gina Olinski, Vanessa Guenther, and Mat Romick by the Dean. Requests for exceptions to any aspect of this policy are strongly discouraged. All requests for exception must be submitted in writing to Vanessa Guenther, Assistant Director for Budget and Finance.


  • Prior permission from the Dean’s Office is required for events (not including restaurant meals as described below) where alcohol will be served. Administrators should contact Gina Olinski via email with event specifics to obtain approval.
  • No alcohol will be permitted at events before 5:00pm.
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages are required to be available at events when alcohol is served.
  • Only beer and wine may be served at events that receive approval to serve alcohol.
  • You must contract with a bartender with the appropriate insurance if alcohol will be served at your event. Campus Catering will provide bartenders for both on-campus events and events at private residences only if Campus Catering is used for the food service. Campus Catering can also provide you with outside companies for bartender services that frequently work University events and are familiar with our policies. If you choose an outside bartender service a Professional Service Agreement is required.
  • Events at private residences are strongly discouraged(exception allowed for new faculty recruiting events).
  • No more than two (2) drinks can be served to each individual person at events where alcohol is served, and individuals are not allowed to give drink privileges to others.
  • University policy caps reimbursement for food and beverage at receptions at $25 per person.
  • Any event taking place on campus or at an off campus location (including private residences) that does not have written prior approval from the Dean’s Office is not considered a school-sponsored event and is not eligible for reimbursement.
  • Dean’s Office approval is required for alcohol reimbursement and contracts where the department wishes to procure alcohol through a supplier such as Dreadnought Wines. All actions containing alcohol in either Concur or Panther Express should be routed to Gina Olinski for approval.


  • No more than two drinks per person will be reimbursed with restaurant meals. If ordering a bottle of wine, one bottle is the equivalent of five (5) drinks.
  • An itemized receipt is required that clearly documents all alcohol purchases. The Dean’s Office reserves the right to deny reimbursements when clear documentation is not presented.
  • Dean’s Office approval is required for alcohol reimbursement and contracts where the department wishes to procure alcohol through a supplier such as Dreadnought Wines. All actions containing alcohol in either Concur or Panther Express should be routed to Gina Olinski for approval.


University Movers may be able to assist you in transporting a large amount of oversized or heavy materials necessary for your event (conference binders or folders, display items, promotional giveaways, etc.). Please contact Dave Huey at (412) 244-7080 for assistance. 

Parking Passes and Van/Car Rental

Pitt’s Department of Parking, Transportation, & Services can help you rent vehicles and reserve parking for visitors, as well as assist you with managing travel arrangements for out-of-town guests. For contact information visit their online directory.

Printing and High-End Copying

Copy Cat can assist in the printing of name tags, fliers, registration sheets, directional signage, specialty items, and other materials. You can e-mail your formatted artwork and have the final printed pieces delivered back to your office. Contact them for specific information on capabilities, timelines, and costs.


The Dietrich School Dean’s Office Communications Team can help you raise awareness about your event using e-mail blasts, digital signage on campus, media relations, advertising, and other tactics. 

For more information, contact Amanda Gilman, Assistant Director of Communications.


The Police Department provides security for Pitt events, particularly those involving cash sales and alcohol. Contact the Police Department for more information at 4-4040.

Shuttles, Assistive Technology, Sign Language Interpreters

Contact the Office of Disability Resources and get the expert assistance you need to ensure that your event is fully accessible to everyone who wants to attend. Visit them online or call 8-7890 to find out more.

Student Events

All student organizations--including school-based student organizations--sponsoring events with minors must register the event with the Division of Student Affairs through the William Pitt Union and O'Hara Student Center Reservations Office. Be sure to consult the Guidelines for Student Organizations Hosting Events with Minors for additional information.

University Club

The University Club’s on-staff event planners offer complete event coordination services, including a dedicated supervisor for every event. They have several rooms available for use and they can develop a menu for any budget. Contact them at 8-8213 for more information about costs and capabilities.

Webinar or Web Conferences

For cost, convenience, scheduling, geographic, and other reasons, you may want to consider hosting your presentation as a “virtual” event. The University’s Lync service enables users to offer virtual lectures/Web conferences. Because it’s an enterprise service, it is free to everyone at Pitt, and people from outside Pitt can access the Web conferences going on in Lync through their web browser. As an added bonus, you can record the lecture or conference and share it later. Find out more about Lync and other services offered by the University’s Office of Computing Services and Systems Development.