Facility Use Guidelines
- The Higher Education Center has multiple rooms of various sizes and configurations. Click here to take a virtual tour of each room.
- All events must be scheduled in advance through the Higher Education Center’s Conference Services Department. Likewise, the individual or organization booking an event is responsible for notifying staff of event changes or cancellations.
- To browse for space availability, or to book a room online click here. Otherwise, contact the Conference Services Department at the Higher Education Center for assistance.
- The Higher Education Center reserves the right to alter space assignments due to equipment failures, HVAC issues, or other unexpected interruptions of service.
- The Higher Education Center is generally open from 7:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with extended hours for events; and occasionally on Sundays for large gatherings. Modifications to these hours may be made if there are no events or classes scheduled at night. Access to the Higher Education Center for early arrival or late departure can be arranged in advance with Conference Services staff.
- 460 free parking spaces are available in the front of the building.
To access fees for rooms and services, click here.
For events whose estimated charges exceed $1000, a $500 deposit is required. If a deposit is not received within 30 days, the Higher Education Center reserves the right to release the room(s) and rebook them for other events. Deposits can be transacted by phone (276.619.4342), mail (PO Box 1987, Abingdon, VA 24212) or in person at the Higher Education Center’s conference services department.
A certificate of general liability insurance coverage, with a minimum limit of $1,000,000 per occurrence, is required for events in the Grand Hall. Coverage must include Higher Education Center employees and agents as insured for activities that will take place at the Higher Education Center. Documentation must be submitted to Conference Services before a Grand Hall event can be confirmed. State Agencies are exempted from this requirement.
Cancellations of the Grand Hall, Executive Auditorium, and Rooms 103-104 are required 20 business days prior to the scheduled event in order to avoid penalty fees and a refund of deposit. For all other rooms, a 24 hour notice is required. To cancel a room reservation, contact the Conference Services Department.
Food & Beverages:
1.Virginia Department of Health regulations restrict unauthorized organizations and individuals from serving food and beverages at the Higher Education Center. However, food and beverage service may be provided by restaurants and caterers who hold a current Virginia Department of Health certificate; a Business License issued by their locaility; and Liability Insurance with a minimum coverage limit of $1,000,000 per occurrence. Requirements for caterers.
2.Food and beverages for meetings and small events are available through Conference Services at the Higher Education Center. Click here for a list of available items. Refreshment orders are requested at least two business days in advance. Failure to cancel will result in being charged for direct expenses the Center has incurred such as special food or beverage items, including fresh fruit and fruit trays.
- For meals ranging from boxed lunches to full service banquets and receptions, select from the HEC approved caterers. Click here for a current list of caterers. If you prefer a caterer that is not on the list, contact Conference Services for information about the approval process.
- Alcoholic beverage services require an ABC license to be issued to the entity holding the event or your caterer. You or your caterer must provide personnel to oversee the alcoholic beverage station. “Brown bagging” is not permitted.
Audio/Visual Requests & Technical Assistance:
- A/V and other equipment requests must be requested no later than two business days in advance of an event. Click here to schedule equipment and I.T. support services.
- In-house technical assistance is available to customers who rent classrooms and other spaces at Higher Education Center. For routine service, the fee is included in the room charge. However, if dedicated service is needed (i.e., Grand Hall event) or extended support to resolve an issue, a fee of $75 per hour may be charged.
- If customers choose to bring their own equipment (i.e., laptop) and need extended technical assistance, a $75 per hour minimum technical service charge will be assessed. A customer must schedule a time for testing your equipment well in advance of your event. Click here for a link to our IT Support team to set up the best time for your testing.
- Last minute requests for equipment or technical assistance may not available.
Publication of Your Event:
- To avoid confusion, please use the correct title of our facility in all advertising, press releases, digital media, and print materials. We are the Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia.
- We are happy to display your flyers, brochures, posters, or other publications advertising your event. Please provide them to our Conference Services Department as early as possible to insure posting.
- Damages to the Higher Education Center are the responsibility of the organization that booked the event. Damages include those incurred by acts or omissions of the event organization’s agents or employees.
Virginia Code Requirements:
- Exit doors must not be blocked.
- No tobacco products are allowed inside the Higher Education Center. Smoking is permitted only in designated exterior locations.
- Only service animals are allowed inside the Higher Education Center. Participants may be asked to provide appropriate documentation.
- Only power strips with certified circuit breakers can be used in the Higher Education Center. Extension cords may accommodate only one device per cord. Approved power strips and extension cords are available for your use, but must be requested in advance through the Conference Services Department.
The Higher Education Center is equipped with multiple interior and exterior digital video cameras for your safety. If circumstances require on-site security personnel for your event, the booking organization is responsible for securing appropriate coverage. If you engage security staff, please notify the Conference Service Department. They are happy to assist with security logistics (i.e., reserved parking, secured entrance/exit).
Contact the Conference Services Department at the Higher Education Center to answer your questions, or to discuss special needs or requests.
Guidelines Agreement a PDF copy of Facility Use Guidelines to sign