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Procurement Services

Planning an Event

Catering, Hotels and Events

Procurement Services recommends that documents requiring signature be reviewed by a buyer regardless of the method of payment or dollar amount. Only Procurement Services buying staff have authority to sign documents on behalf of the University, over the direct buy limit. If necessary, the buyer will work with the supplier so that the final agreement is in compliance with Federal and State laws and University policies.

  • To submit an event contract or reservation to be reviewed by a buyer, please submit the documents through either an Ariba BPO, Ariba Non Catalog or the Ariba Contract Review Form (RV) for approval.​​  
  • If submitting a Contract Review Form:  Once the Ariba Contract Review Form has been approved by Purchasing, and if the payment method is ProCard where the dollar amount exceeds the transaction limit, submit a Card Limit Increase through Ariba and reference the "approved" Contract Review (RV number) in the Comments section of the Card Limit Increase form.     
  • Please allow at least three business days for the buyer to review each contract/reservation, and please provide the deadline with your request.

UW Procurement Services has negotiated contracts with caterers and hotels as well as many suppliers providing event planning services, equipment rentals, and charters to assist campus with their special event needs. Contracts are available to view at UW Contracts or on the commodity pages listed below.


Food Policy and Applicability

University and Washington State policies allow for the purchase of meals and light refreshments for employees, students and official guests under certain criteria to include the source of funds, type of budget and purpose of the event. This guidance is provided to ensure that all food expenses charged to University budgets are allowable and appropriate for the funding source.

Many UW budgets are either not approved for food and/or alcohol purchases, or have some restrictions. Effective immediately, use this guide to ensure that all expenses charged to University budgets are allowable and appropriate for the funding source. Only gift budgets will continue to be flagged for food approval.  Please see the FAQ for additional guidance regarding gifts, discretionary and grant budgets.

For more information, refer to the Food Approval website.

Benefits of using preferred contract suppliers include:

  • Discounted pricing
  • Terms and conditions are already negotiated
  • No need to provide a sole source justification for purchases over $10,000

Visit these pages/guides for information specific to each commodity:


Important information:

If the dollar amount of your request is greater than the Direct Buy limit ($10,000), a sole source justification or quotes from other Suppliers must be obtained in consultation with a Procurement Service buyer to ensure compliance with the competitive solicitation requirements. This does not apply if you select a Supplier that has an existing contract with the UW. See the UW Contracts page.

Some Suppliers will waive deposits if we supply them with a purchase order (PO). In these instances, a PO is preferred. If a deposit cannot be waived, then a Procard or a PO may be used as the method of payment.

Check to see if the Supplier is in the Supplier Search PDR, even if you are paying with a Procard. If the Supplier is not found, please provide them with the link to the Supplier Registration Form (SRF).