Event-Planning 101

A large event space with floor to ceiling windows, tables with ivory tablecloths, and flower arrangements

Vagelos Education Center, Room 401: Health Sciences Advisory Council Luncheon, October 2017

Is this your first time planning with the Faculty Club? New event planners can feel overwhelmed by all the moving pieces involved in executing a memorable event. We want to make it easy and help you succeed. 

Follow these event-planning tips below from Erika Perez, our catering sales manager, to get you started. Every event is unique, and we want to adapt to your individual needs.

1. Secure your Space

School of Nursing 7th floor terrace

The seventh floor of the School of Nursing features outdoor seating and greenery.

In New York City, space is key—and that remains true at the medical center, where the most beautiful spaces get snapped up months ahead of busy times like the holidays. Before you approach us, we suggest you lock in your space. You can secure many spaces via 25Live. We also manage select event spaces and invite you to contact us about securing them.

If you’re new to the campus, you may not be familiar with most spaces. No problem! Tell us what type of event you’re planning and how many people you expect, and we can help you gauge which space would be appropriate.

2. Book a Walkthrough

While you’re gathering your event ideas, email us to book a walkthrough of the event space. It can take a few days to schedule the walkthrough, so in the meantime, we invite you to…

3. Think Food, Theme, and Details

Now is the time to ask some very hard questions. Linen colors. China service. Type of party? Bring your ideas to your walkthrough so we can advise you on your final selections. Although we may be limited by space and guidelines around hanging decorations, we are eager to hear how best we can bring your vision to life.

Consider the answers to the following questions:

  1. Lunch set-up

    We will turn a simple lunch set-up into a pleasant experience.

    What type of event are you planning? For example, is it a work event or a celebration? A baby shower? A farewell reception?
    Breakfast set-up at the Faculty Club

    Keep your guests energized. “During a long day of conferences, a refresher of coffee and cookies can give you another two hours of focus.”

  2. Do you have a theme? Even selecting a linen color can go a long way to setting the tone of your event.
  3. Does anything from our menus catch your eye? Once you have the type of event and a theme, you can start narrowing down which part of our menu you would like to focus on. During our walkthrough, we can also make recommendations. 
  4. Would you like china or disposable service for food and drinks? At $5 per guest, china service can add a refined touch to a meal, but if you’re planning a work conference, the clinking of dishes and silverware might distract your speaker. In that case, you can opt for disposable service, available free of charge. In some cases, you may prefer a combination of these options, of disposable plates for guests and glassware for the bar ($2 per guest).
  5. Have you thought about furniture? For a large group of speakers, consider a panel table and chairs. Leather arm chairs can help create the right atmosphere for an intimate discussion.
    Hors d'oeuvres

    We love our passed hors d’oeuvres, but for groups of fewer than 50 people, you might try a reception station. “Your guests will still be able to enjoy finger foods without that awkwardness of having conversations interrupted.”

  6. How about audiovisual elements? Will you be showing pictures, video, or any other kind of media? Tell us what you need, such as a microphone or lectern. If you have multiple speakers or multiple presentations, let us know.
  7. Would you like some music? If you have a guest of honor, consider their tastes. We love when guests request a DJ; it means a professional will be on-site adapting to the mood of your guests and making sure you have the right atmosphere.
  8. Will there be cake? If you’re celebrating an individual or team, a cake might be perfect! What type of cake would you like? Consider the filling, frosting, and inscription.
  9. What else will make this party a success? The suggestions above don't need to be the limit. View our event planning services for inspiration.

4. The Walkthrough

Table setting in the Faculty Club

In the Faculty Club space, Ricardo Perez, head service worker and banquet manager, will typically give you the walkthrough. He brings a deep familiarity to the event-planning process. “He literally has maps in his head. He doesn’t even need a tape measure anymore,” Erika says.

Now that you have an idea of what you would like to feature, it’s time for your walkthrough. Come ready with ideas about all aspects of your event.

As we talk about your vision, we will also describe the best set-up and flow for your event. Each year, we do thousands of events; in fact, in 2017, we catered more than 5,000 events, including everything from simple breakfasts to elegant plated dinners and dance parties. As a result, we are deeply familiar with what layouts will work best in rooms across campus. This includes knowing where a staging area should be placed and how to arrange tables.

5. The Big Day

Enjoy the event!

If you are doing a presentation, you can also join us prior to the event start to do a dry run with our equipment and ensure your presenters are comfortable. After large events, we don't want you to worry about tidying up; the CUIMC Facilities custodial team will perform clean-up of the space. You can go home with peace of mind.

6. What Comes Next

If you enjoyed our services, or if you have constructive criticism, we want to hear it! Take our survey.


Getting Started