Event Planners Toolkit

With a combined experience level of over 50 years, our sales team is here to guide you during the planning of your meeting or event. We are pleased to provide you with some industry insights to guide you.

Event Details and Planning

Our sales team offers one-stop-shopping, and can assist in finding a venue and vendors that are ideal for your event. Including:

  • Linen and floral designs, including vendor sourcing
  • Lighting
  • Custom menus and menu cards
  • Rentals to build a tent from the ground up, building a kitchen, diagrams, etc.
  • Event and Fire Marshall approvals, required by the university
  • Signage from parking lots to the venue
  • Golf carts with drivers (students) to assist guests from the parking to the venue
  • Student musicians
  • USC Marching band
Your sales manager will work with you to plan every aspect of your event. All menu selections, room set ups, audio visual equipment will be detailed and chronicled with your timeline on a banquet event order (BEO). All details should be provided no later than 30 days prior to your event date to create the BEO.

Registering your event with the university

All events must be registered with the university, regardless of location. It is recommended that you register the event at least one month prior to the event date to ensure that all required approvals and permits are obtained. Your sales manager can provide assistance, but it is the responsibility of the event planner to complete the online application. Please click on the link below to complete the University Event Permit Application. COMPLETE THE UNIVERSITY EVENT PERMIT APPLICATION.


A guaranteed attendance figure is required for all meal functions three business days prior to the function date and is not subject to reduction. If the catering office is not advised by this time, the estimated figure will automatically become the guarantee. We will be prepared to serve 3% over the guaranteed number for groups.

Special Diets

We are able to accommodate special diets for catered events. Please communicate your guests’ needs to your catering manager during the menu planning. We have a variety of items within our Core Menu that meet the most common requests – Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Vegan, Vegetarian and Nut-free. We have several “all-in-one” selections that are perfect for large groups. We also offer halal and kosher meals. Final counts for all special meals are due with the guarantee three days before the event date. Some special meals may incur an additional fee that is greater than the meal price for the group.

Determining Food Quantities for a Cocktail Reception

Menu selections for your reception are just as important as the main event. At USC Hospitality, we can work with you to create a custom reception menu that will set the stage for the evening and compliment your selected meal. This is the first chance to please the palette with taste sensations of things to come. When hosting a reception before dinner, a good rule of thumb is to allow 4 – 6 pieces of hors d’oeuvres per guest. If the reception fare is the main event, 10 – 12 pieces per guest are recommended. The allocation of hot items to cold is generally 2:1.

Tax Exempt Groups (University Only)

University Departments enjoy tax exempt status on certain events booked with USC Hospitality. This tax savings, in many cases is significant and is a benefit to using USC Hospitality and not an outside caterer. Determining factors include – method of payment, source of funding for event and whether or not attendees are paying to attend the function. In all cases, soft drinks and alcohol are always taxed. For more information and to determine if your event is tax exempt, please discuss with your sales manager.

Outside Vendors

All food served in spaces that are operated and managed by USC Hospitality must be provided by our culinary staff. USC Hospitality does not allow any outside food or beverage to be brought into your event. All food prepared by our culinary staff may not be taken off the premises by any attendee. The sale and service of alcoholic beverages is regulated by the State of California and USC Hospitality is bound to uphold all regulations as a licensee.