Meeting and Event Guidelines

City Hall has space available for meetings and special events. Standard meeting rooms and special event spaces are bright and comfortable and located on the first floor of the building for easy access.

You can view our rooms and other event spaces at meeting and event space. To discuss your needs, contact us at 425-452-6926 or CityHallEvents@bellevuewa.gov. The following guidelines are for the reservable public meeting spaces at City Hall.

Guiding Principles

Use of Bellevue City Hall meeting and special event facilities is guided by fundamental principles. Our facilities are available for meetings and special events that:

Support our civic purpose 

These activities facilitate City Council and City departments in carrying out their missions and business and puts the common good and public interest above individual interests.

ExamplesCity Council meetings, City board and commission meetings, City department meetings or City department sponsored events, other governmental agency meetings.

Support public dialogue 

These activities engage citizens in discussions about topics and issues affecting them, especially governmental initiatives. This gives citizens an opportunity to provide input, listen to other views and enlarge or possibly change their own point of view.

Examples: public meetings and hearings, workshops, advisory groups, public opinion polling, development project open houses.

Support community programs 

These activities provide a forum for citizens to connect to each other and the City they call home. They provide publicly accessible programs that provide a direct benefit to our local community.

Examplesneighborhood association meetings, community group meetings, local non-profit meetings, school district meetings.

Support Bellevue’s economic development / vitality 

These contribute to making Bellevue’s economy strong, stable, and sustainable.

ExamplesCity-sponsored economic development outreach functions.

Please note that we do not make space available for private business meetings and private social events.

 

Approved Users & User Priority

Bellevue City Hall meeting and special event facilities are an important resource for the City as well as for the community. Activities that assist the City in carrying out its business are our top priority.

To help us equitably address demand for Bellevue City Hall facilities without compromising the City’s ability to conduct its business and deliver services, we have established categories of users and determined their priority in reserving our meeting space.

  1. City of Bellevue 
    This includes City Council and City of Bellevue departments. Giving ourselves top priority in using our meeting space allows us to carry out our mission and conduct our business, including collaborations with our partners. It also preserves our ability to meet with citizens and customers and to provide public services.
  2. Governmental Agencies 
    This includes a variety of government groups. Giving these agencies access to our meeting space supports the City of Bellevue’s core business and civic purpose. They also keep us tied to and engaged with our broader governmental community.
  3. Community Programs 
    This includes neighborhood and community associations and local non-profit organizations. Giving these groups access to our meeting space supports their work in our community and directly benefits our citizens.

Availability

We have established availability guidelines to ensure use of Bellevue City Hall meeting and special event facilities by external groups doesn’t diminish the City’s ability to deliver services to the public and also to provide equal access to users.

  • Facilities are available outside of Bellevue City Hall’s normal business hours.
    • Weekday Availability 
      • Facilities are available to external groups (see "Approved Users & User Priority" section) for meetings and special events, Tuesday through Thursday, 5 – 10 p.m.
    • Weekend Availability 
      • Bellevue City Hall facilities are occasionally available to external groups (see "Approved Users & User Priority" section) for events on Friday evenings and Saturdays if we establish that the event provides a direct public benefit to Bellevue citizens, there’s a compelling reason it cannot be held during the week or at another venue, and we receive direction to open the building from the City Manager’s office.
      • We charge a fee for events.
    • Availability Notes 
      • Facilities are never available on Monday evenings, Sundays or during holiday closures.
      • During Bellevue City Hall’s normal business hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, we use our meeting space so that we can conduct City of Bellevue business, meet with citizens and customers, and deliver services.
  • Facilities are available on an "as is" basis.  
    • Facilities are available in their standard configurations and without support or other assistance from our staff, free of charge. Should your meeting require support from us beyond reserving the space, we charge a fee
  • Limitations on recurring meetings
    • We allow recurring reservations only in our smaller, less demanded meeting rooms and only when the space will be used in its standard configuration.
    • Recurrences are not allowed beyond six (6) months. Recurring bookings lock up space indefinitely, making it unavailable to others. It also inhibits our ability to use space for City of Bellevue business.
  • Facilities may not be reserved more than one month in advance.
    • This allows more equal access to facilities for all users and gives us the opportunity and flexibility to accommodate City of Bellevue business needs as they present themselves.
    • This rule does not apply to special events or allowable recurring meetings.
  • Applicants must be 21 years of age or older.
    • The applicant must be present throughout the entire use of the facility.
    • The person signing the "Facility Use Request Form" is considered to be the applicant and responsible party in case of damage, theft, or disturbance during facility use.
    • All minors must have adult supervision.
  • Not all facilities are available all of the time. 
    • Some of our facilities are taken out of service temporarily so we can complete maintenance, custodial, technical, and other work.

 

Events

We consider "events" to be activities that require significant coordination beyond just reserving space and that have broader impacts to our facilities and staff. Events also include any the following:

  • Space re-configuration (space will not be used "as is")
  • Entertainment (includes guest speakers)
  • Food and/or beverage service
  • Alcohol service (when approved by the City)
  • Permits (i.e. sound, right-of-way use, banquet, etc)
  • Media coverage
  • Use of audio/visual or other special equipment
  • Deliveries to City Hall (including rented equipment)
  • Activities that impact the use of adjacent spaces
  • Additional custodial and/or security service

Fees

Unless you are organizing a special event, our indoor meeting facilities are available in their standard configurations free of charge. To reserve space without a fee, you must use the space in its standard configuration and you must not require or rely upon support or other assistance from our staff beyond booking the space. Support or other assistance from us includes, but is not limited to:

  • Reconfiguring the space
  • Assisting with equipment setup, troubleshooting and/or operation
  • Providing additional furnishings
  • Accepting deliveries
  • Providing custodial or security service that was not scheduled
  • Working with you on logistics

Events are charged fees

When a fee applies to your reservation, you will be invoiced 14 days prior to your meeting or special event. If there isn’t a 14 day lead time, you will be invoiced immediately. Contact the program administrator by phone at 425-452-6926 or by email to determine applicable fees or visit our Facility Reservations for fee information. 

In some circumstances, although a fee may not apply, due to the nature of the meeting or event or its timing, we may impose a fee to pay for onsite security. When a security fee applies, the fee is due 14 days in advance of your meeting or special event date.

See "Cancellations" section for information about fee refunds.

 

Damage Deposits

We reserve the right to collect, waive, or increase a damage deposit if we deem it necessary based on the scope, day, and type of activity. Damage deposits are 100% refundable and will be refunded within 14 days of the meeting or special event date provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The space was left in a clean and orderly manner.
  2. The space was left in its standard configuration (unless a special configuration was done by our staff).
  3. Use of the facility did not exceed the scheduled time.
  4. Additional City staff time was not required as a result of your use of the facility.
  5. All furniture/equipment was accounted for and undamaged.
  6. All rules and procedures governing alcohol consumption were met.
  7. All rules and procedures governing smoking were met.
  8. All rules and procedures governing City of Bellevue facility use were met.

If the above conditions were not met to our satisfaction, the damage deposit will not be refunded. If the cost of cleaning and/or repair of the facility exceeds the amount of the damage deposit, you will be billed for those additional costs. Custodial service will be billed according to current hourly rate paid by the City and repairs and/or replacement will be billed at the full cost incurred.

Space Setups & Takedowns

  • Our meeting and special event spaces are set in standard configurations. Select spaces can be reconfigured and pre-determined optional setups are available.
  • Space setups are dictated by Fire and Building codes associated with maximum occupancies and ingress / egress routes. If we have not pre-approved another furniture arrangement, we require the space remain in its standard configuration, that you not reconfigure the space, and that you not borrow furnishings from other rooms.
  • The City of Bellevue will not be liable for any personal injuries, damage to personal property, or damage to the facility and its furnishings resulting from your activities and will hold you responsible for associated damages.

Maximum Occupancy

All of our meeting rooms and special event spaces have established maximum occupancies. Fire and Building codes prevent us from allowing users to exceed these occupancies. Exceeding the established occupancy for the space puts your meeting or special event at risk of being terminated. Note: Occupancy maximums change depending on the furniture configuration being used in the space.

Deliveries & Storage

You must arrange for deliveries to occur during your reservation period and you must be available on-site to receive them unless other arrangements have been made with our staff. Our staff is not authorized to receive and sign for your deliveries and due to space and security concerns, they cannot store items. If you plan to have items delivered, discuss the details with the program administrator at least 14 days prior to your event. Consult with us regarding designated delivery areas and access considerations.

Parking

  • Limited parking is available on-site in our visitor parking garage on a first-come, first-served basis and availability is not guaranteed. Your reservation does not include guaranteed or reserved parking.
  • The garage is managed and operated by a parking vendor. Parking is free of charge to City Hall meeting and event attendees Tuesday through Thursday, 5:00-10:00 p.m. but parking rates apply at other times.

Food & Beverages

Food and beverages are welcome in our facilities, with the exception of Council Chamber. We do not have kitchen facilities available so food must be brought into our facility pre-prepared. You must notify us in advance if you intend to have food and/or beverages at your meeting or event.

Catering 

We allow you to use the caterer of your choice, assuming they have a Bellevue business license. Caterers are responsible for cleaning any areas used prior to leaving and removing food and foodservice equipment or will be billed for cleaning services (unless other arrangements have been made with our staff). The following requirements apply to catered events:

  1. A completed "Catering Form" must be submitted to us a minimum of 14 days prior to the meeting or special event date.
  2. A certificate of insurance from the caterer naming the City of Bellevue as an additional insured with $1 million General Liability Coverage must be submitted to us a minimum of 14 days prior to the meeting or special event date. If the caterer has received approval from us to serve alcohol, Liquor Liability must be included in certificate of insurance.

Alcoholic Beverages 

Depending on the event, alcohol may be allowed in our indoor meeting and event spaces. All requests to serve alcohol must be approved in advance by us and we reserve the right to deny requests for any reason. If you receive approval from us to serve or sell alcohol at your event, be advised of the following requirements:

  1. Alcohol service is limited to beer, wine, and champagne packaged in bottles. Hard liquor and beer kegs are not allowed. Alcohol must be served in the area designated by our staff. 
  2. A permitted alcohol server, at least 21 years of age, is required. You are responsible for hiring the permitted alcohol server for your event and ensuring that the server’s permit is on hand at the event. Additionally, you are required to submit a copy of the alcohol server’s "Class 12 or 13 Permit" issued by the Washington State Liquor Control Board to us a minimum of 14 days prior to your event. All alcohol is to be served by the permitted alcohol server and event guests are not permitted to bring their own alcohol.
  3. A "Washington State Liquor Control Board Banquet Permit" is required. Groups planning to sell alcohol are also required to purchase an "Alcohol License." The original copies of these permits must be posted in a conspicuous location near the serving area during your event. Copies of the permits must be submitted to us a minimum of 14 days prior to your event.
  4. You are responsible for the conduct and behavior of your drinking guests. Underage drinking (under 21 years of age) is strictly prohibited.
  5. Alcohol service must stop a minimum of 1 hour prior to the designated end time of your meeting or special event as specified on your "Facility Request Form."
  6. Serving alcohol without proper approval and permits, and/or in violation of any of the above policies and procedures will result in a Police citation, immediate shut down of your meeting or special event, forfeiture of your deposit, and/or additional fees and penalties.

 

Rented Equipment

  • We must be notified in advance if you intend to bring equipment into our facilities.
  • If a rental company will be providing and delivering furnishings and/or equipment, we require they provide a certificate of insurance naming the City of Bellevue as an additional insured with $1 million General Liability Coverage. The certificate must be submitted to us a minimum of 14 days prior to the meeting or special event date.

Signage

We don't allow you to bring or post signage in our facilities but we do allow vertical banners in our concourse to promote special events if they are professional in appearance, meet our banner size and design guidelines, hung by our staff in our pre-determined banner locations. We also don’t allow a-boards or any signs or notices attached to doors, walls, windows, elevators, on top of our existing signs or structures, and we require that you not tamper with any of our existing signage, including freestanding pedestal signage. We will program your meeting or special event onto our electronic event directories inside the building for wayfinding for your attendees.

Flammable Materials

The use of flammable materials is regulated by the City of Bellevue’s Fire Department. In compliance with the City Fire Code, flaming food is not permitted at indoor facilities. Fuel canisters for warming food and votive or tea light candles that are completely self-contained in a flame resistant holder that will not tip over are allowed (you may be required to provide a fire extinguisher if using these items). Additionally, fireworks are prohibited in the City of Bellevue and cannot be used at our facility.

Smoking

  • City of Bellevue indoor facilities are smoke and tobacco free. If you or your guests wish to smoke, please make sure all smoking takes place at least 25 feet away from building entrances/exits and windows/vents that open to the inside of the building per Washington state law (see RCW 70.160).
  • The City of Bellevue reserves the right to enforce state law, and in its sole discretion may call the police, terminate your event, or take other steps to ensure compliance with the law.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that outdoor areas are clear of all smoking debris at the conclusion of your event, and failure to do so may result in a deduction from your damage deposit and you may be denied future use of the facility.

Lighting

  • Meeting and event spaces are well lit and many have windows. Facilities with windows have closeable blinds.
  • Covering windows, even temporarily, is not allowed.
  • The Bellevue City Hall concourse has a complex lighting configuration that is primarily computer controlled and requires special expertise to manage. The only lighting in meeting and event spaces that we permit you to turn on/off is lighting that is controlled by an external, publicly accessible light switch.
  • All other lighting is to remain on/off as we have programmed and emergency lighting is to remain intact and undisturbed.
  • The concourse’s south-facing windows have mesh blinds that can be easily lowered to filter sunlight, but please note that the blinds do not block all incoming light.

Decorations / Presentation Materials

  • You may bring freestanding decorations and presentation materials into the facility and are responsible for removing them at the conclusion of your meeting or event.
  • Many of our meeting rooms have magnetic white boards and tackable wall surfaces. Rooms with white boards are equipped with dry erase markers, erasers, and magnets for posting documents. The rooms with tackable walls allow you to display maps, documents, etc. on the wall using push pins (push pins are also provided in the rooms).
  • A minimum of 14 days prior to your event, discuss with the program administrator what you intend to bring to the facility.
  • Please note the following:
    1. The use of staples, push pins, nails, tacks, duct or masking tape is prohibited when affixing decorations and materials to non-tackable walls and furnishings. Some rooms have tackable walls which allow you to affix materials using push pins. With our prior approval, the use of non-marking painter’s tape may be acceptable. All tape must be removed when taking down decorations. Signage, notices, and decorations are not to be placed on doors, windows, on top of our existing signage, or on public area walls and corridors.
    2. We do not allow you to post signage, notices, or a-boards of any kind inside or at our facility. For wayfinding purposes, we display your meeting or event on our three (3) electronic directories located inside the building.
    3. Hanging decorations and materials from light fixtures, equipment, windows, railings, and ceilings is not allowed. Helium balloons must be weighted and secured to prevent them from escaping the event area or rising to the ceiling.
    4. Hanging projection screens, lighting, or other equipment from doors and windows is not allowed. Standalone projection screens, decorations, and other furnishings and equipment cannot block doors, stairs, entrances, or exits.
    5. Fog/smoke machines, pottery kilns, uncontained candles (see "Flammable Materials"), dance wax, paint, incense, etc. are not allowed. Additionally, dry ice, rice, birdseed, glitter products, confetti, and other similar materials are not allowed.

 

Terrazzo Floor

"Currents", the beautiful terrazzo floor on Bellevue City Hall’s first floor concourse is a nationally recognized piece of art. As such, we require that it be treated with the utmost care. Please note the following:

  1. Furnishings and equipment must be lifted and carried across the floor when moved by hand.
  2. Furnishings and equipment that cannot be carried by hand must be transported across the floor on rubber wheeled carts.
  3. The weight of some heavy equipment and furnishings (such as pianos) can damage the floor and are not allowed.
  4. Stages, large podiums, etc. must be placed on masonite boards to protect the floor. We have masonite boards available for this purpose.
  5. Activities involving sharp objects, paint, or other substances that could be potentially damaging to the floor are not allowed. Adhering objects to the floor with tape that is potentially marking or may be difficult to remove is not allowed.

Animals

We do not permit animals (mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, fish, etc.) in meetings or events unless they are service animals serving the needs of those with disabilities.

Selling Items

If you plan to sell items at your event, you are required to obtain prior approval from us. A "Concession Permit" and "Business License" are also required. We reserve the right to deny the sale of items we deem to be a public nuisance, potentially damaging to our facilities, in conflict with other activities occurring on the premises or not family friendly at our sole discretion.

Technology & Other Equipment

  • We do not have personal computers, projectors, or other electronic equipment available for check-out; however, some of our rooms have in-room equipment that you may use at your own risk. Speak to the program administrator in advance about using in-room equipment.
  • We do have assistive listening devices available free of charge for those with hearing impairments. Devices are available on a self-serve basis and are located in our public concourse near the meeting rooms. Usage instructions are provided with each device.

City Codes & Ordinances

  • All relative City of Bellevue Codes & Ordinances are in affect and enforced at all City of Bellevue facilities.
  • There are regulations governing sound and noise levels, animals, parking, vehicle access, etc.
  • The City of Bellevue reserves the right to terminate your meeting or special event if City staff, in good faith, perceive that you or your guests pose a risk to the safety of persons or property on the premises, that you are not complying with our facility use guidelines, or that you or your guests are violating local, state, or federal laws. Upon verbal notice from City staff, security, or the police that your meeting or event is being terminated, you and your guests must leave the premises immediately, and you will not receive a refund of your rental fee and may be denied future use of the facility.

Reservations

  • Checking availability and requesting a reservation for Bellevue City Hall facilities is simple. Contact the program administrator with questions by phone at 425-452-6926 or by email.
  • Complete the Facility Request Form
    • Complete the "Facility Request Form" and submit it. Once we receive it, we will check availability and contact you within one business day to review any special requests and determine if fees apply.
    • Your reservation cannot be finalized until we receive this form and we do not make tentative reservations. Incomplete forms will not be processed.
    • If you will have catering, also complete a "Catering Form."
    • Your signature on the "Facility Request Form" acknowledges you have read and accept our usage terms and guidelines and that you understand you will be held accountable.
  • Once we have made your reservation, we will send an email confirmation. If you do not receive an email confirmation from us within 2 business days, your reservation was not finalized and you should not assume you have a reservation at our facility.

 

About Reservations

  • We do not reserve space, not even temporarily, without a completed and signed "Facility Request Form."
  • We also may not be able to accommodate requests that are submitted to us without enough lead time to allow us to schedule and coordinate the activities required to complete the booking and support a successful meeting or event.
  • Users of our facilities who do not adhere to our usage guidelines may be prevented from reserving space in the future and may be assessed fees.

Cancellations

All reservation cancellations must be made in writing (email is acceptable) a minimum of 2 days prior to your event (events must be cancelled a minimum of 14 days in advance). If you do not cancel in advance, please note:

  • You may be denied future use of the facility.
  • We will refund 50% of the fee paid unless it is a same day cancellation. If it is a same day cancellation, the fee will not be refunded.
  • If a security fee was paid, it is non-refundable.
  • If a damage deposit has been assessed, it will be refunded in full as long as the reservation is cancelled prior to your meeting or special event date.

The City of Bellevue, acting in good faith, may cancel your meeting or event in circumstances where the space you requested becomes unsafe for your intended use. Such circumstances include but are not limited to, significant weather events, power outages, natural disasters, environmental hazards, critical maintenance, civil disturbances or other events affecting public health and safety. In such circumstances, the City is under no obligation to refund your rental fee, security fee, service fee, or any of your deposits, but it may do so at its sole discretion.

The City of Bellevue reserves the right to cancel your meeting or event if it becomes necessary for the City to use the space for City business purposes. The City will attempt to give you reasonable notice of the cancellation and will attempt to assist you in locating other meeting space.

Time & Date Changes

Meeting and event time and/or date change requests are accepted in writing (email is acceptable) a minimum of 2 days prior to the meeting (14 days for events). Approval of the change is subject to facility and staffing availability. If fees apply, they must be paid in full at the time the change is made.

Prior to Event / Day of Event / Conclusion

  • For events, we require that you meet with the program administrator prior to your event date. At that time you will receive a facility orientation and answers to all of your event related questions. The program administrator will contact you to arrange a meeting. For reference, the program administrator can be contacted at 425-452-6926.
  • On the day of your meeting or event, the facility will be available to you at the time specified on your "Facility Use Request Form." We require that you not arrive to or enter the facility until your designated reservation time and that you depart when scheduled.
  • At the conclusion of your meeting or event, you are required to remove your belongings and materials and leave the facility clean and intact.
  • If additional cleaning and/or City staff time is required as the result of your use of the facility, you will be charged at the prevailing hourly rate and may be denied future use of the facility.

 

Waste Reduction & Zero Waste Event Information

The City of Bellevue encourages groups hosting events at city facilities to reduce their waste, and even strive to make them zero-waste events. Below you will find tips, tools, and resources to make environmentally responsible choices for your meetings.

How to Get Started

Event planning is the key to creating successful zero-waste events. Identify areas where you can reduce or eliminate waste and then set goals for yourself. Below are a few planning guidelines:
  • Develop strategies you can use long-term.
  • Communicate your goals to organizers and participants, because success is a team effort.
  • If you get stuck, ask for help.
  • Be creative and have fun!

Advertising Your Event

  • Use electronic media (website, email, electronic newsletters) for publicizing the event.
  • Offer electronic registration or confirmation.
  • Use flyers sparsely and strategically, for example where people congregate (like food lines).
  • Design signs that are timeless so that you can reuse them at your next event or use recyclable signs.

Food at Your Event

  • Forecast the head count to avoid food waste. Use RSVPs or registration to assist in forecasting.
  • Use finger foods and serve food buffet-style.
  • Seek caterers that can maximize the use of local, seasonal, and organic food and use packaging that can be recycled or composted, and as little as possible. Caterers are crucial partners in an effort to make your event zero waste.
  • Use durable tableware, pitchers, cups, flatware, and linens. Provide incentives for attendees to bring reusable items (mugs, utensils, etc.). City Hall and a few other facilities have dishwashers for events.
  • If you need to use disposable items, use compostable - this would be uncoated paper plates (e.g. Chinet) or other compostable plates, cups and flatware approved by our local composting facility (a list may be found here).

Avoid

Alternatives

Single serving packets (like Half & Half)

Bulk containers (like a carton or pitcher of Half & Half

Plastic or Styrofoam dining ware and utensils

Uncoated paper products (for example, Chinet). Biodegradable utensils, cups, straws, lids, etc.

Disposable containers for foods

Reusable containers

Excessive quantities of food

Appropriate food portions

Plastic wrappers and films

Paper wrappers and aluminum foil

Plastic stir sticks

Wooden stir sticks

Bottled water and single serve beverage containers

Use tap water and encourage the use of reusable thermos, bottles, mugs

Collecting Recyclable and Compostables at the Event

  • Request recycling and food waste collection containers when you reserve the meeting room.
  • Set up collection stations strategically at the event (e.g. a compost container, recycling container, and a small garbage container for items such as chip bags, which are not recyclable).
  • Tell attendees they are at a zero-waste event and you need their help.
  • Clearly mark containers with large, reusable signs.
  • Research what can and can't be recycled and composted. For instance most coffee cups and lids are coated with plastic, and cannot be composted but if they are clean they can be recycled.
  • Provide simple instructions and assistance for people on what they can recycle, compost, or throw away.

Decorations and Handouts

  • Avoid mass distribution of printed agendas and handouts. Instead, make the printed material or presentation available electronically or on a flip-chart, especially if people might bring their own copies. (Tip: use low-VOC and water-based pens so people don't get headaches.)
  • Always print double-sided, and avoid color copies unless absolutely necessary to save money.
  • Avoid lamination, unless you plan to use the publication for a long period of time.
  • Keep disposable decorations to a minimum. Use decorations that can be recycled or reused.
  • Provide reusable name badge holders and collect them after the meeting.

Awards and Giveaways

  • Decide whether giveaways are desired and necessary - most quickly become trash.
  • If you do give gifts, select environmentally-friendly items such as cloth bags, native plant seeds, CFLs, and potted plants made from recycled and non-toxic materials.

Bottled Water

  • By planning to use cups and pitchers or water coolers, you can help avoid waste and save money.
  • Bellevue's tap water is rigorously tested, some of the best in the country, and is much less expensive than bottled water.
  • Bottled water has serious environmental and human health impacts. If possible, we should avoid it.
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