Best Practices and Policies


A successful event requires just as much behind-the-scenes work as décor and design consideration. At the Event Coordinators’ Network’s 4th Annual Workshop: Rising to the Next Level, one breakout session in particular, Policies and Best Practices in Meeting and Event Procurement, led by Ajay Patel and Sharon Jackson of Business Services, focused on that critical planning.
The session captured the rules on event planning from purchasing, catering, and hotel contracts to payment processing and policies. Here are some of the best practices they covered:
Some attendees wanted to know the policy regarding when to use the list of approved Georgia Tech caterers. When you’re on Georgia Tech property, you are required to work with the five approved caterers. If you’re planning an off-campus event that is not at a hotel or conference center, remember that the preference is to use Georgia Tech contracted caterers. You need to have at least three quotes if you’re not using a Georgia Tech contract and if the amount is greater than $10,000. Internal documents do not need to be signed, but all others must be sent to purchasing.
Food/Group Meal Documentation
This form is required for all payments made through the Institute by PCard, Invoice, or Check Request Form sent over to Accounts Payable. Meal per diem limits are imposed for most state-funded events. However, if you think you’re going to have a working lunch over in Tech Square at Chuck’s Famous with your coworkers and a few buddies, don’t even think about using your PCard! The policy does not allow you to go to a restaurant, sit down, order, and pay for your lunch there. You may use the PCard only when you order ahead of time from the office to either have the lunch delivered by the restaurant or picked up by the individual whose name is on the PCard.
All-Inclusive Meeting/Event Per-Person Cost
One best practice to use if your workshop or conference is off site is the “All-Inclusive Meeting/Event Per-Person cost” that can cover all expenses related to meetings. This practice — using a line item that gives the dates for the all-inclusive meeting package with the number of attendees and cost broken out per person — is the best way to go. If you attempt to itemize the meals and lodging, all state travel regulations are imposed and could become quite burdensome when trying to apply all the costs and regulations associated with this one workshop/conference. Plus, if you miss something, it may throw up a red flag to the auditors.
Whatever your event purpose is, just remember to think about the policies and best practices prior to setting up a location, booking a hotel, or choosing a caterer. It will be better in the long run for your books, as well as for your schedule and state of mind.