Conference and Event FAQ

How do I submit an event request?

We look to uphold the SMSC mission and vision by working with groups that are involved in conservation. If you are interested in hosting your conference or meeting at SMSC, please fill out this form and someone from the Event Staff will be in contact.

Where can I park and what is the cost?

Conferences have access to free parking during their event. Limited parking is available near the Residence Hall with additional parking available within walking distance.

What are the billing and payment procedures?

All costs incurred by conference groups will be invoiced on a single bill. You will receive an estimate prior to finalizing your event for review. We will send a final invoice after all costs are recorded. Payment is due immediately upon receipt of the final bill. Lodging bills can be paid individually upon check-in with prior approval from SMSC Event Coordinators.

*We accept checks, and MasterCard and Visa credit cards.

What is included in an overnight room?

Guestrooms are provided with the following amenities: Telephones, flat panel TVs for streaming, mini refrigerator, and hair dryers. Internet access is available at no additional charge to all guests.

Housekeeping: Rooms are cleaned prior to conference arrival and after conference departure. Laundry facilities are located on the second floor of the Residence Hall (Room 2002).

Where do guests check-in and check-out?

The check-in desk is located in the main lobby of the residence hall. Check in time is after 3:00 pm; Early arrivals are not permitted without prior written approval from SMSC. Upon check-in, all guests will receive a room card. The card must be kept with the guest at all times, as it allows the guest to access exterior doors as well as the guest room. Check-out time is 10:00 am. Another night’s charge will be levied for each participant who checks out after that time.

Please note: The Conference will be responsible for charges for additional nights. The Conference will not receive any refunds if a participant does not check-in.

Can I bring my own food?

SMSC, through contract with Sodexo, maintains the exclusive right to provide service on all university property. Conferences may not bring outside food unless prior written approval is given from SMSC. If you choose to have meals in the the dining hall or a catered event, SMSC Event Coordinators will help you choose the right options to best suite your event. We will include the cost of this service in your final invoice.  Please communicate all dietary restrictions to the event coordinator prior to the event.

Dining Hours:

Breakfast: 7:30 am – 9:00 am

Lunch: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Dinner: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Where can I go on site?

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) is a federal research facility. Access to the site is restricted to the areas within the Residence Hall, Dining Hall, and the Academic Building. Violations related to access will result in immediate removal from the site and will be exempt from any refund policies. Violations of law will be handled by SCBI’s onsite police department.

Can I bring my own alcohol?

Guests of legal drinking age may only possess and store alcohol in quantities that can be reasonably considered for personal consumption. Virginia state law prohibits open containers of alcohol in public areas. No open containers of alcoholic beverages are permitted outside of individual residence hall rooms. No open containers of alcoholic beverages are permitted on porches, balconies, landings, hallways, corridors, in lounges or courtyards.

If you are interested in an alcoholic beverage service through Sodexo, please indicate this on the event request form and we will provide more information.

Can I bring pets?

Pets of any kind are not permitted on SCBI property with the exception of service animals. Guests must notify the Event Coordinator if a service animal will be coming onsite as part of the event.  Service animals must be leashed, housebroken, and remain under control.

Can I smoke and/or vape?

All residential areas are smoke-free. Smoking and vaping are prohibited within all residential buildings including stairways and entrances. Smoking and vaping are permitted outdoors within 25 feet or beyond a residential building, unless it is a hazardous area or if otherwise posted. Proper disposal of cigarette butts is required.