You may have a hugely anticipated event with a decent budget, but you can undo all of the great outcomes if you haven’t given enough thought to the event venue. To avoid such a situation, here are some questions you or your event management professional should ask of venue managers to guarantee a event-venue match.
Most of the time, what makes or breaks your event is it’s location. Ask these questions:
1. Is the venue conveniently located? Can participants/guests commute easily?
2. Can it be accessed with public transport? If no, what arrangements need to be in place?
3. Will it be a destination location which naturally draws people?
Once you zero in on the venue, check the following:
4. Is the space available on your preferred dates and times?
5. Do you get a discount or pay a premium if you book during certain times of the year?
Again, one of the determining factors in venue selection is the cost. Evaluate these before you sign on the dotted line:
6. How much is the difference between off-season and busy-season, weekday and weekend rates?
7. What is the initial deposit and how much of the amount is refundable?
8. Are the venue managers offering any kind of value-adds or discounts?
9. Does the venue offer packages? What’s included and what’s not?
No two venues are alike when it comes to the dos and the donts. Consider the following:
10. Have you thoroughly scanned through the blueprint of the rates and charges to avoid unforeseen expenses and stay within the allocated budget?
11. What are the venue’s policies on guarantees, refunds and reprehensibility in the event of cancellation, force majeure or damage?
One size doesn’t fit all: your requirements will be very different if you’re planning to host a 5000-strong rock concert crowd as compared to the same number of people for a wedding ceremony. Does your checklist include the following:
12. Is the space big enough to comfortably fit your estimated guest list?
10. Does the venue offer separate spaces for hosting the different activities you’ve lined up (registration, trade show/expo space, meeting/convention/panel discussion spaces, cocktails and eating spaces; dance floor, food counters and live entertainment/fire show/jugglers area)?
13. Will the venue accommodate staging or other large items which you need?
Food is a crowd-puller and definitely one of the biggest attractions in any event. You need to make sure you have ample stock, from starters to desserts. Ask these questions for fool-proofing food and refreshment arrangements:
14. Does the venue have on-site catering? If so, what are the different types of menus and specialties on offer?
15. Can you bring outside vendors? If yes, does the venue manager have any preferred vendor? Do you need to pay a surcharge or incur additional costs if you use outside vendors?
16. Can the executive chef and catering manager handle large orders? What is their experience?
17. If you have a small number of attendees, what is the minimum payment for food and drinks?
You can’t just do with a fancy space and a delectable menu card. Keep an eye out for the following:
18. Does the venue have/allow electronic displays or signages?
19. Is there a concierge desk or does the area have ample number of information kiosks?
20. Does the place have sufficient lighting, heating/cooling systems to keep everyone comfortable?
21. If it’s a day event, is there enough natural light? If required, can it be shaded?
Audio-Visual and Acoustics
It pays to plan for all the visual and sound equipment required for the event in advance. See if these are covered:
22. What public address systems and music amplification needs does the space have?
23. Is the venue wired for AV equipment? What type of equipment is available and what are the additional charges?
24. Does the space have vendor partners for music and AV?
25. Is the acoustic set-up complementing your event’s requirements?
Security and Privacy
Pay close attention to security measures in and around the venue. And once the event goes underway, ensure you take ample steps to safeguard guests’ privacy. You wouldn’t want prying eyes in a high-profile event. Do ask the following questions:
26. What are the security measures in place at the venue? Does the venue provide security personnel for the participants?
27. Is the venue prepared with various security equipment? If yes, how much more do they charge?
28. Can the event be secluded/hidden from public view? Does the venue have spaces or areas that offer privacy to guests?
Parking and Transportation
The success of an event relies on its guests; so ensure they have no problems once they arrive at the venue. Ask the facilities manager the following:
29. Are there ample parking spaces for the guests?
30. For out-of-town guests, are there convenient transportation options to get them to the venue? Does the venue provide any such conveyance option to and from the event?
For event planners, another very important yet oft neglected area is to check the venue’s Wi-Fi capability. This would ensure a seamless mobile Internet experience for the attendees while they are at the event.
These are the 30 most important questions you should ask the venue/facilities manager before you plan the actual event. Did we miss out on any critical question? Is there a venue management topic you want to add? Do let us know in the comments below.
Have you tried any mobile event app for planning and executing your company’s events? Today’s native apps are taking the anxiety out of event management and providing event planners a bouquet of productivity tools to enhance attendee participation and engagement.