TOP FOUR THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING EVENT VENUE(S)
So many things go into planning an event but choosing the right venue is probably the most crucial element to having a successful event.
As I have mentioned before I plan events with our human senses in mind. You can select the most beautiful venue but if they have a sewer issue with the bathrooms it could be the only thing your guest remembers is the smell. So let’s make sure your guests are raving about your event for years to come by considering these helpful items.
Yes, yes it is true. When planning your dream wedding or event there are some very large money sucks and unfortunately your venue can be one of them. Most large venues i.e. hotels, resorts have food and beverage minimums you have to hit in order to book, some of these can be from $20,000 and upwards to $60,000 depending on how luxe you want to go. The plus side to this is the hotel and staff are responsible for everything so it is less people to coordinate, sometimes.
If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly you can look for a venue that rents out the space and source a catering company to provide the food. By doing this you also get some freedom on food selections. My recommendations on this option, taste test your way through options and make sure you feel comfortable with the service you receive. When you find the right fit, ask them if they provide servers to be on site. Some catering companies do and some don't so this is something you will want to consider. One of my biggest pet peeves in the business is seeing gorgeous photos but in the background tables full of dirty plates of half eaten cake and a million glasses on tables. Having servers, while isn't always necessary (buffet/ food truck) , does come in handy in the cleanup of things. The are absolutely necessary if you are wanting to have a sit down, served meal.
A big part of hiring a planner is they know the ins and outs of locations, venues and what will be best for your vision and budget. Talking with your planner first will help you narrow down the important things to consider when choosing your venue. They also have an eye for looking at things you might not think are glamorous but with the proper vendors they can turn it magical.
Whether you're hosting an event for work, friends or a wedding determining the location is a key detail as it will bring up the questions, is it easy for guest to get there? Is grandma/ grandpa going to be able to be there? Betty is 8 months pregnant or Will is in a wheelchair, is it accessible?
Most venues will be all accommodating but taking the time to side down and consider all the possible guests in attendance really shows when you're at the event and everyone is taken care of. Your guests are the whole reason you are having the event so considering them is a must.
Another topic when it comes to location is parking. When planning your event are buses going to be needed to charter everyone from a parking lot to the main event location because parking isn't allowed. Or is everyone on their own to figure it out? If this is the case, which is totally fine, this will bring in needing to have clear directions and instructions on what is happening on your event website.
IF WEATHER IMPOSES
Event season is at its peak during the summer/fall months due to the wedding season. It’s beautiful outside and people want to enjoy the fresh air. But when mother nature decides to throw a curveball she doesn’t care what kind of event it is. Some planning solutions are tent rentals, some venue locations will hold another room as a weather backup if they have the availability and always, especially if you don’t have a planner, make sure your contract has a cancellation policy. You don’t want to pay for a wedding you didn’t get to have because a hurricane decided to roll through.
Once you have considered all these things in your brainstorm sessions just keep in mind, venues can and will book up fast. During 2021 I have heard from many venues and vendors it has been their busiest season and bookings for 2022 are already filling up. If you are looking to rent a venue at a popular location, plan ahead and consider that 12-18 months prior to your event is when you should be booking your venue. Also, if you have date flexibility and budget in mind your weekday events tend to be cheaper than a weekend event. This also allows you to play around with your timeline and make a true vacay out of the week and more days to hang out with all your guests. Cheers to happy event planning!