Venue Rental FAQ


What is the capacity of the facility?

Due to the unique layout and variety of rooms, it is difficult to provide exact capacities. That said, the Ocean Institute has hosted events as intimate as 40 guests for a seat and serve dinner inside the Surf Science Deck to events as large as 300 utilizing Samueli and the adjacent courtyard for parties with in-and-out flow.

The Samueli Conference Center has hosted:

  • Seat and serve dinners up to 200 (depending on the table layout). 
  • Corporate meetings and presentations with attendance up to 200.
  • Theater seated events with audiences of up to 260

The Surf Science Deck has hosted:

  • Seat and serve dinners up to 60.
  • Cocktail parties with up to 80 guests.
  • Corporate meetings and presentations with attendance up to 60

The Executive Board Room

  • Meetings for up to 12 around conference table and 20 total.

Are there time restrictions/limits?

We will do our best to accommodate your event date and time. 

Are there sound restrictions?

Music is permitted but must be approved by Ocean Institute.  Music is permitted inside until 15 minutes prior to end of event. Due to the proximity to a residential area, no loud music is permitted and no music of any kind after 9:45PM outside. Noise volume must be contained within the boundaries of the building.

Is smoking permitted?

Ocean Institute facilities and the surrounding areas are smoke, tobacco and vapor free. 

Can we set-up our event the day before?

No.  Load-in and load-out times are restricted to the time specified in the rental contract. Customers have the flexibility to pad times in the contract to ensure load-in and load-out times are included.

Is parking provided?

Yes. A total number of 100 parking spaces (including 5 accessible parking spaces) are available at Ocean Institute.  The parking area is open to the public, therefore Ocean Institute is not responsible for the total availability of parking spaces.  Customers may utilize all 100 parking spaces at no additional cost.

Is the facility WIFI enabled?


Is the facility air conditioned?


Is there a difference in the rental fee on weekdays vs. weekends.

Yes. Please contact us for information.  A quote will be provided by an Ocean Institute staff member. 

Is the facility rental fee negotiable?

The facility rental fee is non-negotiable. 

Do you offer Non-Profit pricing?

A non-profit discount may be available.  Please contact us.

How much is the security deposit?

$1000 made payable by check or credit card.

Is insurance required?

 Yes. Liability Special Event Insurance is required by the client for every event.

Do I need special insurance for liquor?

Yes.  Client shall obtain an Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) temporary liquor license for the duration of the event through the hiring of a caterer or bar service company with appropriate permits.    Client agrees to comply with all applicable local, state and federal ordinances, statutes, laws and regulations. 

Clients may not provide their own alcohol. 

Can I sell alcohol?

No.  Clients may not sell or provide their own alcohol.

Do I have to select from your catering list?

No.  The policy is subject to change so please contact us for requirements.