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Events and Conferences

Updated April 2021

Beginning August 1, 2020 and continuing until further notice, all events, conferences, and non-credit academic programs, both those hosted on university property and off-site, will require review by the University Event Request Committee (UERC) and approval by an executive vice president or designee. Virtual-only events, conferences, and programs will not require this approval. The approval process is designed to help ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and guests.

For the purposes of this guidance, an event, conference, or program is any non-credit bearing planned gathering of 25 or more people (including performers, audience, support staff, and technicians), whether public or private, indoor or outdoor, on- or off-campus, with a specific location, date, or time.

Events that do not meet these criteria are encouraged to adhere to the guidance and considerations set forth by their respective organization, department, campus, or school.

Summer 2021 Conference and Event Guidance

The current Spring 2021 conference and event guidance will be extended from May 1, 2021 through July 31, 2021. The following information is provided to guide decisions regarding conferences, events, and similar programs that are being considered for Summer 2021 made by university departments, individuals, and external organizations. 

All conferences, events, and programs must be submitted to the UERC for review before official approval is granted. Relevant COVID policies and guidance must be followed in all cases, and approval may be conditioned on additional guidelines if needed to protect health and safety. Proposals for summer academic programming will route from the UERC to the relevant campus CRU, which will make a recommendation to the campus chancellor or provost for final decision.

  • In-person programs where IU academic credit or IU-specific certification is being earned by some or all of the participants, or those which only have IU enrolled students attending, will be permitted, subject to IU’s guiding principles for conferences, events, and programs.
  • Pre-college programs in which IU students are earning IU academic credit to instruct non-housed local students will be permitted, subject to IU’s guiding principles for conferences, events, and programs.
  • Academic bridge programs for incoming students that prepare for and connect to their fall enrollment on campus will be permitted. They must comply with all relevant COVID policies and guidance.
  • In-person camps for pre-college students (both overnight and day camps) will not be permitted.
  • On-campus internship housing will not be permitted.

In-person REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) programs for non-IU students will not be permitted.

Guiding principles for events, conferences, and programs during the pandemic

  • Events (both indoor and outdoor) should be minimized whenever possible and consideration of a virtual event as a first option is highly encouraged.
  • Food service provided at indoor events is discouraged.
  • The health and safety of attendees and event staff will drive all in-person event decisions.
  • Only mission critical, low expense events will be eligible for approval.
  • Private events will not be permitted on campus until further notice. Special exemptions may be considered by the campus’s provost/chancellor.
  • Outdoor events are strongly encouraged over indoor events if a virtual event is not feasible.
  • All events must go through the University Event Request Committee (UERC) approval process prior to engagement of event staff or announcement of the event.
  • Indoor and outdoor events will have mandated attendance caps. Calculation for square feet per person public health guidance will be provided to each campus, facility, or event. State and local capacity guidance will be considered maximums; however, based on public health considerations, university capacities may be more restrictive. Event requests should identify how attendance will be monitored and enforced. Attendance is inclusive of event staff, organizers, volunteers, technicians, and audience members.
  • You should be prepared for your event request to be denied or requested to lower attendance capacities dependent on local or state gathering restrictions.
  • IU personal and public health precautions for both indoor and outdoor events must be followed.
  • Each event must submit a virtual event plan or cancellation plan with initial request.
  • IU travel and visitor restrictions and guidance must be followed.
  • An emergency action plan should be developed and submitted as a part of the Safety Plan with the initial request.

Pandemic event considerations

Participation in live events is a central component of an Indiana University experience. Convocations, lectures, concerts, sporting events, non-credit and community programs, symposia, and performances create opportunities to share important perspectives, commemorate experiences, find commonalities with others, create meaningful networks between members of our community, and strengthen bonds with our university.

Learning, connecting, and finding gratification through these experiences contribute greatly to the academic and mental health of our community. In order to provide such opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the following should be considered when determining if and how an event should be held:

  • Compliance with current guidance and restrictions from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Indiana Department of Health (IDOH), local county and city governments, and University policy.
  • Event layouts and seating configurations that maintain physical distancing guidelines for seating, line queuing, restroom usage, attendee circulation, and dining.
  • Virtual experiences for those who cannot or should not attend in person.
  • Messaging for attendee education of risk and communication of behavioral expectations (invitations, ticketing flow, know before you go, printed handouts, event signage, announcements, physical distancing, mask requirements).
  • Mandatory use of face coverings for attendees.
  • Attendee safety, security, and compliance screening procedures and enforcement plans.
  • Screening protocols for presenters/performers/athletes.
  • Personal hygiene facilities available for handwashing, hand sanitizing, etc.
  • Method to obtain contact information for potential contact tracing for attendees, staff, contractors, presenters/performers/athletes, and volunteers (IU will conduct the contact tracing if necessary with the information provided by event organizer).
  • Entry and dismissal procedures that maximize physical distancing by employing timed or zoned entry/exit, maximizes the use of all available doors most proximate to the event or seat location.
  • Shelter-in-place and evacuation capacities that preserve physical distancing wherever possible.
  • Food and beverage offerings and procedures that minimize contact, queuing, and eliminate shared use. Access the Temporary Food Event Application form to submit your request.
  • Contactless transactions (ticketing, ticket scanning, F&B transactions, conference materials, programs, etc.).
  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols for venue surfaces, seating, and equipment (microphones, radios, headsets, etc.).

Campuses are free to establish further limitations on events and conferences, as well as their own approval processes leading up to or following submission to the UERC.

Event organizers can apply for event approval of the UERC by submitting answers to the basic event information questions included on the form and uploading a specific event plan that address Guiding Principles and Event Considerations, contingency plans for cancellation or transition to a virtual format, and a proposed floor plan of the event space. This information will be reviewed by the UERC, comprised of university public health and safety officials, with a final determination made by the campus’s provost/chancellor or their delegate. The event organizer will be notified of the determination within 10 days of submission.

Requests will be considered with the current safely guidelines and restrictions in place at date of submission.

For advice or assistance with creating a virtual event, please contact

Questions about this Events and Conferences Guidance may be directed to the UERC Thank you for your partnership in keeping our campuses healthy and safe.

Event review request

Beginning August 1 and continuing until further notice, all events and conferences, both those hosted on university property and off site, will require review by the University Event Request Committee (UERC) and approval by an executive vice president or designee.