Graduation hospitality event toolkit

This toolkit has been designed to assist those that have the responsibility of organising hospitality for graduates and their guests at University tea parties. The aim is to provide you with all the information you need to make your event run smoothly and to a high standard, so that there is a consistent standard across the University.

Things to consider

  • How many people will attend?
  • How are you planning to collate your responses to get an accurate number for catering?
  • Where is the best location and venue for your event (campus, city centre, elsewhere)?
  • When is the best time of day to hold the event ( taking in to account timings of the ceremonies)
  • What is your budget?
  • What level of catering would be appropriate (Prosecco and canapes or finger sandwiches and bottles of prosecco on sale to guests?)
  • What catering would be appropriate for the time of year?

 When organising an event, it is important to choose an easy-to-find location, which is wheelchair accessible; has the appropriate capacity; and a duty manager should be present.

Conference Office

The Conference Office provide support to conferences, meetings, exhibitions, weddings and functions for both internal and external clients.  We can support your event by finding you a venue, booking the space and managing your event.  We will take care of all the details listed in the Event Checklist including the production of Risk Assessments, liaising with Facilities Managers, Porters, cleaning teams and catering.  A venue hire fee or admin fee will apply.

Alternatively you have the option of booking the venue yourself via Room Bookings.  Please ensure you leave enough time before and after your event for set up/clear away. Make sure you receive email confirmation before you make further arrangements and follow the details on the Graduation Event Toolkit (Office document, 15kB).


Type of event

Graduation hospitality

No of guests

What do you anticipate to be your minimum and maximum number of guests?

Project Coordinator, academic lead & Chair

Who are the key organisational contacts?






Ensure you consider accessibility when using external venues; are there ramps/induction loop systems/accessible toilets/lifts?

Please refer to DisabledGo for more details.

Programme/ Schedule

Order of activities (all timings and locations confirmed)

Budget code and costs

Create a budget at the start of your project – how much money you have and what you need to purchase. Establish a budget code from your Faculty Accountant.

Venue booked

Option 1) Book your venue via the Conference Office.  A venue hire fee or admin fee will apply, however the majority of details within this document will then be managed for you by the Conference Office.

Option 2) Book internal venues through room-bookings or contact, leaving enough time before and after your event to set up/ clear away.  Make sure you receive email confirmation before you make further arrangements.

For advice on which venues may be suitable, contact the Conference Office.

Porters booked

Additional portering (and a fee) may be required, especially if the event takes place during evenings/ weekends. Contact Matt Davies ( to check and book portering early.


Room set-up

Confirm how you need the rooms set up and tell the porters of your requirements well in advance.


Contact Learning Facilities Management with AV requirements well in advance. If they are not able to cover your event they may recommend external supplier Evans.

Will you need microphones/ projectors/ screens/ an audio recording of the event? Are you using your own laptop or the fixed computer? Do you have any sound or video clips? It is vital to organise a sound check with the AV team and speaker before the event begins.

You will usually want to create an event holding slide with the University logo and event hashtag.

If you are using a UoB laptop, ask security for a guest log-in rather than risking your own user.


If the Conference Office is managing your booking they will coordinate your catering requirements.  You will be able to select from the Graduation Menu or the Events Menu.

If you are booking the space yourself please use of the approved suppliers:

University of Bristol Catering 


Sally Walker

You can then place your order on Proactis. Find out more by visiting the catering web pages.  

Volunteers/ Stewards

Ensure volunteer/ stewards are recruited and briefed in advance. T-shirts for stewards on the day can be helpful.


Let the cleaning team know about your event and confirm if they are needed during set-up in order to ensure the venue is clean and tidy for your guests.  Additional cleaning fees may apply.

First Aid

There are first aiders within the buildings however this cannot be relied upon for larger events.  Please ensure you have adequate first aid cover for your event.

Additional first aid support:

Bristol Ambulance Service


The Cloud wifi provides wireless access to visitors.

Risk assessment/ Health & Safety

Please consult example risk assessment in additional documents section and the University and safety and health information. Ensure all event volunteers are aware of the fire evacuation procedures in your venue and that this is communicated to audiences via the introduction/ in a programme/ on a holding slide. You can signpost people towards the new University access guidelines for key buildings.


For large events you will need to inform the University of Bristol Security office –

Download the toolkit

Download our Graduation Event Toolkit (Office document, 15kB) to ensure you have covered all required aspects of planning your event.

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)117 42 84000

Internal: 84000


Edit this page