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Planning an Event

Catering, Hotels and Events

 We've implemented a new process to register and approve catering companies and will update our list of approved caterers on a quarterly basis.

  • All companies listed have completed the registration and submitted the required insurance and health permits, unless noted on the list.
  • If you are interested in using a company, not on the current list, please contact: Claudia Christensen:
  • Please reference UW Contract #UW-19-0038 when using any of the companies on the approved list.


Procurement Services recommends that documents requiring signature be reviewed by the buying staff regardless of the method of payment or dollar amount. Only Procurement Services buying staff have authority to sign documents on behalf of the University. If necessary, the buying staff 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 with requisitions for approval.​​  
  • If the requisition is under the Direct Buy Limit, email the contract to a member of the buying staff. See the Subject Matter Expert page for guidance.  
  • 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 and maintains a list of approved 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 also available to view at the UW Contracts Search page or on the commodity pages listed below.


Added 8/11/2020:  Important News Regarding Cancellation Fees for Hotels, Conferences and other Events

As the hotel, conference and event industry continues to shift in response to COVID-19, please be aware that non-refundable administrative fees or rescheduling fees may apply.  Prior to forwarding modifications to existing or new Agreements to Procurement Services for an official signature, please review hotel, catering and space rental Agreements carefully to ensure that the person(s) responsible for the purchase understand the financial obligations and are aware of critical dates.

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. The cost of food includes the cost to serve the food (i.e. utensils, gratuities, catering fees etc.) 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.

Benefits of using 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 report (B.I. Portal), 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).