Event Planning Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pay for the room rental fee for my events?

You must make your payment with a credit card. Prior to 5 June, you will also have a “pay later” option. This still requires payment with credit card but it allows you to pay for several events with one credit card charge instead of a credit card charge for each individual event. On or after 6 June the ‘pay later” option will not be available. Please refer to Fees page

I did not plan an event last year. How do I get started?

You must first submit a request for space through the online space request system. There are five steps to complete the space request process.

  1. Set up — basic information on the name of your event, type of event, host organization and any sponsors
  2. Services — your preferred date, time, room set, expected attendance, and any other requirements for your meeting
  3. People — the contact information for the event planner from your organization.
  4. Submission Fee — you provide method of payment for the space request fee
  5. Confirmation — you review all the information you entered and then submit for processing. Once you complete this step you will automatically receive an e-mail confirmation from gsaatconfex.com with instructions on how to access your space request entry. You can then go back and make changes or update until the 5 June deadline date.
I want to order audio visual and catering. How do I do that?

In July you will receive your Room Assignment Notification via email from spacerequestatgeosociety.com. This will provide information on the assigned location/room for your event and contact information for your Services Manager, the person you submit all requests for food/beverage, audio visual, etc. (see Space Request-Timeline chart for specific info). Please note: We have Menus on our Web site for all of the Official GSA Event Locations. Please refer to these to get an idea for budgeting.

When and where is the Group Alumni Reception?

The Group Alumni Reception will be held on Monday, 5 November, from 7:00 p.m.–9:30 p.m. at the Westin Charlotte.

What is included in the Group Alumni fee?

Your school's name will appear in the Program and on alumni flyers, and will also appear on a sign T in the ballroom. Cash bars will be also be available in the ballroom during the event.

What is the difference between the Group Alumni Reception and a Private Alumni Reception?

The Group Alumni Reception is held at the Westin Charlotte with many other schools allowing people to co-mingle. Cash bars are provided throughout this room. Private Alumni Receptions are for schools that wish to have a separate location and room for their event. The school would be responsible for providing either a cash bar or hosted bar, along with any other food they may wish to have. Almost all alumni events occur on Monday night of the Annual Meeting.

I want to list an event in the Program, but do not need any meeting space. How should I proceed?

For a program listing only, or an “off site” event, you still need to complete the online space request form. There is a check box where you indicate your event is an off-site event that is to be listed in the program. In the comments section provide the location, date, start and end time for your event.
For instructions on how to complete the space request form, see Question #2 above.

I want my event to follow a specific Technical Session, but I do not know when the session is scheduled. What do I do?

Please note in the comments field on the Space Request Submission that you want your particular event to follow a technical session (please be as specific as possible on what session you want the event to follow). The online form will make you select a date; please select ANY date and we will adjust it once the technical program is finalized in August.

I have already submitted an event, but need to submit another. How do I do this?

To submit another event you should go to the online Space Request Submission form and enter the information for the additional event(s). Our system will automatically group all events for a particular event planner together.
For instructions on how to complete the online space request form, see Question #2 above.

What does my space request fee cover?

GSA will provide the meeting room, signage outside the meeting room, listing in the GSA Program and Web site, and pre-meeting and on-site meeting management.

When will I find out where my event is located?

Click here to see the Space Request-Timeline. If you submit your Space Request Submission prior to the 5 June deadline you will receive your Room Assignment Notification in early July. If you submit your Space Request Submission after 5 June you will receive your Room Assignment Notification in late July or early August.

Why aren't events requesting technical session space at the convention center assigned until mid-August?

The technical program is not finalized until August. Until all technical sessions are determined, events cannot be placed until the exact ending times, and location of each session has been determined.

What is the difference between a cash bar and a host bar?
Cash Bar:
Attendees purchase their individual drinks. Typically, the host pays a bartender fee or has a minimum purchase amount that has to be met. If the minimum purchase amount is not met, additional fees may apply.
Host Bar:
The attendees do not pay for their drinks and the host of the event is billed for drinks consumed. You can be specific as to the types of drinks you want served (i.e. beer/wine only, keg beer, full service bar, etc.)
Combo Host/Cash Bar:
You can provide a combination of a host and cash bar by providing drink tickets to attendees (and be billed for these drinks), provide keg beer as host only with all other drinks on a cash-basis, provide beer/wine only as hosted with all other drinks on a cash-basis, or any other number of combinations. These are just a few examples.
What do I need to do if I need to cancel my event?

You will need to contact Becky Sundeen, , and let her know of your intent to cancel. Please see the cancellation policy for deadlines and penalties.

I need to change/edit my event. How do I do this?

Prior to the 5 June deadline: Please keep your e-mail confirmation from gsaatconfex.com that has the event ID, password, and link for your submission. You will be able to access your submission from the link provided in your e-mail confirmation. Each event submission will have its own confirmation e-mail and Web link.
After the 5 June deadline or for any changes that change the space request fee: You will need to contact Becky Sundeen, , to make edits/changes. Items that change the fee include the event type and number of days the event lasts.

If you still have questions about event planning, contact Becky Sundeen at GSA, +1-303-357-1041, .

Ticketed Events

What is a ticketed event?

A ticketed event is an event where people are charged to attend. The event is usually a breakfast, lunch, dinner or reception and people are charged a ticket price to cover the cost of the meal or a portion of the meal cost. The event is listed on the GSA Registration form and GSA will collect all fees and select the menu. Please note: If you are handing out drink tickets for your event or your event is by invitation only it is NOT considered a Ticketed Event.

How do I submit a request for a ticketed event?

The deadline to submit your request is 30 March. Information must be submitted directly to Becky Sundeen, . You no longer need to complete the Space Request Form for a ticketed event. GSA will complete this step for you and you will receive a confirmation for the event.

Is there a cost to hold a ticketed event?

The event organizers will be billed for any audio visual equipment ordered, all bar related charges, such as bartender fees, special requests that have a fee related to them, and the difference in any subsidized ticket costs (i.e. professional price is $45, student price is $25, the organization would be billed $20 per student ticket sold).

Who sets the registration fee?

GSA sets the registration fee and will handle all billing for the event. If the catering bill exceeds the amount of the collected registration fees, GSA will cover that loss. If the catering bill is less than the amount of the collected registration fees, GSA will retain these fees for overhead costs.

Who sets the menu and provides the guarantee for the ticketed event?

GSA will select the menu and provide the guarantee. The guarantee is based on actual registrations and a small allowance for on-site registrations.

What do I do after I submit my request for a ticketed event?

Once you submit your request for a ticketed event you don’t need to do anything until July. In July you will receive a Room Assignment Notification. This will include instructions on submitting all special requests for your event, such as audio visual, cash or host bar, room set up requests, etc.

How do you purchase tickets for a ticketed event?

Tickets should be purchased at the time an attendee registers for the GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition. If an attendee would like to purchase a ticket for a ticketed event and they have already registered for the meeting they will need to contact GSA Sales and Service to purchase a ticket (). We strongly encourage all attendees to purchase tickets prior to the registration deadline of 1 October.

Can attendees purchase tickets on-site for a ticketed event?

We try to allow for a small percentage of tickets for each event to be purchased on-site. The amount will vary by event and will depend on the room size for the event as well as the convention center/hotel policies. If someone wants to purchase a ticket the day of the event, they will need to go to the event location and check at the door. Ticket sales the day of the event are cash or check only.

If you still have questions about event planning, contact Becky Sundeen at GSA, +1-303-357-1041, .