What To Do Before your Guest Arrives


  1. Provide prompt and professional written communication in advance of the event.
    • Provide a program overview to your guest(s) finalizing general details including projected number of event attendees, overall format of the event, timing and location of event, availability of technology, etc.
    • Provide an overview of any honoraria or fee to be paid to your guest. Set up honoraria with the buyer/office manager in your area at least six weeks before your guest arrives on campus.
    • Secure permission to record and or photograph your guest the event.
    • If guest(s) will be lecturing or presenting, request biographical information for use in introducing guest(s) to audience.
    • Inquire about needs such as:
    • Provide the program overview and details to your Student Affairs cluster leader.
  2. Reserve an appropriate space through Auxuliary Enterprises for any speaker, performances, panels, or gatherings.
    • make note of how your visitor would like the room set, including technology and audio/visual needs. 
    • be aware of campus policies related to the space you've reserved, including occupancy limits, requirements for EMTs
  3. Provide culturally and socially relevant courtesies and considerations. You and your guest(s) have a number of mutual interests; however, it is important to recognize potential differences in communication styles, cultural norms, familiarity with U.S. academic systems, and personal habits because these can greatly impact how you work together before, during, and after the visit.
    • Ensure that you are familiar with guest(s) pronouns and name pronunciation(s). Pronouncing names correctly can be extremely difficult. Practice in advance, but even with practice, it is possible that your pronunciation of the guest’s name could carry intonations that change the meaning or cause it to sound inappropriate. It is best to ask a native speaker of the language or your guest if your pronunciation is understandable and correct.
    • Verify that you have the correct title(s) for your guest(s). Forms of address for people holding professional, ecclesiastical, or traditional titles can vary.
    • Review cultural practices relative to greeting (e.g., handshakes, bowing, etc.) and etiquette before your guest(s) arrive.
  4. If your guest is a representative for federal, state, or tribal government, you should contact University Relations.
  5. Consider notifying other UMass offices or groups that might be interested in your guest, their presentation, or related programming, such as the vice chancellors for certain areas, UMPD, Student Government Association and Graduate Student Senate
  6. Promote your event. Add your event to the UMass Events Calendar. Inform the News Office to allow for promulgation on UMass Amherst social media. Schedule photography for the event. Make sure that your guest knows about publicity plans and consents to be filmed or photographed at the event.
  7. 48 hours prior to the event, send a check-in email to your guest or their representative with whom you’ve been in contact with all relevant reminder information including a detailed timeline of the event program; an arrival/greeting plan; and a contact cell phone number in case of last minute changes or emergencies. This email should also include the following information:
  8. Set up a temporary wireless account for your guest(s). On the Wireless Access for Guests site, you may create up to three accounts at once. The accounts are valid for three days and there is no cost.