Setting Up

Have you booked set-up and take down time?

The most common mistake made by people organising events is to forget to book any set-up time. If you've got the Hong Kong Theatre booked from 6pm to 8pm in the evening for a public lecture don't advertise 6pm as the start time. You won't manage it, as the chances are that there will be another event, probably teaching in there till 6pm.

Set-up time is the difference between the time your room booking starts and the time you want your event to actually start, for many small simple bookings such as meetings or seminars, no set-up time is needed. For bigger, more complex bookings such as lectures and conferences you need time to make sure the venue (and your staff) are ready before your meeting starts.

On room bookings confirmations 'published event' times should be the times at which your meeting actually starts and ends. 'Booking' times are the times at which your room booking begins and ends. The difference between the two is your set-up (and take down) time. If there is no set-up time booked then the 'published time' is left blank.

Having set-up time enables you to do various things like:

  • Clean up the room (pick up any coffee cups etc. collected during the day)
  • Lay out papers, put up logos etc.
  • Get your audience in and settled (this takes time in a big venue like the Old Theatre)

We'd advise aim for up to one hour's set up time in the Old Theatre, allowing at least 20 minutes to get the audience seated.

Most importantly of all it allows time for other service providers in the School (mainly the audio-visual team and portering services) to carry out any requests you have made such as fitting microphones, or re-arranging the furniture layout of a room. If they don't have time in the room to do what you've asked, they can't do it, or at best your event will be delayed while you wait for them to do it.

Rearranging furniture takes time. For example if you want the porters to move all the furniture in CLM 2.02 one side of the room and screened off for a reception then this is a big job and takes time.

People often assume a room will be free before their event to set-up. In a place as busy as LSE this is very unlikely. Request set-up time when you book your room, at least that way you know what time constraints you have to work under. If you do only realise later that you need set-up time you can of course come back to conferences and we'll try and extend your booking, but be warned it's often not possible due to other bookings.

It's also part of your responsibility when booking a room to make sure it is returned to us in a state ready for the next person to use. If you are making radical changes to a room (for example removing all the chairs and tables) it's usually best to book the room until the end of the day (at night the rooms are reset).

How do I contact the porters/get my room set-up?

You can get in touch with the porters by filling out their online booking form - see LSE Portering Services Request Form.

The porters' hours are 0800 to 1600, Monday to Friday. Sometimes special arrangements can be made for jobs outside of these times, though these can involve paying the overtime costs that arise.

Make sure that you have booked enough set-up time in your booking for Fred's team to carry out your request.

If you are asking the porters to move a large amount of furniture etc. from a room bear in mind that storage space at the School is virtually non-existent. You will normally be asked where this is to be moved to. Your choices normally are to book a separate room for storage (for example if you are booking CLM 2.02 and want it cleared you might also book CLM 2.05) or ask the porters to move excess furniture etc, to one corner of the room and screen it off.


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