5 Things to Think About Before Booking a Venue
Some may argue that choosing a venue is the most important part of the event planning process. A venue can set the tone for the entire event and help make a lasting impression on your guests. Selecting a space can be overwhelming due to the limitless amount of options that most cities offer. Once you’ve narrowed down your top venue choices that are available on your date, how do you pull the trigger on the one that is going to be the best for you? Here are 5 things to think about that may elevate one location above the rest.
When Can You Access the Site?
You may have found the most gorgeous venue you’ve ever laid eyes on, but chances are, other people have thought that same thing. Since some venues are in high demand, they may try to book multiple events in one day in order to serve as many customers are possible. Because of this, be sure to ask when you or your vendors are able to come in to set up for your event. There’s nothing worse than putting down a deposit on a 4PM event only to realize as you get closer that you can’t access the venue until 2PM because the morning event is still wrapping up.
Want to have your event at a hotel? Most hotels will have you use their in-house catering. Want to have your event at a winery? Many wineries will require you pour their wines at your event. No matter the location, double check to see what the venue’s vendor policy is. Some may be open to any vendor you hire, some will have a preferred list, and others will want you to use there in-house services. This all plays a crucial role in deciding if the venue will be the right fit for your event.
This may seem obvious, but stay with me. If you’re holding an event for 50 people and you see online that the room you want to book holds 150, you may want to think twice. As much as you don’t want a space that’s going to make your event too crowded, you also don’t want a space that’s going to be too large. There’s nothing worse than putting extensive time and money into an event only to have the room feel totally empty once all of your guests arrive because the venue you rented was oversized for your guest-list.
The first experience your guests will have when they arrive to your event is parking (unless they’re taking Uber/Lyft). You don’t want them to show up stressed out because they were circling the venue for 15 minutes prior. If your event is at a private residence, you may want to consider hiring valet. If your event is at a venue with a parking garage, can you pre-pay so your attendees get free parking? Parking and transportation availability or lack thereof should not be overlooked as an important piece of selecting a venue.
You’re crossing your fingers for a beautiful June day when you booked your event in February, but what happens if it rains? Can you hire a company to put a tent on the property for cover? Is there an indoor space you can move to or will it be booked by another party? Talk to your venue about what their “plan B” options are before you sign the dotted line.
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