Event Planning

A requirement for most executive assistant’s is the ability to coordinate events held by departments and their faculty. Beyond the logistical steps described below, a good rule to follow is to always complete the steps as early as possible. Most events should be scheduled at minimum a month in advance.


EMS and Room Reservations:

EMS is the term we use when referring to our “Events Management System”. Our EMS allows you to make room reservations online, in addition to other event support such as room setup, audio-visual, parking, and trams. Below are step-by-step directions for using the online EMS.

  1. Go to reservations.sandiego.edu and log in with your USD One username and password
  2. In the upper left corner of the screen- go to “Reservations” and select “Employee Request Form” from the drop down menu.
  3. Enter the date and time for the event you are booking. Select the building you would like to reserve in.  Enter the number of people you will need to accommodate and the setup type that has been requested.  Then click “Find Space.”
  4. Click the green plus-sign next to the room you wish to book
  5. Click Continue (You may have to click multiple times)
  6. Enter the Event Name and Type
  7. Put yourself as the first contact (second contact is optional)
  8. In the “Other Information” box- put everything you will need for the event (Example: 4 Round tables with 5 chairs at each table. 3 tables for catering. One table for check-in.  Access to the projector, podium and screen etc.)
  9. Depending on the building you are reserving in, there may be some additional drop downs to add more detailed information about Audio/Visual, Furniture and other things. If these fields populate, make sure to fill out as much information as you can.  You will be repeating yourself and that is a good thing.  The more information the better.
  10. Click Submit- Initially you will get a confirmation that your request has been submitted but not yet approved. You will get an email confirmation from the appropriate scheduler when your request is approved.

Contact Information

  • Managers By Building- For further questions about reserved spaces, contact the individual personnel responsible for each location.
  • Spaces not reserved online:
    • Founders Chapel or Foyer: Founder’s Chapel Coordinator
    • Founders Faculty Lounge: Special Assistant to the Vice President
    • French Parlor: Special Projects and Office Coordinator
    • Academic Courses: Lead Academic Scheduler
    • Pardee Room (Maher): HR Front Desk Reception


Budget & Expenditure Procedures


  • Work with your Department Chair to determine the expected number of guests and budget for your event.
  • If your budget is under $300 you can order catering from off campus and have it delivered. If your budget is over $300 or you plan to serve alcohol, you must go through USD catering.
  • Maximum cost per person (food) - USD does not necessarily have a per-person maximum cost, as it would depend on the event. We do, however, ask you to keep the cost reasonable. Accounts Payable suggests you either look back at the costs for prior events similar to the one you are planning or even ask other departments on campus if they have advice. 
  • Maximum cost per person (alcohol) - $15. It should be noted however that no alcohol may be charged to a federally funded grant or contract


Reconciling Catering Costs after Event

When it is time to complete your OneCard expense report or claim reimbursement for the costs incurred for catering your event, you will need to report certain information about the event. This can be done by using the Business Purpose Form on the accounts payable website, but most people simply attach a flyer for the event or write down the following information on the receipt:

Required Event Information

  • Title and Description of event
  • Date and Location of event
  • Attendees- If there are more than 10 people at your event, you only need to report the number of attendees. If there are less than 10 people in attendance, you must provide their names and titles.

 Additional information regarding expenditure procedures can be found on the Policies and Procedures section of the Accounts Payable website.


Ordering from USD Catering 

  1. Make sure to order plenty in advance. All orders must be made at least 10 business days in advance.
  2. Go to http://meetatusd.com/catering.php
  3. Click “View the Menu” and decide what to order. Consider options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free people
  4. Click “Order Requests” in the upper middle section of the screen
  5. Click “Internal Order Request” in the top middle of the screen
  6. Log in with your USD One password
  7. Fill out the request and submit
  8. Someone from catering will send a contract to be approved and signed
  9. Scan your signed contract and email it to usdcatering@sandiego.edu


Ordering from Off-Campus Catering 

  1. Go to the website for the restaurant you have chosen and decide on what dishes to get. Consider options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free people.
  2. Once you have decided on your menu, you can either call in your order or make it online. Calling in your order is usually better. This way you can make special requests like “cheese on the side” to accommodate vegans. 
  1. Make sure to give the cell phone number of the person who will be meeting the caterer. Don’t give the office number because that can create confusion.
  2. You also want to make sure to give the driver directions on where to go. Giving the schools address is not enough.  Make sure to be specific about what entrance they should use and where the building is located. For example if you are having an event in KIPJ you would say “Use the West Entrance (which is closest to the 5 freeway).  Come to the top of a hill.  When you arrive at the 4-way stop, it will be the first building on your right.”
  3. Pay and get an email confirmation.

Please Note: Most places will automatically send you an email confirmation but ask to make sure they do. This is important so that you can review the email confirmation and ensure they got your order correct.

Outside Speakers

Honorarium/Payment/Reimbursement to Guest Speakers

  • Under $5000- If the payment/reimbursement to your outside speaker is less than $5000 you will use the following forms and submit to Accounts Payable

Hotel Reservations


  • Casa de la Paz (Behind the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice)
    • Contact KIPJ Operations, ipjopers@sandiego.edu, x7808
    • Room includes a shared kitchen and living room, a private bedroom, and a parking spot in the KIPJ South lot.
    • When recruiting New Faculty, University Policy is to try reserving the Casa before looking to off campus options.
    • For more information, visit the Casa de la Paz website.
*Please Note: The university’s policy is to try and find overnight accommodations on campus first. If none are available you may then look at hotels outside of campus.


  • Best Western Hacienda Hotel Old Town  (haciendahotel-oldtown.com)
    • Located less than 2 miles from campus and in the center of the Old Town Historic District, this hotel is the preferred choice for USD guests
    • Make sure to ask for the special USD rate that includes free meals, drinks, and a shuttle your guest can use to go to the airport.


  • USD Partnership with Bartell Hotels(family owned and operated by USD alum) - There are eight Bartell Hotels that provide discounted rate to all students, parents, alumni, family, friends and employees associated with USD.  The three hotels listed below are the nearest to campus
    • The Dana on Mission Bay(www.thedana.com)
      • 10 mins from USD
      • waterfront location
      • restaurant on the premises
    • Days Innlocated in Hotel Circle (www.daysinnhc.com)
      • 10 mins from USD
      • 15 mins walk to the trolley station and to Fashion Valley
    • Holiday Inn Bayside in Point Loma (www.holinnbayside.com)
      • 10 mins from USD
      • complimentary 24 hour airport shuttle service (5 mins from airport)
      • walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops, bay front.

Parking for Outside Speakers

A parking space can be reserved for your outside speaker through our online EMS at http://reservations.sandiego.edu. Reservations must be made at least two business days in advance and are subject to availability.
For information regarding parking for event attendees (who are not a USD employee or student), visit the Parking Services website.

For directions to USD and a campus map, visit www.sandiego.edu/maps

Alumni Speakers

We are always happy to provide a small gift to alumni that are returning to campus! You may contact our Alumni Relations (see information below), for a small token for our alumni speaker. They will ask you to fill out our Campus Alumni Engagement Form and once received they will go ahead and get something over to you.
Kristie Figone, Volunteer Coordinator, Alumni Relations