Welcome to the Mayo Civic Center!

We are honored to serve as your host and anxious to provide the very best in services and facilities.   This planning guide was created with you, the customer, in mind.  We have included planning tips, helpful information, organizational hints, a budgeting guide and many other features to help guide you through the event planning process.  This guide can go a long way in making the difference between a successful or not-so-successful event.  Through careful planning and good communication, we will help you create a successful and memorable event. 

Table of Contents


Timeline of Important Dates and Deadlines

Uncovering Those Hidden Costs Important Rules and Policies General Facility Information Event Checklist

Budget Worksheet 

Fire Codes

Exhibitor Guidelines


INTRODUCTIONS Now it’s time to meet the members of the team...on paper anyway!  The following staff members will provide any and all needed information while working on your behalf:  

Matt Esau, Director of Sales   - (507) 328-2122
Erin Okins, Event Sales Associate- (507) 328-2123
T R Wheeler, Director of Event Operations- (507) 328-2125
Dave Silker,  Director of Operations - (507) 328-2126
Randy Blake, Operations Supervisor - (507) 328-2124
Andy Krogstad,  Managing Director - (507) 328-2121
Laura Woolworth, Director of Marketing/Ticket Operations- (507) 328-2127
Donna Drews,  Executive Director - (507) 328-2120

Other members of the team are: Building Engineer; Concessions; Catering; Maintenance; Stagehands; Ushers; Security and First Aid  

Event Services Coordinator By now, this person is most likely a familiar face. In fact, the Event Services Coordinator was probably the first friend you made here.  Think of your Event Services Coordinator as the team captain. This individual will work with you and your staff from initial arrangements and throughout the planning process. This person is crucial to the success of your event.  Your Event Services Coordinator is your principle source of information during the planning process, conveys information to our operating departments, and takes full responsibility for our role in the smooth functioning of your activities.  Most important, your Event Services Coordinator is responsible for receiving all event requirements well in advance of your arrival, assuring that your event is well planned and smoothly, efficiently coordinated. Later in this handbook, you’ll find a timeline and series of deadlines for providing your Event Coordinator with essential information including the following:

  • Basic information, facility reservations, written confirmation and Facility Use Permits.
  • Floor plans for exhibit areas and registration lobbies.
  • Meeting room diagrams, capacities, and use schedules
  • Information to be coordinated with other service suppliers such as audio-visual aids, food service, theatrical and production requirements, and your general service contractor.
In short, our Event Coordinator is the key player as you plan your event.  

Event Supervisor As your event gets underway, the Civic Center’s Event Supervisor is your go-to person.  Reachable at all times by 2-way radio, our Event Supervisor will monitor all final arrangements including meeting room sets, audio-visual aids, lighting and sound systems, and any last-minute changes.  Our Event Supervisor also schedules, supervises and communicates event instructions to our usher, security, first aid and off-duty police staff.  From move-in, throughout all activities and events, and until move-out is completed ;,the Event Supervisor is your direct link for concerns, problem-solving, changes and access to all operating departments and support staff.  The Event Supervisor actually supervises and takes action throughout your event.  

Operations Manager Working through your Event Services Coordinator, our Operations Crews set all tables, chairs, trash receptacles, and other equipment where and when it is needed.  This crew will move the meeting room air walls into the right places and handle your changeover requirements.  In addition, general housekeeping and the physical appearance of facilities is the primary responsibility of the Operations Manager.  

Managing Director The Mayo Civic Center’s day-to-day operation falls in the hands of the Managing Director.  This includes the supervision of all departments, fire and safety equipment, emergency procedures, security, box office, monitoring all activities and of course, paper work. In case you are reading this handbook before all Use Permit details have been finalized, we offer you a few reminders of things sometimes overlooked:
  • Your Use Permit is a legal commitment on behalf of both parties. Until it is signed by both of us, all arrangements are considered unfinished.  If it is less than 18 months from your event and you do not yet possess a fully executed Use Permit, please contact our Managing Director. 
  • Let’s say your contract has been executed and you are now working with your Event Services Coordinator. You have decided to change the way you are using facilities.  You originally planned to utilize the Ballroom for your meeting but now additional exhibit space is needed or possibly a move-in day has become an event day (or vice-versa). This kind of change in usage impacts our agreement.  So what should you do?  Let the Managing Director know when you have made changes that affect your Use Permit.  An addendum will be prepared for signatures.

When it is time to think about future dates here at the Mayo Civic Center Facilities, please call.  Our Event Services Coordinator and Managing Director work in partnership with the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau in booking activity into our facilities.  There is nothing we would enjoy more than welcoming you back.  If you are interested in exploring dates within the next 18 months please call us directly at (507) 281-6184. 

Box Office Manager/Ticket and Event Services   - The Mayo Civic Center provides a full time Box Office Staff for your ticketing and event services needs. Some of the things our Box Office may help you with are as follows:
  • ticketing services
  • information services
  • on-site equipment, phone, internet connections and electrical orders
Regardless of the service, our professional and friendly Box Office personnel can eliminate many of the fears event production can trigger.  Remember, if you plan on selling advance tickets to a public event, you will need to use our Box Office and TicketMaster ticketing services.  This combined team provides ticketing services for the public at the Mayo Civic Center Box Office, all TicketMaster Ticket Centers including Marshall Fields and most HyVee Food Stores, charge-by-phone 507.252.1010 and on-line www.ticketmaster.com.

Refreshments, Catering and Concession Sales While your Event Services Coordinator holds the single key to delivering our facility services for your use, you have a “second team” planning and coordinating your food and beverage services. Together they plan and execute everything necessary for your event including refreshments, catering and concession sales. Our in-house food service company provides our concessions and alcohol services exclusively. This company is made up of quality industry professionals, trained in providing the best possible service. We have an “open” catering policy that allows you to not only choose from our on-site company but also from a list of Pre-Qualified Caterers.  We encourage you to contact us as soon you are ready to begin thinking about your refreshment, catering and concession needs. 
  • Concessions - Canadian Honker Hospitality Services is the Mayo Civic Center’s contracted, on-site concessionaire and by law, must provide all liquor services.  
  • Pre-Qualified Caterers - A current listing of all Pre-Qualified Caterers is available from your Event Services Coordinator. During the planning process, your Concessions and/or Catering Manager are your source for planning food services needs. These providers work alongside your Event Coordinator as yet another member of your team, but don’t think of them as interchangeable.  Tell your Event Coordinator how and when you plan to use our facilities, then leave all of the following details to your Catering and/or Concession Manager:
  1. Catered meals and banquets
  2. Coffee and refreshment services
  3. Water service in meeting areas
  4. Concessions and cafeterias
  5. Booth catering
  6. Food and beverage sampling or booth promotion
  7. Information on health permits
Please note that by contract our concessionaire and all caterers are required to use Midwest Coca-Cola products exclusively.  

First Aid Services Above all else, the safety of our guests and patrons is our number one concern. We provide the very best in first aid services through Mayo Clinic’s Gold Cross Ambulance Service.  Their professional, full time EMT’s are specifically trained to respond to situations occurring in a public environment. Your Event Coordinator will schedule registered Gold Cross EMT’s to staff the Civic Center’s facility first aid centers based upon the nature of your event.  Please see the section “Uncovering Hidden Costs” included in this guide. 

TIMELINE OF IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES This guide assumes you have made arrangements at least 18 months prior to the date of your event. If you have less time, just adjust the deadlines accordingly. Again, if you have any questions, give us a call and we will gladly walk you through the process. Prior to your event:

  • 18 months - Sign and return your Use Permit
  • 12 months - Event Coordinator is assigned to you
  • 12 months - Place your Event Coordinator, Caterer Manager and Concession Manager on your mailing list
  • 12 months - Make sure your service contractor sends us five (5) copies of your working floor plan (from which you will be selling exhibit booths) for Fire Marshall approval
  • 6 months - Send your Event Coordinator an exhibitor service kit and exhibitor list
  • 3 months - Make sure your service contractor sends us 5 copies of your FINAL floor plan.  Call the Center’s Box Office Manager regarding any required ticketing services
  • 2 months - Your insurance certificate and MN ST – 19 Form are due to your Event Coordinator
  • 1 months - All final event specifications, details and diagrams are due to both your Event Coordinator.  If needed, schedule a pre-event/pre-convention meeting

After listening to occasional bouts regarding the so-called “hidden costs,” we decided some straightforward help was in order. It’s just one of those pesky realities that not all services and equipment required by meeting and event planners can be included in a basic rental fee. It’s an unmistakable fact - there will be charges billed to you as part of your final invoice that you need to know about, expect and plan on now. You may wonder why we charge for these services in addition to what’s covered by your rental fee.  In fact, there are two perfectly good reasons for this:

  • We try to keep the basic rental rate as low as possible for the widest range of event sizes and types
  • Events differ widely in their needs for these services and equipment, and increasing the rent to help recover labor and equipment costs would place undue cost burdens on those planning events requiring fewer services
In order to help you plan your budget so there are fewer surprises, ask your Event Services Coordinator to prepare an estimate.  You will need to provide sufficient information so estimates will be as accurate as possible.  By working closely with your Event Services Coordinator, you will minimize surprises.   The information below is intended to help you understand the purpose of each of these services, as well as how you will be charged for their use.

Coat and Parcel Check
We will provide equipment and staffing for coat and parcel check services through our Concessionaire. These areas will be designated in appropriate high-traffic locations where adequate space is available in relation to your floor plans. We can provide this service one of two ways:
  1. You may provide hosted coat and parcel checking at a cost to you for labor costs only. Talk to your Event Services Coordinator about volume, hours, and location of this service.
  2. We can charge your attendees on a per item basis (typically $1.00) for each item checked.  If labor costs exceed revenues received, we bill you the difference
Exhibit Floor Lighting
Full exhibit floor lighting is provided at no charge 30 minutes prior to the scheduled opening of your exhibit program and 30 minutes following closing.  Any requests to have lights turned on prior to or after the above times will require a fee. Please consult your Event Services Coordinator.

First Aid Services
The health and safety of your attendees and exhibitors is as important to us as it is to you. Since this is a mutual concern and shared responsibility, we provide Mayo Clinic’s licensed Gold Cross EMT’s.  The cost for their services will be billed to you on your final invoice.  Gold Cross EMT’s are specifically trained to respond to public health and safety conditions in an active, public environment. Gold Cross provides one or more of first aid centers on-site during all of the hours of your event. This schedule starts at least one-half hour prior to the time attendance begins on-site and extends 30 minutes beyond attendance hours to allow for adequate set-up and closing time.  In addition, we recommend you consider staffing at least one first aid center during your move-in/out periods when your exhibitors are working on-site.  This is a time when injuries requiring medical attention are more likely to occur.

Helium Balloon Removal
Helium balloons are permitted in the center only when they are securely anchored to exhibits and/or florist ballasts. Balloons may not be given away or sold.  Not only is there labor involved in rescuing stray balloons, but if one became lodged in the ventilation system, it could result in serious consequences.  If at the conclusion of your event, balloons used during your function have drifted into the ceilings and high steel of the Center, you will be charged a fee for their removal. In addition, all containers used to inflate balloons must be securely fastened to a support cart or other vehicle.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Air conditioning and heating are provided in meeting rooms and exhibit halls during show hours only. If you desire air conditioning or heating for 24 hours or during move-in/out days, you will be charged a fee. Please contact your Event Coordinator for more information.

Labor for Room Sets and Changeovers
If you are a meeting or event planner who has worked primarily in hotels and is new to working in civic or convention centers, the following information may be unfamiliar: We provide your initial set-up at no charge, as long as we receive your set-up requirements in final form and on time. This includes all of your non-exhibit areas (meeting rooms, offices, general sessions, meal functions, etc.).  However, you will be charged for labor costs for any changes to these initial set-ups.

We need to know your meeting and/or event requirements at least 10 days before your first move-in day.  If we do not receive this information on time, or if substantial changes are requested after we receive your specifications, you may be charged for the labor to set and/or change these areas.

Also, if you find that you have not sold all exhibit booths/areas you anticipated, and decide ahead of time you want to add additional round tables and seating for attendees and exhibitors, you must first consult with your Event Services Coordinator and Caterer.  It requires additional labor to set equipment, bus and monitor these areas.  We reserve the right to determine final arrangements. You will be charged only to cover our costs.

Audio-Visual Equipment, Public Address and Sound Systems
The Mayo Civic Center has a small supply of audio-visual equipment.  If additional equipment is needed, we have formal arrangements with a preferred supplier and can easily arrange for any needed equipment. We suggest talking directly with your Event Services Coordinator about charges for public address systems, microphones and the need to provide sound systems in those areas where permanent equipment is unavailable.

Special Equipment
Basic equipment, including tables and chairs, is usually provided for your use at no charge or specific arrangements included in your Use Permit.  However, any “special equipment” usually requires additional charges.  Please understand that if your meeting runs concurrently with one or two other events, first priority for available equipment will be given to the group providing us with their equipment requirements first.  Our supply is rarely depleted, but should you have additional requests, please let us know as soon as possible, and remember, “first-come, first-served.”

Telecommunications and Internet Services
Our telecommunications staff installs and activates all telephone lines and internet connections.  When your event is finished, we will send you a bill - just like any other telephone or internet company.  We provide you with quick, high quality service.  All arrangements for telecommunications and internet connections should be made 3 – 4 weeks prior to your event.  Unfortunately, not all computer applications are alike.  Please call ahead for details.

Theatrical Services
If you are planning a general session, large meeting, or special entertainment event requiring rigging, theatrical lighting, staging, or set construction, our IATSE Union Stage Technicians are experienced and skilled and on a regular basis, produce memorable events. For events primarily of theatrical nature, or when special lighting, sound, rigging and staging arrangements are required, according to your Use Permit, you must use IATSE Union Labor.  Regardless of your principle contractor, one of our IATSE Union Stage Technicians will manage and supervise all crews.  The advantages are simple. The first being a thorough knowledge of our facilities and appropriate jurisdictional requirements.  The second is cost.  Our staff can offer cost effectiveness possible only from an in-house perspective.  Our knowledge of the facility’s systems enables us to staff these activities with the fewest number of positions.  We help you get the job done efficiently with attention to safety as well as preserving the integrity of our facilities. Your IATSE Union Stage Technician will provide the following:
  • Knowledge and skill in both the technical and creative aspects of your production
  • Thorough knowledge of the facility to avoid costly delays during set-up, show, and strike
  • Technical service and expertise in accordance with union requirements
Ticketing Services
Selling tickets at the door?  Our Box Office Staff can provide this service and we will charge only for ticket sellers’ time and if needed, ticket stock.  If you will be selling advance tickets to the general public, you will incur some additional charges such as ticket printing, credit card sales percentages, box office services, and sales tax.  Check with our Box Office Manager or an Event Coordinator for an estimate of these costs.

Trash Removal
We make every effort to be good ecologists by recycling as much material as possible before, during, and after each event. Trash removal is an inescapable cost item for most conventions and trade shows. Because of variations in volume, we provide limited trash removal at no cost to you.  In some cases, your needs will exceed what is provided.  For additional compactors and debris such as cardboard boxes, crates, pallets, etc, we will pass on any additional charges incurred to you. Trash removal is not a profit center for us. We charge you exactly what the service costs us. These charges include use of compactors for normal trash and debris boxes for non-compactable items (pallets, styrofoam, etc.). When turnover time between events is severely limited, there will be hauling charges for the use of garbage trucks, roll-offs, etc.  Talk to your Event Services Coordinator about specific charges you are likely to incur. An estimate of your costs can be prepared based on information provided.

Water Stations
Our Concessionaire will provide water service to lecterns, head tables and additional locations for a nominal charge.  Pitchers, glasses or water coolers can be arranged with your Event Services Coordinator or directly with our Concessions Manager. 

Now don’t skip this section because you think this is a chorus of NO, NO, NO! Actually, it is one of those good news/bad news situations.  The good news is that there is a perfectly good reason for every “no” and the best news is your Event Services Coordinator often has the solution to every challenge.  As always, if you have a concern as to how a particular guideline may affect you, call us so we can discuss your needs. The only bad news is that you may regret not reading this section.

Some of the following rules and guidelines apply in a general sense to all of the activities occurring in our facilities.  Others apply primarily to exhibit activities and then others to concerts and dances. 

We have divided this section into

  1. General Rules
  2. Guidelines for Tradeshows and Exhibitions
  3. Concert and Dances Guidelines
Some policies apply to exhibitors, some service contractors, some to your staff, and others to presenters or speakers in your meetings. Please pass the information along.  We hope you’ll care enough about the beauty and integrity of our facilities to share the message with everyone involved in your event.  

The Basics
  • Damage to Facilities  - As the User having agreed to the use of the facilities, you are responsible for any damage caused by your staff, contractors, exhibitors, or attendees. Reason:  Our goal is to keep our facilities in good repair so every client enjoys the attractiveness, physical appearance and serviceability of the Center.  Through our signed Use Permit, your accountability and responsibility is inherent as stated in our agreement. Helpful advice: We know you cannot possibly oversee everything that happens when your event is on-site.  We also know that you cannot control all the actions and behaviors of your contractors, but there are several ways to minimize your risks:
  1. Be certain your exhibitors, presenters and speakers know the basic guidelines that apply.  Inform your service contractors, i.e. show decorator, caterers, florist, etc., that you will hold them responsible for any damages they cause.
  2. Be sure your service contractors are adequately insured.
  3. Review all applicable rules in your exhibitor guide and any information provided to presenters and speakers.
You can expect people to do things correctly if you have told them what they need to know.
  • Freight Deliveries - Freight deliveries before the scheduled move-in date and time will not be accepted at the Mayo Civic Center.   With prior approval, some registration materials may be sent and will be accepted.  Exhibit and/or production materials cannot be accepted in advance. Reason: Mayo Civic Center has very limited storage space.  Any available storage space is needed to service the shows currently utilizing the facility and to maintain efficient operations.  Plus, we cannot assume responsibility for damages or loss.
  • Floor Plan Approval - Before you complete the sale of exhibit booths and/or areas, or sign exhibitor contracts, you must submit all floor plans and receive approval from the Rochester Fire Department. In signing your Use Permit with us, you have agreed to submit five copies of exhibit areas, general session and lobby floor plans in advance of finalizing exhibit sales.  These plans must be prepared to scale by your general service contractor and sent to our office.  This includes floor plans for all events planned in Taylor Arena, the Auditorium, Exhibit Hall, Grand Lobby and North Lobby. Reason:  You must receive Fire Marshall approval so you do not find yourself in the awkward position of having already sold exhibit booths/areas, and later discovering the floor plan must be changed to conform to fire and safety codes.  For example, aisles must be located to provide direct access to emergency exits.  Laying out your exhibit diagram or large-seated sessions can be complicated.  Every facility has different safety requirements peculiar to local regulations.  It is best not to take chances.  Get everything officially approved in plenty of time to manage any required changes. Helpful hint:  There are certain absolute and non-negotiable “no-no’s” when it comes to approvable floor plans.  Review these with your Event Services Coordinator ahead of time so when you make changes to the floor plan, your final version will be readily approved.
  • Signage and Banners - Signs, banners, or flags may be displayed on the exterior of the building at the complete discretion of the Mayo Civic Center Management. Reason:  Actually, there are two!  We retain complete control over our exterior, thus limiting event-related signage and decoration to the appropriate spaces with equal consideration of all events and messages. This not only helps us maintain an orderly exterior setting, it prohibits unauthorized advertising or other messages installed by individual exhibitors and/or other events occupying other portions of the Center.  Our exterior electronic message center offers an opportunity to identify your event and provide a brief message to attendees.  However, there are specific size, location, and wording limitations. For more information, please contact your Event Coordinator. Reason #2:  The City of Rochester has a strict sign ordinance that applies to any temporary or permanent signage. Unauthorized signs on the building or its grounds are subject to removal without notice.
  • Smoking Policy  - Under the provisions of the 1975 Minnesota Clean Air Act and Rochester’s ordinance, the Mayo Civic Center is a non-smoking building.  Smoking is strictly prohibited in all areas both public (lobbies, exhibit floor, meeting rooms) as well as back-of-house (loading docks, freights alleys, etc.) at all times. Reason: The State of Minnesota and the Olmsted County Health Dept have adopted a non-smoking policy in the interest of public health, recognizing medical evidence as to potential health hazards of second-hand smoke.
  • Rigging - Rigging from the hang points throughout the facility is subject to approval by our management staff and is expected to meet industry standards.  These standards can be found in “The Rigger's Manual,” by W.G. Newberry and are generally accepted as industry standards.  All rigging must meet load capacities at each load point.  Your Event Services Coordinator will confer with our Stage Technicians for specific point capacities.  Any rigging not meeting the above standards will be removed and re-rigged at your cost. Reason: It is our job to be concerned both for the safety of patrons and staff, and the maintenance of the facility’s built-in hang points.  Incorrect rigging poses unacceptable risks to anyone below, and improper bridling can damage hang points, compromising load-handling capacity.
  • Security - When you bring an event to our facility, together we accept responsibilities for the security and safety of both people and property.  The Civic Center is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment equipped with a 24-hour alarm system.  We are also responsible for providing or selecting an appropriate security service to manage load-in/out of your event.  You, in turn, are responsible for arranging any needed security to monitor all areas as agreed upon in our Use Permit.  This applies from the time of occupancy, including move-in, throughout the entire event and until completion of move-out.  Security personnel must be assigned to designated posts at access points to all of function areas. This should include loading docks, exhibit halls, all meeting rooms, kitchens and food service operations, event offices, registration, and storage areas.  Such security shall be at the expense of the User.  Mayo Civic Center Management reserves the right to require these services and will gladly review your security staffing plans with you and your security provider.  If your event requires ushers or badge-checkers, you may contract such services through the Mayo Civic Center.  If you have questions, discuss your concerns with your Event Services Coordinator. Reason: It is our job to provide secure entrances and public areas, as well as to coordinate emergency plans and procedures.   It is your job to provide qualified security staffing at appropriate locations reflecting the specific and appropriate use of our facilities.
  • Decorative Materials - Nothing may be taped, nailed, tacked, or otherwise affixed to ceilings, painted surfaces, fire sprinklers, columns or vinyl, fabric or decorative walls.  This includes all areas throughout the building, not just in the exhibit hall - so you will see this rule again as it applies to meeting rooms and ballrooms.  Please pass the word to your staff, presenters and speakers, as well as exhibitors. The release of glitter, messy table decorations such as confetti, sand, small decals, etc, and distribution of any adhesive-backed stickers is also strictly forbidden.  Reason: Doing any of the above ruins the finishes of the surfaces.  The removal and repair is costly.  Glitter and confetti are a cleaning nightmare.  Adhesive-backed stickers pose a problem when they are pasted on walls or dropped on floors and stairways. There is seldom time between events for this kind of maintenance.  Remember, if your speakers or exhibitors disregard this message, either because you did not inform them or because they choose to ignore these guidelines, you, as the User, will be held responsible and charged for any cleaning, removal and repair. All decorative materials must be flame proof in accordance with Rochester Fire Department Regulations.  This includes drapes, banners, all decorative fabrics, poster paper, foam core board, as well as all hangings, curtains, and drops, holiday trees, projection screens, plastics, and any other decorative materials. Reason: We are both responsible for maintaining a fire-safe environment and decorative materials are notoriously flammable.  Preventing an emergency through careful materials management is a requirement to avoid an emergency involving possible fire and/or toxic fumes.
  • Gratuities - Mayo Civic Center employees cannot accept gifts or gratuities. Reason: The State of Minnesota and the City of Rochester forbid city employees from accepting gratuities. We would ask you not put any employees “on the spot” by offering gifts or gratuities.  Expressing your thanks verbally or in written form is always appreciated.
  • Food and Beverage - General Guidelines - Talk to us before you plan any activities that will include alcoholic beverage consumption. Reason: Our Concessionaire’s Alcoholic Beverage License is “on the line” whenever you are here and alcoholic beverages are served.  Thus we are liable regarding Minnesota’s strict laws governing the use and consumption of alcoholic beverages within our premises. You must secure proper authorization from our Concessionaire before planning any on-site promotions that will include alcoholic consumption. Definitely talk to us if your exhibitors plan any concessions and catering sampling during your event.  There are specific guidelines pertaining to sample size, health permits, etc. Reason:  While we have no interest in being exclusionary or unduly prohibitive when it comes to sampling, we do have enormous responsibility regarding the distribution of liquor.  Please talk to our Concessions Manager regarding proper procedures for these activities.  You will need written permission no less than two weeks before move-in day.  This information should clearly state your intentions and who is responsible for all aspects of your promotion. We have limited refrigerated storage on-site for concessions and catering products. Provisions may be made for storage only if arranged in advance. Reason:  When it’s full, it’s full. Please plan ahead.
  • Exhibits in Permanently Carpeted Areas - There are specific limitations pertaining to exhibits in our Ballroom, carpeted lobbies and meeting rooms.  These areas have limited provisions for installation of electrical or telephone services and no provision for other utilities such as plumbing.  When installing exhibits in these areas, service contractors may not use tape or chalk to mark the carpeted floors, and all drapery systems must be supported through the use of sandbags or similar weights. The movement of equipment and material in these areas is limited to hand-carried items. Reason:  These areas are designed as meeting, reception and banquet rooms, or for public ingress and egress, not as primary exhibit areas.
  • Exhibit Floor and Crate Storage - As agreed in your Use Permit, you are responsible for returning the exhibit floor in the same condition as it was received.  This condition is reviewed as part of the general walk-through prior to move-in.  If the floor is not returned to the same condition as received, we will clean the floor and add the cost of cleaning to your final invoice. Reason:  This is our way of guaranteeing the hall is provided in optimum condition to each User at the time of move-in.  Every User expects to receive the facility clean and ready for decorator move-in. Crate storage is not permitted on-site in any area of the Mayo Civic Center.  Once exhibit materials have been unloaded, crates must be removed.  The removal, safe storage and return of all crates are the responsibility of the User’s service provider/decorator. Reason:  This requirement comes directly from the City of Rochester Fire Department.  Crates are not only bulky and require lot of out-of-the-way storage areas, but they are highly flammable. We are a bit unusual in that our exhibit areas are also public forums making emergency exiting for large crowds more challenging.  This requires additional fire rules to minimize risks in case of an emergency.
  • Permits
  • Sellers Permit - all exhibitors who sell merchandise from the show floor, or take orders on either a wholesale or retail basis, must have a valid Minnesota State Tax Permit and ST-19 on file with the User.  While it is the individual exhibitor’s responsibility to obtain and provide all necessary paperwork, it is the User’s responsibility to notify all exhibitors of this requirement and identify those exhibitors to whom this requirement applies.  Reason:  When it gets right down to it, a sale is a sale, whether it occurs on a show floor or in a store.  Certain categories of merchandise are subject to sales tax.  Seller’s permits allow the Minnesota State Board of Equalization to tax sales on merchandise transactions according to the current tax codes, and the provisions for temporary permits recognizes the one-time or periodic nature of trade or consumer show sales.  An ST – 19 in another means to track taxable sales. The User must:
    1. Inform your exhibitors of the permit and ST – 19 requirements.
    2. Obtain proof that your exhibitors either hold a valid seller’s permit or are not offering for sale any merchandise subject to Minnesota Sales Tax.
    3. Upon request, provide copies of all exhibitors’ ST – 19’s. Helpful Hint:  The easiest way for you to take care of this requirement is to include complete information about this subject in your exhibitor service kit.  The permits are obtained from the State Board of Equalization, and can be obtained from the MN Department of Revenue Regional Office, 507.285.7414, toll-free 1(800) 657-3777, or on-line www.taxes.state.mn.us
  • Public Health Certificate/Permit - If your show is open to the public and an exhibitor plans to either give away or sell food and/or beverage items, you, as the User, are responsible for obtaining a blanket health permit covering these exhibitors.  If your show is open to members of a trade association only, you can ignore this rule if our Concessions Manager is provided with advance information.  Closed trade shows are covered under the Center’s health permit.  Any food or beverage items to be given away free-of-charge, must be served in sample-size portions.  Any food or beverage items to be sold cannot duplicate products sold in our concession stands and must be pre-approved in writing by Civic Center Management. Reason: When we do not provide food or beverage products, we cannot be responsible for its safe delivery and consumption.  Therefore, the User must assume responsibility for safeguarding the public’s interest. Helpful Hint:  If you have questions regarding health codes, permits or related issues, please contact the Olmsted County Health Department, 507.285.8370.
  • Union Labor - Events planning to use staging, rigging, sound, or theatrical lighting equipment, are required to utilize International Association of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE). Reason:  We are proud of the quality of our labor force.  In managing the Mayo Civic Center, we acknowledge the work rules as defined by agreements between all City of Rochester Labor Unions and service contractors.  These agreements provide uniform standards for labor and charges for services, and are intended to encourage consistent levels of quality service for meeting planners, concert promoters and agents, show managers, vendors and exhibitors.  For insurance liability purposes and OSHA requirements, IATSE electricians are responsible for all electrical and plumbing connections.  A good rule-of-thumb regarding equipment – if it is owned by the Civic Center, it must be set-up, operated and under complete control of Civic Center personnel at all times.  Our trained staff is knowledgeable and experienced.  Always, safety first!
  • Vehicles - Vehicles are permitted in exhibit hall areas strictly for purposes of loading and unloading freight.  Unless they represent an integral part of display, vehicles may not remain parked inside the Center.  Display vehicles must conform to State of Minnesota and City of Rochester fire codes pertaining to fuel tanks and battery connections. Reason:   Vehicles, because of the flammable nature of fuel tanks and batteries functioning as potential power sources, are not safe in high traffic exhibit areas.
  • Concerts and Dances -  
    • Ticketing - All tickets sold in advance to the general public must be sold through the Civic Center Box Office. Reason: Aside from the contract the facility has with TicketMaster this is a requirement to protect the facility as a public entity. We receive requests to host numerous shows every year.  In order to protect the public’s interest and the facility’s operation, it is necessary for our Box Office to exercise some control. Using the Mayo Civic Center Box Office makes sense. You don’t have to worry about staffing, collecting money, paying sales tax, setting up credit card accounts, etc. We are ready and willing to provide this service.
    • Booking -- Concerts and dances will be booked at the Mayo Civic Center subject to the following guidelines and conditions:
      1. Approval of all holds is based on references, prior history of promoting in similar facilities, financial standing and history of act.
      2. All tentative dates are held on a 24-hour right-of-first-refusal basis.
      3. Total payment is due prior to the event date. The Managing Director of the Center has the right to request from the promoter the total rental balance and all other charges upon the signing of the Use Permit .  No advances on ticket sales will be granted until intermission or a major portion of the event has been completed.
      4. All event labor including security, ushers, ticket takers, and sellers will be contracted through the Center.  Depending on the estimated attendance, nature of the event and special needs, the Center may require the use of uniformed Rochester Police Department Officers for your event.


  • Audio Visual Services - The Mayo Civic Center has a preferred supplier of audio visual services. However we recognize many meeting planners have multi-year contracts with their own audio visual suppliers. You’re welcome to work with your preferred supplier as long as they agree to use facility union labor while working here, as Local 416 of IATSE has jurisdiction in our facilities. In addition we are the only authorized operator for the Mayo Civic Center sound systems permanently installed in the Arena, Auditorium, Theater, Ballrooms, and meeting rooms. Helpful Hint:  If the equipment is owned by the Mayo Civic Center, it must be operated by Mayo Civic Center staff.
  • Mayo Civic Center Sound System - The Mayo Civic Center has permanently installed sound systems in all venues including meeting rooms, exhibit halls and large venues. While limited use of this equipment is available to your event at no cost, there are costs for labor. In addition, our in-house stage technicians are the only authorized operator for the Center’s permanent sound systems. If you choose to contract with another audio visual supplier, they will be expected to utilize the services of our stage technicians for your sound service. This will not add to your costs or duplicate any labor, but it will guarantee that only trained staff, acknowledgeable in the system’s operation, will be working with our technically sophisticated equipment. If you have questions, please contact your Event Services Coordinator.
  • Labor for Microphones  - The Mayo Civic Center we will provide one complimentary wired microphone per room, if you use the Center as your A/V supplier.  Otherwise all microphones are charged at the standard rate. Furthermore, we provide all microphones to those areas where permanent public address systems exist.  There may be labor charges for installation, operations, and removal of this equipment but in all likelihood, there probably will be labor charges incurred regardless of the A/V supplier.  As in most exhibit halls, house paging is available in the Mayo Civic Center exhibit areas.  However, installation points are limited, and this service must be provided through our in-house sound supplier. There are labor charges for installing and operating the microphones.  An estimate of these charges can be provided through your Event Services Coordinator.
  • Freight Ramps and Loading Docks - Deliveries can be directed to loading docks #9 or #10 or the loading ramp #11.  Trucks delivering freight to the Mayo Civic Center cannot exceed 48’ in length (tractor and trailer), and 14’ in height.  The Mayo Civic Center exhibit hall floors are rated for unlimited loads, but the freight ramps are rated at 16,000 lb. truck axle (federal highway standard).
  • Hours of Operation - Standard operating hours for our facilities are from 7:00 am until 10:30 p.m., although arrangements for activity before and after these hours can be made through your Event Services Coordinator. Your Use Permit will indicate either these standard hours or other hours agreed to at the time of our agreement.  Times earlier or later than standard building hours are subject to overtime charges for necessary facility staff.  Exceptions not shown in your contract must be approved in writing by our Managing Director.  Please discuss your needs with Event Services Coordinator ahead of time to plan and we will plan accordingly.  We may need to schedule additional staffing to cover hours other than our standard operating periods.  We’re happy to do it, but we need to know well in advance in order to prepare as needed.
  • Keys -A maximum of two (2) keys are available from your Event Coordinator for each room you will utilize according to your Use Permit. There is no deposit ;, however, you will be billed $25 for each key not returned at the conclusion of your event.  Installation of special locks will be $75 per lock.
  • Parking  - There is no public parking on-site. This includes loading docks, freights ramps, or the exhibit floor. Any vehicle found in the violation will be towed at the owner’s expense. Space is limited and illegal parking is quickly punished, as vehicles blocking freight entries or other access ways can seriously impede everyone’s progress. Time spent trying to find the driver of an offending vehicle costs money. Your Event Coordinator can provide you with up to 4 (four) V.I.P. parking permits for our back lot, when these spots are available.
  • Lost and Found - All found articles are placed in the center’s Administrative Office at (507) 281-6184. You may check for a lost item during normal business hours (M-F 8am-5pm).
  • Insurance - If your event will have more than 400 people in attendance  you are required to provide proof of insurance, with the City of Rochester listed as additionally insured. Please check your contract for details or the Managing Director for questions.

Event Checklist
__Date Reserved for all rooms
__Contract returned
__Proof of Insurance returned (if required)
__Develop a budget
__Contact MCC Box Office if ticketing services are needed or required
__Gather your event needs
__ AV
__Sound System
__Flip charts/Dry Erase
__Lighting and Special Lighting
__Order Electrical and Internet for Vendors/Exhibitors


__Number of Guests expected

Other Equipment
__High lift

Layouts and Diagrams
__Fire Marshall approval (if necessary)
__Performers needs (contract technical rider)

__Deliveries scheduled
__Access time
__Set-up times
__Guests arrive time
__Open doors time
__Show time
__Reception time
__Guests leave time
__Load -out time
__Meeting with Event Coordinator
__Refine your budget
__Refine your needs
__Return updates to your Event Coordinator
__Hold a final planning session (involve your Event Coordinator) 

Facility Base Rent

  • For MCC Ticketed Events Only ________ Or 10% of gross ________
  • Ticket seller Show Night ________
  • TicketMaster/Ticket Printing ________
  • Credit card-4% ________
  • Advertising ________
  • Stage ________
  • Barricade ________
  • Forklift ________
  • Spots ________
  • Public address ________
  • Stagehands ________
  • Electricians ________
  • Ushers ________
  • Security ________
  • Police ________
  • Audio-visual equipment ________
  • First aid ________
  • Cleaning ________
  • Set up/tear down ________
  • Piano ________
  • Piano tuning ________
  • Telephone ________
  • Radios ________
  • Decorator ________
  • Printing ________
  • Catering ________
  • Towels ________
  • Act ________
  • Sound ________
  • Lights ________
  • Transportation ________
  • Stage manager ________
  • Runner ________
  • ASCAP/BMI ________
  • Insurance @___ Pers. ________
  • Travel ________
  • Hotel ________
      Total ________ 

The purpose of these requirements is to maintain an acceptable level of fire safety within the Mayo Civic Center. The fire protection systems built into the Civic Center are designed to protect people and property from the hazards of typical conventions and exhibitions. The requirements apply to the following:

  1. Prohibited materials, processed and equipment
  2. Acceptable booth configurations
  3. Acceptable material for booth construction
  4. Interior finishes and furnishings
  5. Obstructions
  6. Portable spotlights
  7. Procedures during set-up and dismantling
  8. All items to be suspended from ceilings
  9. Emergency Procedures


The use of the following chemicals, materials, processes or equipment is strictly prohibited:
  1. Acetate fabrics, corrugated paper box board, no-seam paper
  2. Paper backed foil unless glued securely to suitable backing
  3. Natural Gas
  4. Styrofoam and/or foam core
  5. Fireworks
  6. Blasting agents
  7. Explosives
  8. Flammable cryogenic gases
  9. Aerosol cans with flammable propellants
  10. Smoking in building
  11. Fueling of motor vehicles
  12. Liquefied petroleum or
  13. Wood matches with “all surface” strikes
  14. Hazardous refrigerants such as sulfur dioxide and ammonia
  15. Cellulose nitrate motion picture film
  16. Portable heating equipment
  17. Flammable liquids or dangerous chemicals
  18. Electrical equipment or installation not conforming to code


The following booth configurations are acceptable:
  1. Open top exhibition booths
  2. Platforms not exceeding 400 square feet in area.  Alternative booth configurations will require approval from Mayo Civic Center management and the Rochester Fire Prevention Bureau.
  • Platforms exceeding 400 square feet in area
  • Exhibition booths with flame retardant fabric canopies not to exceed 200 square feet
  1. Layouts of all meeting rooms used for exhibits
  • Note: Include details of any two story booths or single level roofed booths and booths with prior approval of the Mayo Civic Center management and the Fire Prevention Bureau
  • Any enclosed showroom with an area in excess of 2,000 square feet or occupancy of 60 persons or more must have two means of exit as far apart as possible
  • Any booth with an area of 2,500 square feet or more must contain one fire extinguisher


The following types of materials will be acceptable for booth construction:
  1. Wood
  2. Combustible materials including plastics having a flame spread rating not exceeding 150 and a smoke developed classification not exceeding 30.
  3. Noncombustible materials.


The limitations described below shall apply to all interior finishes and furnishings:
  • drapes - motion picture screens
  • hangings - paper, cardboard or compressed paperboard less than 1/8” thick - curtains  are considered paper
  • drops
  • ruscus
  • decorative fabrics
  • split wood
  • Christmas trees
  • textiles
  • artificial flowers and foliage
  • all other decorative materials including plastics
  • Made from noncombustible material and/or treated and maintained in a flame retardant condition by an approved flame retardant solution or process
  • Corrugated cardboard can be used if fire retardant treated
Note:  It is not necessary to flameproof textiles, paper and combustible merchandise on display as sale items but the quantity so used shall be limited to the displaying of one salvageable length. Each sample must differ in color, weave or texture. Wallpaper is permissible if pasted securely to walls or wallboard backing. The following test may be used to determine if material is flame resistant:
  1. Cut off a small piece of the material (1 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches long) and hold it with a pair of pliers
  2. Hold a wooden match 1/2 inch below the bottom of the material 12 seconds
  3. If, when the match is taken away, the material stops burning within 2 seconds, it is flame resistant
  4. If the material goes up in flames immediately or continues to burn for more than 2 seconds after the match is removed, it is not flame resistant

  • Nothing shall be hung from or affixed to any sprinkler piping or heads.
  • Construction or ceiling decorations of the show booths must not impede the operation of the sprinkler system.
  • All exit doors shall be in an operable condition and shall remain unobstructed at all times.
  • Exit signs, manual pull stations, fire department handsets, fire hose cabinets and portable fire extinguishers shall not be obstructed in any manner.
  • All entrances, exits, aisles, stairways, lobbies and passageways shall be unobstructed at all times.
  • Roof construction shall be substantial and fixed in position in specified areas for the duration of the show.
  • Easels, signs, etc, shall not be placed beyond the booth area into the aisles.
  • Literature, supplies and handouts are permissible in responsible quantities. Reserve quantities shall be kept in closed containers and stored in a neat, compact manner within the booth.

    Vehicles or other flammable fueled engines displayed shall conform to the following requirements:
  1. Fuel tanks containing fuel, or which have over contained fuel, shall be maintained less than 1/4 full. Caps for fuel tanks fill pipes shall be of the locking type and maintained locked to prevent viewer inspection. If they cannot be locked, they shall be taped shut.
  2. Garden tractors, chain saws, power plants and other gasoline powered equipment shall not contain any fuel and shall not be used for demonstrations without permission from Mayo Civic Center management.
  3. The electrical systems shall be de-energized by either (a) removing the battery, or (b) disconnecting both battery cables and covering them with electrical tape or other similar insulating material.
  4. Tanks containing propane shall be maintained less than 1/4 full. Vehicles may be driven in and positioned. Engine should remain running, with valve shut off.  Allow engine to run until all the fuel line is used up. Turn ignition off.
  5. Cylinders for barbecues and/or appliances within a vehicle such as stoves, refrigerators, etc. must be empty.


All clamp-on type of portable spotlights shall be protected from metal to metal contact by with electrical insulating pads or permanent wrapping attached to the lamp holder clamps. Where a spotlight may be subject to physical damage, dampness or where lamps may come in contact with combustible material, the spotlight shall be equipped with a guard attached to the lamp-holder or the handle. Flexible cords (extension cords) may only be used for portable lamps or appliances of amperage for the size and type of the three conductor cord to be used.  

  • No smoking is allowed in the Mayo Civic Center
  • Show management must have the approval of the Mayo Civic Center management for commencement or dismantling of shows
  • Access to and the flow of vehicles and/or trucks on exhibition floor must limited and controlled at all times
  • Drivers of vehicles must stand by vehicles at all times with parking lights on
  • The idling of trucks while on the loading dock area of the building or on the exhibition hall floor is prohibited
  • Crates and packing materials must be removed promptly
  • The exhibitor/vendor must monitor all activity
  • Restriction on the use of materials, processes and equipment during set-up and dismantling must be adhered to at all times
  • Any type of utility connections (i.e. electrical, audio, video, water, compressed air, etc.) must be carried out by the Owner’s authorized personnel or its appointees
The following equipment and operations are prohibited during show set-up and dismantling:
  1. Material handling equipment other than electrically powered will not be permitted in the facility during shows or overnight
  2. Powered tools and equipment, except material handling equipment, other than electrically powered or air powered
  3. Electrically powered tools and equipment other than those approved
  4. Portable heating equipment
  5. Welding, cutting or brazing without special permission from the Mayo Civic Center management
  6. Painting with flammable or volatile paints and finishes
  7. Use of other equipment or operations that increase the risk of life safety

  1. All items to be suspended from ceilings including signs, displays, lights and sound equipment, must be approved in advance
  2. Rigging of cable and other hanging devised on or near ceiling electrical buss ducts and conduits is strictly prohibited
  3. All ceiling equipment, material and rigging must be removed immediately upon close of the show
  4. Any ceiling-suspended items must be installed and dismantled by Owner authorized personnel only


The Mayo Civic Center is equipped with sophisticated fire protection equipment including automatic sprinklers, smoke and heat detection devices, fire alarm and voice communication systems.   Upon your arrival, please familiarize yourself with the building particularly as to the location of the nearest exit, manual pull station and fire extinguisher.  If you see a fire, activate the nearest fire alarm manual pull station. Do not attempt to fight a fire unless it is small enough to extinguish with one of the portable extinguishers located throughout the building. No fire hoses provided for use by occupants.   


  1. Holes may not be drilled, cored or punched anywhere in the building including outdoors.
  2. Decorations:
  • Decorations are not permitted on any painted surface or on glass
  • No self-adhering (stick-on) decorations may be distributed or used in the building
  • Decorations may be applied only in rooms rented by User and not in public areas
  • Decorations must be self-supporting
  • No helium filled balloons are permitted to be distributed
  • Helium filled balloons may be permanently affixed to a display with prior approval of the Civic Center Operations Manager
  1. Parking in service areas, lots or loading docks is prohibited.  Violators will be towed at vehicle owner’s expense. Public parking is available in nearby parking lots, meters and city ramps.
  2. Sample food and/or beverage products may be distributed by exposition sponsoring organizations and/or their exhibitors upon authorization of the Olmsted County Health Dept and Mayo Civic Center Management.  No other outside food or drink is allowed in the building.  All sales of food items and novelties must be arranged for in advance with the Civic Center’s licensed concessionaire.
  3. Animals are permitted in the building with prior approval of the Owner and the legal licensing for the event.
  4. Combustion engines may not be operated on the exhibit floor as part of an exhibit.
  5. Any vehicle on the show floor must have battery cables disconnected, minimum fuel in the tank, the gas cap must be taped or locked, the ignition key removed and available, and protective covering under tires. No vehicles or motorized equipment are permitted on carpeted areas.
  6. No propane or LP gas is permitted in the building.
  7. All draping materials, etc. must be flame retardant.
  8. All plantings, fountains, etc. must have protective waterproof materials positioned underneath to prevent water and/or soil damage.
  9. No paint, tape or tape residue should remain on show floor after move out is completed. Proper precautions should be taken to prevent structural or aesthetic damage to floor surfaces (i.e. protective floor covering when paint and/or other chemicals are used). Check with the Civic Center Operations Manager concerning acceptable brands of carpet tape.
  10. The Civic Center cannot accept freight shipments for exhibitors or Users prior to the first day of the rental period. Freight must be assigned to the User’s decorator or drayage contractor.  The Civic Center does not provide the exhibit crate storage.  Arrangements must be made with the show decorator.
  11. Under no circumstances shall exhibits be placed outside the Civic Center or in any parking or service area unless that area has been contracted as exhibit space.
  12. At least 10 days prior to the event, vendors should pre-order electrical, internet and/or water connections.  Advance order forms are available to all events planners or contact the Mayo Civic Center Box Office, (507) 287-2222 or info@mayociviccenter.com
  13. Civic Center electrical equipment is not to be removed by exhibitors, show management or service contractors. All electrical and utility services must meet state and local electrical codes


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