Policy: 202.A-Meeting/Conference: Receptions
Updated for e-Reimbursement: 04/17/2009

Statement of Policy:

The UW regards receptions as a gathering of individuals associated with a UW-sponsored event that provides the opportunity for interaction in a setting that is not purely social in nature. Unlike a business meeting, a reception may not have a specific agenda or time frame. Like a business meeting, the purpose must be related to or promote the mission of the hosting department. Expenses are not allowable for reception that are solely for social or entertainment purposes, except as provided in other UW System policies.

Allowable expenses include reasonable food and beverage costs, reception room cost, service charges and gratuity. Even though it may not be possible to determine in advance how many will actually attend, a reasonable effort should be made to minimize expenses resulting from overestimated attendance. The department should be prepared to justify the cost of the event to the news media and to political and private interests. Refreshments cannot include alcoholic beverages.

  1. The following documentation must accompany the request for payment:
  2. Approval by the Director, Department Head level or above
  3. A statement or document which substantiates the official business relatedness of the reception.
  4. Original invoices/receipts showing the amount to be paid or reimbursed.

Related Procedures for e-Reimbursement Users:

Use expense type Event for:

Group receptions, refreshment breaks, meals, meetings and conferences, including tax, gratuity and/or service charges.

Enter the following required information after clicking on the "Detail" link at the end of the expense type line:


  • Number of People
  • Merchant
  • Location
  • Description: name of event, type of claim (e.g., break), official purpose

Who should know this policy?

Dean, Directors, and Staff dealing with Meetings and Conferences

Related Documents:

Events-Reception Payment Form
For use with events that require payment/reimbursement for reception expenses. Please use for all payment mechanisms (requisitions, expense reports, PIRs, purchasing cards).

Events-Meals/Receptions for the General Public
For use with UW Madison sponsored events for meals/reception expenses for the general publics attendance. Please use for all payment mechanisms (requisitions, expense reports, PIRs, purchasing cards).

Events-Participant List
Formatted participant list for use with event forms or payment/reimbursment mechanism for meals, refreshments, reception costs where a list of participants is required for payment.

UW Meeting/Conference Resources


Dean/Director’s Business Office may e-mail uwtravel@bussvc.wisc.edu with questions.

Travelers and departmental staff should contact their respective Dean/Director’s Business Office for policy or procedural questions

Policy and Procedure Index