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Events and conferences guidance

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, IU currently prohibits events and conferences through July 31, 2020.   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.  Virtual-only events and virtual-only conferences 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 or conference is any non-credit bearing planned gathering of 25 or more people, whether public or private, indoor or outdoor, on- or off-campus, with a specific location, date, or time.

Guiding principles for Fall 2020 events and conferences

  • Events (both indoor and outdoor) should be minimized whenever possible and consideration of a virtual event as a first option is highly encouraged.
  • 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.
  • IU personal precautions 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 must be followed.

Fall 2020 event considerations

Participation in live events are a central component of an Indiana University experience.  Convocations, lectures, concerts, sporting events, 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 from CDC, Indiana State Department of Health, and University policy
  • Event Layouts and seating configurations that maintain physical distancing guidelines for seating, line queuing, restroom usage, attendee circulation
  • The submission of IU’s “COVID-19 Assumption of Risk and Release from Liability” waiver for attendees
  • 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)
  • 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, volunteers
  • 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
  • Contactless transactions (ticketing, ticket scanning, F&B transactions, conference materials, programs, etc.)
  • Sanitation 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.

The Restart Implementation Task Force (RITF) has also requested that any events that are currently under consideration to be held in Fall 2020, be preliminarily submitted at this time. Although capacities, risk mitigation efforts, and venues may not be known, these events should be submitted through this process as “under consideration” on or before July 31. Once the specifics of these events are determined, the events should be submitted to the UERC for approval.

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 this fall.

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.

Submit your event