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Transmittal Notice

  1. Explanation of Material Transmitted: The National Institutes of Health Events Management Services is organizationally located within the Office of the Director (OD), Office of Management (OM), Office of Research Services (ORS), Office of Program and Employee Services (PES), Events Management Branch (EMB). Throughout the remainder of this chapter the Events Management Branch will continue to use the name recognized by the NIH community - NIH Events Management Services. The chapter provides revised guidelines and procedures for NIH Events Management Services, including conference and video/multimedia services.
  2. Filing Instructions:

Remove: NIH Manual Chapter 1363 dated 1/07/2008
Insert: NIH Manual Chapter 1363 dated 01/11/2016

PLEASE NOTE: For information on:

This chapter provides a description of the procedures and guidelines for the use of National Institutes of Health centrally managed conference facilities and multimedia services that serve the NIH Office of the Director (OD) and the NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) to conduct meetings and events related to their mission. In addition, this chapter also describes program and user responsibilities, reservation and applicable priority procedures, and program funding methodology.

NIH Events Management Services offers comprehensive, best-cost, integrated, event management solutions, including, but not limited to, proactive event planning, multimedia technology capabilities, convenient meeting solutions, and customized logistical services. NIH Events Management Services assists its clients in identifying their event planning and funding requirements and provides options, alternatives and estimates of fees if applicable. By teaming with its customers, NIH Events Management Services builds trust and a sense of partnership in the delivery of its services.

NIH Events Management Services is comprised of two distinct services known as Conference Services and Video/Multimedia Services.  A detailed listing of services, such as conference rooms by facility; capacity, setup options and audiovisual capability of each room; supplemental services; video products and services; procedures for ordering services and applicable fees are available at the Events Management website.

NIH Events Management Services are also available for events to be held in IC or OD controlled conference space, other Federal Government-owned facilities and commercial conference venues.  Services consist of video production, photography and audiovisual support.  Fees apply per published rates (See rates on the Events Management website).

NIH Events Management Services and conference facilities are available to the NIH OD and ICs for mission related activities.  The use of the NIH centrally managed conference facilities is pre-paid by the NIH OD and ICs through an annual assessment based on three-year historical use. Non-NIH Federal Government users will be charged the published room rates via an Inter-Agency Agreement.

Per NIH Manual Chapter 26101-17-1, “Acquisition of Temporary Commercial Conference Space”, ICs may request to procure non-Government space when suitable NIH conference facilities are not available.

Use of FedMeeting Facilities before procuring commercial conference space is strongly recommended. 

  1. “Conditions for Access to and Use of NIH Facilities for Group Functions, Activities, and Special Events,” describes the ORS policy on the appropriate use of NIH facilities for group functions, activities and special events under a graduated set of “Threat Conditions” as defined by the Homeland Security Advisory System. This includes review for approval of any NIH outdoor events.   

  2. NIH Manual 26101-17-1 “Acquisition of Temporary Commercial Conference Space,” provides guidance for procuring non-NIH conference space.

  3. NIH Efficient Spending Policy provides guidance on Use of Appropriated Funds for Conferences and Meeting Space, Food, Promotional Items, and Printing and Publications.

  4. NIH OD Green Initiative: “Make Your Event Green,” a toolkit providing tips and resources to help make your NIH event both environmentally friendly — and an overall success.

  5. NIH Delegations of Authority, General Administration: No. 31, “Alcohol for Official Entertaining,” describes the approval process required for the sale, use, or consumption of alcoholic beverages for occasions held on NIH property in conjunction with official entertaining.  

  6. Sign language Interpreting services are available to all employees and visitors at NIH for activities, such as meetings, campus wide programs and scientific conferences, one on one meetings between supervisors and employees, as well as meetings between doctors and patients.  Requests for sign language interpreting services can be made by phone, fax or online at

E. Definitions

  1. After-Hour Event – a) Events held Monday through Friday after 6:00 PM in Building 45; b) events held Monday through Friday after 5:00 PM in all other NIH conference facilities; and c) events held on a weekend or Federal holiday.

  2. Audio Conference Calling – Conferring with one or more parties via special amplification phone equipment.

  3. Basic Conference Services – Services included in the annual NIH OD and IC assessment fee. Non-NIH Federal Government users will be charged the published room rates via an Inter-Agency Agreement.

  4. Broadcast – One-way distribution of video and audio signals to many locations utilizing NIH distribution vehicles.

  5. CAN – Term used for NIH OD/IC Common Account Number to which fees for using other than the basic conference services covered by the annual assessment fee will be charged.

  6. Client– Federal Government, NIH IC or OD program official authorized to obligate funds for services that result in a fee.  A person classified in the NIH Enterprise Directory (NED) as a contractor or a tenant cannot be a client.

  7. Contact – Federal Government employee or contractor employee who orders NIH Events Management Services for the client.

  8. Definitions and Classification of User Groups – A detailed description is listed at this website:  “Conditions for Access to and Use of NIH Facilities for Group Functions, Activities, and Special Events

  9. Event – An administrative, educational, scientific, or public affairs activity that has a NIH affiliation, occurs at NIH, and is related to the mission of NIH.

  10.  IC Conference Space – Space controlled by NIH OD or IC.

  11. NIH Conference Facilities – Conference space and services available on-campus and off-campus, which are centrally managed by NIH Events Management Services.

  12. Non-Government Conference Space – Commercially available conference space, i.e. hotels and conference centers.  ICs may procure conference services from commercial sources if suitable NIH conference space is not available.

  13. Project Number – An identification number assigned to an event consisting of more than one work order; i.e. council meeting, scientific board review, recurring meeting, single day or multi-day conference, employee or community related events.

  14. Rental Equipment – Event related equipment for which a fee applies.

  15. Sponsor– NIH OD or IC client who sponsors an NIH mission-related event held by another Federal Government agency, professional association, non-profit organizations, etc. using NIH conference space.  The sponsor will assume responsibility for payment of all applicable fees including cancellation fees.

  16. Supplemental Services – Services that are not included in the basic conference services annual NIH OD and IC assessment.

  17. Video Conferencing – Two-way video and audio transmission over Internet Protocol and phone lines with one or more parties using the appropriate equipment certified by the NIH video bridge.

  18. Web cast – Streaming live or archive video and audio via intra and/or Internet.  Access control that can be world accessible, NIH only, HHS only or private. Captioning is automatically included with this service.

  19. Work Order Number – A number assigned to any activity using conference and multimedia services.

F. Responsibilities

  1. NIH Events Management Services responsibilities include the following:

    1. Management and operation of NIH conference facilities and the use of the outdoors for events.

    2. Scheduling and confirming event orders in a timely and accurate fashion, translating client needs into viable meeting solutions by making available the best suited event space and setup, understanding and supporting all audiovisual requirements, providing effective customer service, accommodating last minute customer requests, etc..  NIH Events Management Services emails a status report to the client and contact upon scheduling the event and resources and subsequent requested changes.

    3. Provision of video/multimedia products and services, both in studio and on location, of informational documentaries, research and surgical procedures, location videotaping of conferences, lectures, round table discussions, live events, video news releases, public service announcements, and training videos. 

    4. Continuous improvement of facilities and equipment, assessment of overall program costs, and the development and implementation of funding methods to cover the projected costs.

    5. Implementation and operation of effective resource management and billing systems to ensure an efficient operation of facilities and equipment, measuring utilization of resources, and accurate and timely client billing.

    6. Referring clients and contacts to the NIH-approved caterer’s list, as needed.

    7. Compliance with the “Conditions for Access to and Use of NIH Facilities for Group Functions, Activities, and Special Events,” which entails gathering information regarding the purpose of the event, identifying the user group and restrictions that may apply, and submitting the request for approval if necessary.

    8. Provision of event schedules and attendee lists to the NIH Police - Special Events Unit to ensure non-NIH attendees can enter the NIH campus in a timely manner while maintaining security protocols.

  2. Clients responsibilities include the following:

    ICs and OD clients are responsible for providing pertinent information regarding a requested event to enable NIH Events Management Services staff to determine the appropriate use of NIH conference facilities as established in “Conditions for Access to and Use of NIH Facilities for Group Functions, Activities, and Special Events.”  Specific information needed includes:

    1. Name of IC sponsoring the event and responsible for paying applicable fees not covered in the basic conference services.

    2. Client information: program official or administrative officer authorized to obligate funding and applicable fees.

    3. Contact information: Government or contractor employee coordinating the event.

    4. Expected total of NIH employees and non-NIH participants expected to attend the event.

    5. Name and purpose of the event.

    6. Preferred location, date, and time needed for the event and any supplemental service requirements.

    7. Reasonable accommodation services such as assistive listening devices, captioning, computer-aided real-time translation services, and sign language interpreting services, etc., if needed.

    8. Ensure compliance with all federal regulations and policies regarding the use of appropriated funds for gifts, food, entertainment, alcohol, etc.

    9. If applicable, ensure proper approval of utilizing commercial space by submitting an NIH 827-1 through the electronic system.

Additional Information and Client Responsibilities:

Upon the receipt of NIH Events Management Services status report, clients should review and approve the reservation and applicable fees by replying via email within 48 hours.  If the client’s reply is not received within 5 working days, the reservation may be cancelled.

Outdoor events require review and approval by the NIH Police, NIH Parking, NIH Fire Marshal and NIH Grounds Maintenance.  Therefore, a reservation request requires a minimum lead time of four weeks before the date of the event. If a tent is being rented, the tent vendor must be made aware that ground stakes are not allowed.

Vendor shows and other outside groups wanting to utilize the facilities must follow the standard operating procedures for events involving outside organizations.

Advance approval by the Director, Office of Research Services if alcoholic beverages are to be offered. Requests should be submitted through the electronic NIH Alcohol Request System.

  1. Reservation Procedures

    NIH conference services and video/multimedia services are always in high demand. Therefore, reservations should be made at the earliest possible time.  NIH Events Management Services uses an online resource scheduling system in order to reserve space, equipment, personnel, and services at all NIH conference facilities.  Event reservation may be requested by emailing [email protected] or calling (301) 435-2208. 

    Upon determining availability of a suitable space, NIH Events Management Services will immediately reserve that space and issue a project number and work order number(s) to the meeting planner/client. 

    A status report will be e-mailed to the client and/or the contact within two working days.  NIH Events Management Services will hold tentative event dates for a maximum of five working days before canceling them.  See additional responsibilities in Section F.

    NIH Events Management Services will initiate logistics planning of events with the meeting planner at the time of making a reservation and continue it as necessary.  For assistance with security-related logistics, NIH Events Management Services will provide a liaison, on behalf of the client, with the NIH Police - Special Events Unit. 

  2. Moving or Canceling a Reservation

    Meeting planners must send an e-mail message to NIH Events Management Services ([email protected]) when canceling an event.  For details of the current cancellation plan, reference the NIH Events Management Services website. The date of the cancellation request will determine if a cancellation fee applies.  Requests to move an event to a future date will be accommodated anytime if outside the cancellation period; however, such requests are limited to a one time use if within the cancellation period.

    No cancellation fee applies, if the space is rebooked.  This approach to moving and canceling events contributes to improved availability of conference space to the NIH scientific and administrative community.

  3. Priority Use of Space and Services

    The Office of the Director, NIH, has the authority to displace a scheduled event.  However, an emergency shutdown of conference space may also result in displacing an event.  Every effort will be made to accommodate any displaced event in another NIH conference facility. 

    NIH Events Management Services reserves the right to move events of all categories, if such moves result in a more efficient use of NIH conference space and/or more suitable room arrangements for higher priority meetings than the one affected by rescheduling efforts.  NIH Events Management Services will immediately advise affected clients and contacts of any required changes. 

    Reserving NIH conference space is subject to the following priorities listed in descending order.

    1. Priority 1:

      The Director, NIH, and reservations made through the NIH, Office of the Director for the HHS Secretary and equivalent, or other high-level Federal Government officials.

    2. Priority 2:

      IC Advisory Councils and Boards of Scientific Counselors.  
      Meeting periods are as follows:

      • Last week of January through first week of March

      • May and June

      • September, October, and November

      The ICs are advised to reserve space for these meetings two years in advance at the beginning of each calendar year.  The procedure for reserving Council space will be reviewed and updated with IC Committee Managers. The meetings are limited to conference rooms in Building 31/6C, the John Edward Porter Neuroscience Research Center (Building 35), the Natcher Conference Center (Building 45), the Neuroscience Conference Center (6001 Executive Boulevard), and the 5635 Fishers Lane Conference Center.

    3. Priority 3:  

      IC-Sponsored Conferences and Symposia may be reserved up to three years in advance outside the reserved time frames for the events listed in Priority 2.

    4. Priority 4:

      Official NIH meetings/events, which are as follows:

      • Periodic events (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) may be scheduled for up to two years in advance following completion of reservations for events listed in Priority 2.

      • Non-periodic events may be scheduled up to one year in advance.

    5. Priority 5: 

      Non-NIH Official Government Meetings, such as the events sponsored by the Recreation and Welfare (R&W) Association. Because most of these events are held during lunch time, they may be moved or cancelled up to five days before event date in order to accommodate higher priority events.

  4. Special Use Privileges

    1. Building 1 is a restricted-use building; the use of conference room 151 is exclusively assigned to the NIH Director and a few authorized recurring Office(s) of the Director meetings.  The use of Wilson Hall is limited to NIH/OD and IC/OD sponsored events. Occupancy of Wilson Hall is restricted to 49 attendees unless special arrangements are made with NIH Fire Marshal.

    2. In Buildings 10, 35, 40, 49, and 50, priority use of NIH conference rooms will be given to events that concern scientific research.

    3. Building 10 Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) Academic Center: 

      Note: The following priority setting takes into account that the NIH Director, HHS leadership, or the President may use the facility as the top priority.  Otherwise, the priorities are:

      1. Priority 1:  

        Uses by the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES), NIH Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP), and the NIH CC-Duke Master’s Partnership Program, and NIH Research Festival (and similar trans-NIH events).  The use of space would be requested annually and the room usage reserved without review on a case-by-case basis.

        • FAES for its regular educational activities and classes of the FAES Graduate School, including its laboratory training courses. This includes predominantly nighttime classes and seminars, as well as a smaller number of daytime activities.

        • The NIH MRSP to conduct its training offerings. 

        • NIH CC-Duke Master’s Partnership Program using the designated FAES conference room #5 set up for distance learning.

        • Recurring education and training for trans-NIH programs for fellows.

      2. Priority 2:  

        Non-recurring scientific and educational activities requested by ICs, the Scientific Interest Groups, the Office of Intramural Training and Education, etc., requested by an IC or OD sponsor. 

      3. Priority 3:  

        Recurring intramural science-related meetings generally involving outside participants so long as these do not meet more than six times per calendar year. 

      4. Priority 4: 

        Administrative/technical training such as done by the NIH Training Center, but without a direct focus on scientific educational programs, not recurring more than six times per year.

      5. Priority 5:  

        Social events would be approved on a case-by-case basis, e.g., memorial services, receptions, etc., and would be limited in order to preserve the facilities for scientific and educational activities. Preference for such events would be given to residents of the Lasker Center and to the FAES.

  5. Vendor Exhibitions Procedures

    If an NIH IC would like to sponsor an event with a non-NIH group in NIH space, the following questions should be addressed and submitted to the Events Management staff before reserving the space. The NIH IC, and not the non-NIH group, should provide answers to these questions.

    1. Is the conference/meeting co-sponsored by an entity outside of the NIH (private companies or other federal agencies)? If so, has this request been reviewed previously by the IC approving official?

    2. What is the purpose of your meeting?

    3. Is the conference/meeting showcasing outside companies and their services or products? If so, is there a co-sponsorship agreement approved by the appropriate NIH and IC officials? Please see the bottom of this webpage for co-sponsorship policy:

    4. Is there an agenda (even a draft one) that can be reviewed?

      The NIH employee should provide the request and information to the appropriate IC approving official for consideration.

      If the IC official approves the request, the NIH employee may work with Events Management to reserve the conference space. For more information, see:

  6. NIH Events Management Services Protocol and Services 

    The NIH conference facilities are designed to accommodate a wide spectrum of event and presentation requirements. Please review the room matrix, catering information, and hours of operation at the Events Management website. 

    NIH Events Management Services provides cups and water for conference and classroom style events at the tables and in back of rooms set theater style. Additional services such as making copies (maximum 100 pages per event), sending faxes, and Wi-Fi connections are available in the conference centers of Buildings 31/6C, 45, and 6001 Executive Boulevard.  At each conference facility, Events Management staff will take messages and distribute them to participants. 

    NIH Events Management Services will post daily event schedules at the entrance(s) of each NIH conference facility.  For posting the event on the NIH Events Calendar, submit your event at

    NIH Events Management Services staff do not assume responsibility for items left unattended or left behind by participants.  Items found will be tagged and kept in a safe place through close of business the day it is found before being deposited with the NIH Police for disposal in accordance with 45 C.F.R. Part 3, the regulation governing conduct on the NIH Bethesda enclave. Upon realization of having lost an item at an event, the participant should, if possible, immediately check the conference facility personally or call the appropriate conference facility.

  7. Refreshment Breaks and Catering

    At the time of the event planning, NIH Events Management Services staff and/or caterer will work with the meeting planner to decide approximate times for refreshment and lunch breaks. The dining centers on-campus and off-campus are primarily designed for use by NIH employees, but can also support conference attendees with proper notification. However, careful planning of each event's refreshment and lunch breaks will contribute to the participants' and the building occupants' satisfaction.  For more information reference the following websites: 

    NIH Events Management Services staff coordinates with the meeting planner and approved caterers regarding the logistics of catered food in reserved rooms and areas. The following basic rules apply to events with catering:

    • Caterers are required to be approved by NIH ORS Division of Amenities and Transportation Services;

    • Caterers are required to coordinate catering activities with NIH Events Management Services;

    • Caterers are required to bring their own tables and linens; and

    • Caterers are required to remove tables and linens, and return the area to its original condition after the event.

    Food and beverages are not allowed in the following rooms:

    • Building 10 –Masur Auditorium and Lipsett Amphitheater; and

    • Building 45 – Natcher Ruth Kirschstein Auditorium, Balconies, and Rooms D, H and J.

    Food and beverage are allowed in pre-function areas and selected conference rooms.  (Please inquire at time of reservation.) In most facilities, refreshments can be bought at nearby concession stands, dining centers and vending machines.  More information is available at this website:  Division of Amenities and Transportation Services

  8. Audiovisual, Photography and Video/Multimedia Services 

    Audiovisual, Photography and Video/Multimedia services are described in detail at the Events Management website:  

    Any needs regarding presentation, recording, web casting, broadcasting, etc. should be identified during the initial reservation process.  Based on the complexity of the requirements, the scheduler may refer the client to a video producer.

  9. NIH Events Management Services Staff Present During Events

    Built into the basic conference services is the provision of NIH Events Management staff to provide lecturers and presenters pre-meeting instruction in the use of the presentation equipment.  If the requestor requires more than this basic service, fully dedicated staff may be requested for a fee. All after-hour and weekend events are required to have dedicated staff for a fee.

  10. Safety and Security in NIH Conference Space

    Access to the NIH conference facilities is governed by the “Condition for Access to and Use of NIH Facilities for Group Functions, Activities, and Special Events”. Any after-hour events require prior approval.  More details are available at the Events Management website. 

    In Building 1, no after-hour events will be permitted unless requested by the NIH Office of the Director.

    The NIH employs specific security measures to ensure the safety of NIH employees, patients, and visitors.  As part of the NIH Perimeter Security System, all visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel and airport shuttles, delivery trucks and vans will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be required to show one (1) form of Government issued identification (a government-issued photo ID — driver’s license, passport, green card, etc.) and undergo a physical security screening process. For detailed information about perimeter security visit NIH Visitors and Security websites at these URL addresses: and  

    The NIH Police - Special Events Unit works in concert with NIH Events Management Services to assist ICs with security related logistics to ensure smooth and efficient access for visitors to the NIH campus and conference facilities.  They will determine the need for additional police and security personnel for after-hour events or other events requiring special security logistics. This also applies to events occurring during regular hours with more than 100 non-NIH participants.  Fees for additional security services may be incurred and charged to the IC hosting the event.

  11. Directions and Parking

    Meeting planners are responsible for providing event participants directions to NIH and off-campus buildings, access to the NIH facilities and parking availability.

    Parking for NIH conference facilities is available at the NIH Gateway Center, however, event participants are encouraged to use public transportation where applicable.  There is limited paid parking available.  Travel and transportation information is available at these websites:

    The NIH Visitor and Security website provides current information for directions to NIH buildings, campus access and exit routes and times, as well as any pertinent security alerts. 

    NIH Shuttle services are available once visitors have obtained a visitor badge at the NIH Gateway Center.

  12. Availability of NIH Conference Facilities Tours

    NIH Events Management Services will conduct site tours and planning meetings for IC meeting planners, IC conference management contractors, and non-NIH Government officials who are involved in the planning and management of symposia, conferences, exhibitions, and large meetings.  To make an appointment for a facilities tour, contact NIH Events Management Services at (301) 435- 2208.  Tours are conducted at non-peak times during normal business hours Monday through Friday.

H. Records Retention and Disposal

All records pertaining to this chapter must be retained and disposed of under the authority of NIH Manual 1743,"Keeping and Destroying Records," Appendix 1, "NIH Records Control Schedules" (as amended). These records must be maintained in accordance with current NIH Records Management and Federal guidelines. Contact your IC Records Liaison or the NIH Records Officer for additional information.

I. Internal Controls

The purpose of this manual issuance is to provide a description of the policies, procedures and guidelines regarding the use of the NIH conference facilities and multimedia services by the NIH OD and ICs to conduct mission related meetings and events.

  1. Office Responsible for Reviewing Internal Controls relative to this Chapter (Issuing Office): OD/OM/ORS/PES (301) 496-4700.
  2. Frequency of Review (in years): Ongoing
  3. Method of Review:  The NIH Events Management Branch conducts, at a minimum, an annual presentation to the Office of Research Services Advisory Committee (ORSAC) reporting the utilization of assets (facilities, multimedia equipment and systems, and services in support of client (user’s needs).  In addition, requests for capital improvements of facilities and multimedia equipment/systems are presented to ORSAC for approval and funding.
  4. Review Reports are sent to the Associate Director, Program and Employee Services (PES), ORS; and the Director, Office of Research Services (ORS).  Reports should indicate that internal controls are in place and working well or include any internal control issues that should be brought to the attention of the report recipient(s).

Appendix: Services Available

  1. Available Conference Services:

    1. Event booking and meeting support services

    2. Event approval as outlined in “NIH Conditions for Access and Security”

    3. Coordination with NIH Special Events Police for special access and logistics

    4. Coordination with the NIH Fire Marshal when crowd control is needed

    5. Processing requests for exemptions to the prohibition on alcohol consumption per NIH guidance

    6. Presentation and voice reinforcement support services

    7. Coordination with vendors for special requirements such as tents, exhibitions, caterers, stage lighting, etc.

  2. Available Video/Multimedia Services:

    Video and multimedia is the combination of various presentation media such as text, sound, graphics, animation, and video to enhance the communication process.

    Services are available in the NIH conference facilities and the DC / MD / VA metropolitan area at commercial facilities and public locales for NIH-related use.

    1. Animation and motion graphics

    2. Captioning – open and closed

    3. Consultation

    4. Coordinate video conferencing, and web casting

    5. Digitizing

    6. Duplication, transfer, and encoding service formats available:  DVD,  Blu-ray, MP4, QuickTime and Windows Media

    7. Editing

    8. Lighting

    9. Media tracking

    10. Music licensing

    11. Narration

    12. NIH studio, patient, and surgical video recording

    13. Photography-Public Affairs

    14. Post-sound and audio sweetening

    15. Preproduction planning

    16. Produce public service Announcements, documentaries, news releases, training videos, etc.

    17. Producing, directing, and technical directing

    18. Provide archiving and media relations services

    19. Provide audio and video distribution

    20. Scriptwriting

    21. Science writing

    22. Set design

    23. Story boards

    24. Transcription

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