Event management

The Trinity Communications office has compiled guidelines to assist Trinity's departments and offices with their event management requirements. Additional advice and a list of suggested suppliers such as printers, caterers and photographers are available from our office.

Items to be considered when preparing for an event:

Responsibility for event organisation

Depending on the size of the event, a departmental staff member or small panel should be allocated the responsibility of coordinating the different elements of the event.


It is important to ascertain the departmental budget for the event at the outset and to book services within this budget. It is recommended that three quotations are sought for each service required e.g. catering, printing etc.

Guest list

A guest list should be compiled to include all internal and external parties related to the event. It is suggested that the list should also include relevant Trinity Officers and all stakeholders involved in the project/event. It is estimated that approximately 60% of all invitees attend an event, hence it is advisable to invite more than the venue can hold.


It is recommended that invitations are issued at least 14 days prior to an event to ensure guests receive invitations approximately 10 days in advance of the event. A reasonable RSVP date should be included and guests should be invited to be in attendance at least 15 minutes prior to the actual start time of event or arrival of main speaker/Minister.

A staff member should be allocated to manage responses and compile the RSVP list. It is recommended that both an email address and telephone number are printed on the invitation for RSVP responses. It is advisable that a date by which responses should be received is included – this is especially good practice when caterers are involved to know how many guests will be attending the event.

While there is no obligatory template of design or wording for invitations to Trinity events, requests for the university crest should be submitted to identity@tcd.ie

Trinity's preferred supplier for printing is Custodian, please contact them regarding you printing needs.

Invitations to Government Ministers and President of Ireland

Invitations to Government ministers must be issued two to three months prior to the event date. All invitations to Government Ministers, Ministers of State and Secretary-Generals of Government Departments for events being organised by academic or administrative and support areas in Trinity are to be issued by the Secretary to Trinity. If you wish to issue such an invitation on behalf of Trinity please send briefing material and a broad time-scale of the event to Sally-Anne Fisher who will liaise with the secretary to Trinity in issuing the invitation. For further information please see Inviting Government Ministers to Trinity.

If you wish to extend an invitation to the President of Ireland for a Trinity event, please contact the Provost's Office with at least 6 months' notice for this request to be considered.

Running order

A running order is a brief schedule and outline of the event's proceedings. This should be drawn up and circulated to all parties involved at least two weeks prior to the event. It should include all elements of the event, e.g. meet and greet, speeches, unveiling of plaque, tour of facility, catering and departure etc.


It is important to ascertain as early as possible who will speak at the event and what areas each person will address. Speakers should include a Trinity representative. It is advised that no more than three people speak at an event due to general time constraints and consideration to guests.

Briefing notes for Provost/Minister/Speakers

Briefing notes will be required by those invited to speak at the event. These notes should include background information on the project; the people and funding involved; and developments and recognition for those organizing the event. Not more than two to three pages should be supplied and in short paragraphs or bullet point form. If more than one speaker is engaged it is important that the content of the speeches address different issues of the project to avoid repetition of information.


The scale and nature of the event will indicate whether a photographer is required. If images are to be distributed to the press it will be necessary to engage the services of a professional photographic agency. Please note, that in order to maximize the potential coverage in the press, photocalls should ideally take place mid-morning. If images are for internal use only, for example on departmental webpages or internal publications, an alternative more inexpensive service can be used.

It is recommended that a list of required photographs is drawn up by the organiser and discussed with the photographer prior to the event. A departmental staff member should be nominated to assist the photographer at the event to gather individuals/groups to be photographed and to identify them to the photographer. It is recommended that no more than three or four people are photographed in a group, unless needed for departmental records. This helps ensure the message and theme depicted by the photograph is clear to the reader.

If a key aim is to distribute photographs to the newspapers, please liaise with media relations in discussing how best an imaginative photograph can be set up which will capture readers' attention, using interesting backgrounds, key participants and props if necessary to communicate the key message to your target audience. The media relations team will also need names of the selected participants, location and any props in the picture for the purpose of notification to the pictures desk of the newspapers.

A list of suggested photographers is available from the Trinity Communications Office on request.

Media relations and publicity

For information on publicising your event or initiative to the media please consult the Media Guidelines. Should you wish to discuss your event’s media requirements please contact Trinity's spokesperson, Catherine O'Mahony.


You may wish to include Trinity branding at your event. The Trinity Communications Office holds a number of Trinity branded pop-up stand which may be borrowed on request.


Trinity is committed to the principle of universal access and actively works towards providing reasonable access to all its services, information, buildings, facilities and accommodation. With this in mind the following provisions are to be applied when organising Trinity events and are a commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities can participate fully in university life. 

Ensure, wherever reasonably possible, that events will be accessible to all who wish to attend. It is recommended that materials relating to events carry an invitation to guests to request any accommodation required in advance of the event so as to enable their needs to be met. Such measures might include the provision of a sign language interpreter upon request, or ensuring all materials are available in alternative formats in advance.

Further information on making an event accessible is available on the universities Accessible Information and Policy Guidelines.

Reserved seating

Please ensure that you reserve the required number of seats for your speakers and VIP guests at the front of the venue. It is advisable to place reserved signs on each individual seat. It may be advisable to have ushers before and during the event to assist in managing seating and 'mind' VIP guests.


The timing, scale and budget of the event will dictate the type of catering required. Options to consider include tea and coffee with pastries / biscuits, hot / cold canapés with wine/soft drinks, or buffet lunch.

It is important to ensure that all speakers are provided with fresh water and glasses throughout the event.


It is only necessary to discuss security requirements if a high level Government representative or other VIPs will be attending your event. If this is the case please liaise with Head of Security, Michael Murray and Sharon Campbell in the Trinity Communications Office.


A plaque is usually required to mark the official opening of a building or facility. Plaques can be sourced through the Estates and Facilities Office. Please contact Monica Janson, Architectural Services Officer. It is important to include an Irish translation, and any relevant logos of sponsors e.g. NDP, SFI etc. The plaque can be unveiled on a temporary easel in advance of the final location being decided.


There is a range of venues available for use on campus from lecture theatres to Dining areas. For information on lecture theatres and rooms please contact the Enquiries Office at 896 1897/1724. The School of Nursing on D'Olier Street also has number of lecture theatres and seminar rooms available, for further details please contact Jeni Ryan, Events Officer. For dining and banqueting venues please contact the universities Banqueting Manager, Karl O'Connell. Other areas for consideration are the Science Gallery, Long Room Hub, Old Library and Trinity Institute of Biomedical Science.

Dressing of venue

Flowers may be required to brighten a dark lecture theatre or venue. A suggested list of suppliers is available from the Trinity Communications Office.