While GSD courses and activities are happening remotely due to COVID-19, new procedures for organizing events are in place. Please familiarize yourself with the information below.

Key Points:

  • For all programs and events happening outside the context of a particular class, a SERT reservation is still required via “GSD Virtual Event Proposal Form”
  • The SERT location for all virtual event reservations is called “GSD Virtual Event Space”
  • Only one event or program will be allowed to take place in the “GSD Virtual Event Space” at any given time
  • The Events Committee will continue to meet weekly to review and approve event requests

Virtual Event Recommendations:

  • Zoom fatigue is real.
    • The Innovation Task Force recommends avoiding programs during the 12-2 PM time slot
    • 7:00 PM start times or later are recommended for evening programs
    • Limit the total number of programs you organize while the School is remote
    • Find ways to partner your events with other departments, faculty, or student groups in order to increase attendance and decrease the overall number of programs

To make sure your needs can be met, request your reservation for the GSD Virtual Event Space as soon as possible. It is strongly recommended that requests are submitted at least one month prior to your desired event date. Before submitting a request, please double check the GSD Public Lecture Series schedule and significant dates on the Academic Calendar to make sure your proposed event does not conflict.

To Plan A Public Event—Five Steps

  1. Make sure that you have access to a SERT account
    SERT is the online room scheduling system at the GSD. If you have questions about your status, contact Building Services, rooms@gsd.harvard.edu
  2. Submit a request via SERT
    Request Events via the “GSD Virtual Event Proposal Form in SERT”. Your request must include your desired dates (1st and 2nd choices), chosen virtual platform (Zoom, Remo, etc.), format (lecture, panel, symposium, etc.), media services needs, and who the event participants will be (names and brief descriptions).  Please note that some requests may have associated media charges.  To ensure the timely review of your event, you must fully complete the questions posed by the SERT request system. 
  3. Wait for a confirmation email
    The Events Committee, which includes representatives from Communications, Building Services, Media Services, and Student Services, meets once per week to review public event proposals from staff, faculty, and students. This is why it is strongly recommended to request space as early as possible—ideally a month in advance. Do not proceed with plans (finalizing your date, advertising your event) until you've received confirmation via SERT. Keep in mind that even if the GSD Virtual Event Space is available, there may be other reasons an event might not be allowed to take place, or might need to find a new date or time. Conflicts with the GSD Public Lecture Series or significant dates on the Academic Calendar are not allowed. In the event that the Committee is not able to confirm a request, the Committee will work with the requester to find an alternative solution.
  4. Receive confirmation or an offer to select an alternate date/time
    An email giving approval or recommending modifications will be sent within 2 weeks of the receipt of your request. The events committee currently meets on Tuesdays.
  5. Finalize your event OR revise your request and resubmit
    Only after receiving a confirmation should you finalize preparations for the event. To avoid confusion, please do not give your guests final dates and times until you have received the confirmation email.


*Event organizers should secure the staffing required to make their event a success. The Public Programs Office can provide event planning guidance but are not available to staff your events. 

*If you would like your event considered for inclusion in the Happening This Week/Next Week emails, please send the date, time, location, event name, organizer, and a 2-3 sentence description to events@gsd.harvard.edu no later than 4:00 PM on the Thursday of the preceding week.

Questions about reserving space should be directed to rooms@gsd.harvard.edu.

If you have questions about this process, please contact your department administrator.