Whether you are looking at a venue for a large conference or small breakfast, there is crossover in details to pay attention when planning your event and looking for an event venue. Above and beyond that, there are always special features in the search that leave a lasting impression on your clients and guests. While looking for an event venue is often an overwhelming process, we are sharing tips on 8 things we always focus our attention on when searching for the perfect fit.
1. Location - While this may be obvious, think about how your guests will be arriving. Will it be an area that is easy for them to get to? If not, is the event venue somewhere they will be willing to travel to?
2. Furnishings - Depending on the type of event you are hosting, it may be important to think about why types of tables and chairs they have in-house. If they are not something that will work for your event, it could add an additional line item in your budget to supplement.
3. Food & Beverage - Finding somewhere that has food & beverage through your event venue is always the easiest method. You will not have to worry about setting up any f&b needs or adding another vendor to your roster. Additional items to consider are if the options are good? (if that matters to you) And what their level of service on the day-of will look like. Sample menus are always a great thing to request and should be provided before securing an event venue.
4. Security - There are many levels to this, but it's important to know how they will monitor who is coming into your space and how it will be reserved for your group. If you need additional levels of security, inquiring about their in-house team and how you can work together is always a key factor.
5. Sounds - Think about your type of event and how sound will affect it. Is it a quiet meeting where outside noise will be a disturbance? Or is it a lively cocktail reception that the silence of the venue will be a drag? Evaluating how many event spaces are around the room and the potential for other events going on at the same time are important questions.
6. Storage - This is important for the guest experience and from a planning perspective. Is there a coat check where attendees can store their coats? Maybe they'll be coming with suitcases and need to store them somewhere. For you, having a space to store an extra event materials or work out of is also key when finding an event venue.
7. Surrounding Spaces - A hot tip is to ask the venue if they book additional events at the venue. This could either apply to before/after your event or in the next room. It's good to know what may be also going on around your event and if that raises any concerns for your group in regards to privacy, access or noise.
8. Booking Policy - Ideally this is something you know before you even go visit a space - but knowing how they charge and what their booking policy a help fact to note. Some charge with a F&B minimum and others with a room rental (or sometimes both). Understanding this will help you have a grasp on the full budget of your event and when you will need to make payments.
Kelly is a Corporate Event Planner and the Founder of 8 Stratton Events with over 10 years of experience working with innovative and iconic organizations all over the country. Kelly lives with her husband Daniel and their dog Lucy in their home in Boston.