Here are answers to some basic ABM rental questions.



How do I arrange a rental at ABM?

When you decide to book, let our Rental Manager know (by phone or email) and we will send you a Letter of Agreement to review and sign. When that is returned to us, and we receive your deposit, you are booked. We will countersign the Agreement and return a copy to you for your records.

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What is your payment schedule?

50% of the total is due upon signing of the Agreement; 50% is due one month prior to the start of the event. If you book less than a month prior to the booking, we require the full amount paid at that time. We will send an invoice for the total amount at the time of booking.

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What is the cancellation policy?

You may cancel any booking within 48 hours of signing the contract without further obligation, as long as that cancellation is also made more than 7 days in advance of the rental start-date. If a booking is made less than 7 days in advance, or the cancellation is made more than 48 hours after it has been confirmed by the host, the following cancellation and refund rules will apply:

30+ calendar days prior to event start                Deposit is non-refundable
29 – 8 calendar days prior to event start             50% of balance payment
7 calendar days or less prior to event start         Balance is non-refundable

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What spaces are available?

  • During business hours (Tuesday – Saturday, 9-5) you can rent the Folsom space (the southern third of the museum floor, which is partitioned from the exhibit area). The Folsom space has its own entrance on Folsom Street, and can accommodate up to 60. Museum activities continue on the other side of the partition. Folsom space renters have access to all rental amenities. The address is 854 Folsom Street.
  • During business hours (Tuesday – Saturday, 9-5) you can rent the full exhibit floor, which includes a full buyout of museum activities. Generally renters use the main entrance at 355 Clementina street.
  • Outside of business hours rentals are for the full museum floor only.

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Can I visit the space before I commit?

Absolutely. We encourage you to come see the space if you can. To avoid disruption of museum activities we ask that you arrange to come between 9 – 11 am, or between 3:30 – 5pm. Please contact the Rental Manager to set up a time. If you cannot visit, many photos are available on the Rental page; you can also see our floor plan.

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What is the maximum occupancy of the space?

Our maximum occupancy is 110, which must include guests, servers, and staff (if you have a come-and-go event where you expect a fluctuating number that might add up to more than 110 over the course of the event, but fewer than that at any one time, please discuss with the Rental Manager).

It is possible to temporarily increase the maximum occupancy by applying to the Fire Department for a permit. Please contact us for further information.

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What hours may I  have things dropped off?

Unless other arrangements are made, deliveries may be made no earlier than the day of the event.  In order to avoid disruption to our business, we ask that Renter and any of their vendors making drop-offs outside the hours of the rental period arrange to make them between 9-10 am or 4-5pm, Tuesday – Saturday.  Deliveries outside of this window must be discussed with, and approved by, the Rental Manager.

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Curbside Parking/Loading

Parking in the SOMA neighborhood is catch-as-catch-can. On Folsom Street there are metered spots. On Clementina Street there are no meters, but parking enforcement does patrol regularly. Where possible we suggest that drop-offs happen at the Folsom Street entrance (854 Folsom). Please contact the Rental Manager for further details.

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What is included in my rental?

ABM has the following available to you.

  • 70 folding chairs
  • 2 3’x6′ rolling service tables
  • 3 30″ x 6′ folding tables
  • 5 cocktail tables
  • 5 drafting chairs
  • Lectern
  • 1 folding easel
  • Portable projection screen (96” x 72”)
  • Epson EX5250 projector
  • 2 wireless lavalier/headset microphones and amplifier
  • 3 Sonos wi-fi speakers for music playback
  • Complimentary Wi-fi (25 Mbps download and 2.01 Mbps upload). High speed Wi-fi is available through our vendor, Monkey Brains. Please inquire.
  • Catering prep kitchen
  • Site manager on premises during your rental

Additionally, ABM has some items (linens, glassware) that are available for a nominal cleaning charge.

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May we put up window signs, clings, etc?

Renters are welcome to put up signs inside and outside of the museum to promote their event, but these must be temporary and leave no residue or marks, or damage ABM signage. In particular, vinyl “window clings” must be non-adhesive to avoid damaging ABM’s own signage. Renter will be responsible for damages if repainting, repair, or replacement is required.

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May I hang things from the walls?

You may, so long as the walls are not damaged (nothing that leaves smudges, marks, discoloration, holes or chips or that removes paint). Please note: The renter will be charged for any damage done to walls.

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Can I move any of the exhibit equipment or the art on the walls?

The exhibit machinery and art cannot be moved. ABM is a working museum, and exhibits in the Museum Hall are well over 100 years old; we find that most renters feel the exhibits add color to their events.

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May I have items mailed/shipped to ABM prior to my event?

Yes, by prior arrangement with the Rental Manager.

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Do you offer A/V support?

ABM’s A/V equipment is fairly simple. We will set up our equipment prior to the event and assist with basic troubleshooting. However, we cannot assist with outside equipment and you must bring your own laptops and/or tablets. We have the following cables for our projector:

  • USB-A to USB-B
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • HDMI to Thunderbolt (Mini displayport) Adapter

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Does ABM offer catering?

No, we cannot cater or provide beverage service. We are happy to provide a list of vendors we have worked with, who are familiar with the space, but you are welcome to use any provider for catering (or other services) that you like.

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Is there a catering kitchen?

We have a prep kitchen with plenty of counter space and electric outlets. We suggest that, if your caterer has not worked here before, they come by in advance of the event to see the space, and especially the kitchen.

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Do you allow open flame (for Sterno/chafing dishes and/or candles)?

We do not allow open flame (including Sterno) without a fire permit, which will be required onsite on event day. Convection ovens are often brought by caterers, and they are fine.

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May I have rented furniture or items delivered prior to my event?

Yes, with approval of the Rental Manager as to items and date of delivery.

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May I have live music at my event? What about a DJ?

We’re happy to have live music or a DJ, so long as applicable noise regulations are observed (because we are in a mixed residential/business neighborhood, after 10pm the noise level must go down). DJs may want to visit the space before hand to see the space and electric sources.

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Can someone tell us about the machines?

ABM can provide a docent, arrange a docent-led tour, or even provide an activity for your rental. If you are interested, please contact the Rental Manager for arrangements and prices.

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What are your policies on serving alcohol?

ABM requires that all alcoholic beverages be served by persons backed with a liquor license. ABM recommends using a beverage caterer. Some beverage caterers offer a pour-only package that allows you to provide your own alcohol.

If you do not wish to hire staffing, we can provide you instructions for pulling an ABC permit (cost: $25), as well as the form required. ABM cannot pull the permit for you.

While the ABC may not require you to have a liquor license for your specific event, ABM requires that your organization have an ABC service permit, regardless of the type of event, in addition to the liquor liability insurance.

Please note: ABM strictly adheres to state and federal laws, rules and regulations regarding the serving of alcoholic beverages.

  • Alcohol is not permitted in public areas prior to closing time.
  • Alcohol may not be served to minors (anyone under 21 years of age) at any time. Catering/bartending staff must ensure that no minors are drinking alcohol by appropriate means of identification set forth by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
  • Caterer’s personnel and bartenders must notify their managers when they observe a guest drinking irresponsibly and cease all alcoholic beverage service to said guest. If such a situation occurs, the special events coordinator on duty should be notified immediately.

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Do I need insurance?

The Renter must procure insurance for the duration of the event (including set-up and clean-up) for protection against all liabilities related to the use or occupancy of the space, in the minimum amount of $1,000,000.

  • Renter must provide a certificate of insurance at least 24 hours prior to the event or load-in will not be permitted.
  • Renter assumes all risk of damage to property or injury to persons in or around ABM space.
  • In the event that Renter, its caterer, or any other vendor uses a beverage service, in addition to general liability insurance the Renter and/or caterer must carry host liquor liability coverage as part of its general liability insurance.

In most cases your company’s or homeowner’s insurer can issue a one-time rider to cover the event. There are also insurers who specifically offer policies for weddings, parties, and other one-time events. Please contact the Rental Manager if you are interested in suggestions.

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