ratingUsing the internet to identify venues for your next event has become the norm.  How many of us have time to visit all of the potential venues for our upcoming event(s)?  We want something different, something unique, something that will draw our attendees in.  So, we troll the internet until we find the “one” we think will work.

The pictures you see and the specs you read seem to meet all your needs, but before you sign on the dotted line with this awesome venue you just found, conducting a site inspection is a critical first step in ensuring that this venue will suit your needs.  A site inspection will identify, in person, the pros and cons of the venue to help you avoid unexpected costs and potential mishaps that could occur during the event.

Asking these important questions will help you achieve the success you are looking for:

  1. What is the legal capacity of the venue?
    Make sure you provide the layout you anticipate using.  Staging and seating reduces your capacity significantly.
  2. Does the venue have exclusive or preferred vendors?
    If so, request sample pricing to determine if you can afford the venue.
  3. What equipment is included in the rental price?
    If you are looking to have extensive sound or lighting, it would be wise to bring your production company with you.  They will ask technical questions your may not think of.
  4. Is there an on-site kitchen?
    This will impact your caterer and may require them to provide extra equipment which will impact your budget.
  5. What additional areas are available to you at the venue?
    Is there enough storage area for your production company and other suppliers, parking for their trucks, space for a “command center” for you and your team, etc.
  6. What time can we set up and break down?
    Make sure the set up and breakdown times are included in your overall price.  Find out how much the hourly rate will be if you exceed those times.  For instance, you should ask, “How late can my event run?”
  7. What parking is available?
    Find out about the parking capacity, how far it is from the venue, and if parking is valet or self-parking.
  8. What security is required?
    What is provided by the venue and what must you provide?
  9. What is your risk management plan?
    How many entrances and exits are there?  How are they maintained?  How close is the nearest hospital, fire station, and police station?
  10. What permits are required?
    This is particularly important if you are holding an outdoor event.
  11. Does the venue provide WiFi?
    With everyone expecting to use their smartphones at any venue, you will want to know if the venue is equipped with wireless internet access and whether or not there is an additional cost associated with it.
  12. What, if any, marketing opportunities are available?
    Many venues use social media to promote their locations.  Do you have the ability to partner with them to promote your event?  If it is a public event, will they highlight your event on their website or calendar listings?

These are just some of the key questions you will need to ask and should be used as a guide to raise additional questions during the site inspection that are specific to your event and what you want to achieve.

Are you interested in adding a little Pizzazz to your next meeting or event, but don’t know where to start? Pizzazz Meeting & Event Planning Group can train your event planning team to improve their best practices and skills. We are available for one-on-one coaching, training workshops, project consultations, or taking the lead on planning your next event. Give us a call today to find out what we can do for you.