Finding the right venue for your event can make or break the whole thing. We tend to find two camps of people looking for an event: those that have a specific idea of their event and therefore are looking very particularly at possible venues, or the complete opposite, people who haven’t thought of their venue as being the be all and end all and therefore not asking questions at all. Regardless, both could benefit from a hint at what questions they should be asking of their event venue, asides from the basics regarding availability and costs.
Even if you have a specific set up in mind, ask what the venue’s capacity is in all its varieties of layouts. If you note this down, you’ll know the guest list limit depending on which layout you settle with. Further, there might even be some layouts that you haven’t considered that work better for your event than your original ideas so always check with staff at the venue what the room is capable of doing.
Most venues will have a list of recommended suppliers for any event so you will have to ask about this before you start making plans. Further, do you want to use their suppliers or do you have someone specific in mind for the job? Know what you can and can’t bring in before signing for the venue. Is there a fee for using other suppliers? If there is a fee, consider how much more you want your own suppliers than theirs and how you will get them in to set up.
Is there parking available for all of your guests? Does the venue have the necessary equipment to host your event including sound systems and a screen etc? Does this cost extra? If you have to bring in your own equipment, ask two further questions: can you book the venue for longer to include a set up and clear up time and is there an easy entrance for this equipment to be brought in? Will there be an event manager or other staff available on the day to assist you? Are there rooms available on the day for guests travelling a long way who might like to stay?
Does the venue decor change seasonally? Do they have the option for a themed event and examples of previous works and suppliers? How much more would this be? Do they have pictures of the different styles of décor they rotate at the venue so that you can get an idea for how the venue will look on the night? Have they had an event like yours before? Can they show you photos of how their event looked? That way, you can see whether this will work for the atmosphere and theme you’re striving for and how much extra it would be for something a little exposed.
Do you have any ‘go to’ questions that you ask when seeing a potential venue?
Also, see our article ‘The Recipe For a Perfect Tourist Day‘.