Planning guidelines

In-person events

At this time, wearing masks in public indoor settings is not required by public health, but SFU encourages mask use on our campuses, particularly in spaces where we are in close proximity. Individual businesses and event organizers can choose to continue requiring masks on their premises. Proof of vaccination is required until April 8, 2022. Please refer to the COVID-19 provincial restrictions for details.

Note: All outdoor and indoor organized gatherings require a Safe Work Plan for in-person meetings, events and gatherings organized by Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS).

If you have questions or concerns regarding your meeting or event, please refer to the FAQs or email


Planning a future event

  • Daily COVID-19 health screening will be a personal responsibility.
  • Event planners who have events with longer planning timelines may need to make special considerations as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
  • Plan for possible cancellation, postponement or an alternative online format. 
  • Confirm with venue and caterers that event cancellation is possible due to extenuating circumstances.
  • Provide clear communication and signage to participants on how to protect themselves and others during the event to reduce virus transmission.


Virtual events

  • Turn your event into a livestream, webinar or other virtual event format.
  • Visit our Events Toolkit for resources on planning virtual events.
  • SFU IT Services recommends the following platforms:
  • When choosing a platform consider audience participation and accessibility. If using a platform not listed above, please contact IT Services to assess privacy and technology considerations. 
  • If using Zoom or Hopin, please contact MECS Virtual at for assistance with your virtual event in Zoom or Hopin.


Post-event (in-person)

  • If advised after an in-person event or meeting that someone has fallen ill, the organizer should coordinate a response with SFU Communications and Marketing. 
  • If notified of possible COVID-19 exposure at one of your events, please advise your supervisor immediately.
  • Students, faculty, or staff who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing should self-isolate for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • More information on self-isolation from the BC Centre for Disease Control.


Cancelling or postponing an in-person event or meeting

Event Cancellation checklist

  • Notify the venue, caterers and other internal/external service providers
  • Notify all invitees as well as registrants 
  • Notify guest speakers, emcees, Indigenous Elders and all other participants
  • Mark your event as "cancelled" in the SFU Events calendar via Livewhale (How-to)
  • Consider placing a sign at the venue in case guests show up day-of

COVID-19 and the Force Majeure clause

  • When considering event cancellations, event planners should check the contracts they have with venues, contractors and artists to see if it contains a force majeure clause or provision. A force majeure event refers to the occurrence of an event which is outside the reasonable control of a party and which prevents that party from performing its obligations under a contract. COVID-19, as a global pandemic, meets the definition of force majeure. It should therefore, be possible to release yourself from the terms of the contract in this situation. Each contract may have a slightly different definition of force majeure however, so it is good to review your contract closely, and then contact your venue or vendor to discuss further.
This page will be reviewed and updated regularly. Last updated on Fri, 11 Mar 2022 11:00 AM