Choosing a venue is in your top 5 things to do when planning your event. Once you have determined a rough head count, a date, and a budget it’s time to find the perfect venue.
First and foremost, you should really love it! It should speak to you and it should be a selection you do not second guess. There are a few things to consider though when you are looking at options. My recommendation would be to narrow it down to your top 5 based on their online profiles. But how do you narrow it down?
Here are some things to think about.
Do you have a lot of out of town guests? Are they flying in? How close is the venue to their accommodations? Are there transportation options?
Does Uber or Lyft operate in that area? If not are there transportation companies you can hire to get your guests to and from your event. I am a firm believer that if you are going to have a successful party, make it easy for your guests to come.
How to they work within your budget? What all is included?
Do they offer catering, table, chairs, a bar, bar service, etc.? If not, what do they offer and what do I need to bring in or rent? If you need to outsource rentals how much will all of that be? You will need to consider this before determining if the venue works within your budget.
What is in the area?
Are there options for dining, entertainment, etc.? If you are a planning a corporate function that lasts a few days this of course if so important. There is nothing like traveling to a conference and staying in the hotel you were provided and then having little to no options for entertainment or dining. It is also important for those planning a wedding or social event as well. Again, thinking of your guests is important. Especially your out of town guests.
Finally, coming from a background in venue management I think it is crucial you like who you are booking with. There is a good possibility that you will work on and off with this person for the next 6-12 months. Do they return your calls or emails promptly? Are they happy to talk to you? Do they appreciate your business? They should do all the above. This can make all the difference in the event planning process. They can be a useful resource to what’s in the area? What vendors work well with their venue, etc.,
Most importantly, at the end of the day, you are planning a event. You are hosting an experience for other people. Don’t overthink it, enjoy it, and put yourself in their shoes. What makes a meeting one that you would go to again? What makes a social event memorable? And what makes a wedding one that guests will talk about for the next years to come? You, the planner! You make all the difference. When in roam, hire a planner!
Until next time, happy planning friends!