We all know how hard it can be to find the right venue for an event. The options seem endless, and more often than not, the never-ending list can be overwhelming. As possibly the hardest decision in event planning, choosing the right venue is one of the most important factors in making your event a hit. You could continue throwing money at your event, but if the venue is poorly chosen, the entire success of your event is at stake.
Since we understand just how important venue booking is, we have made a list of the best tips from event planners to help you sniff out the wrong venue option for your event:
1. Keep an eye on the online reviews.
You saw the pictures of the venue option online, and you were impressed by what you saw. Now, if you plan on booking it after just seeing the pictures, HOLD ON! There are more factors that make a venue suitable for your event other than how it looks. Get your event-planning hat on, and search a little more about the venue online, starting with the online reviews. See what the people who have visited the venue or hosted an event there experienced. This is important so that you can get an idea of what to expect (or not expect) on the date of your event. Not only that but it is suggested that you also notice the way your venue option replies to these reviews, especially any negative ones, and the tone of their acknowledgement. This will give you an idea about just how helpful and cooperative the staff at that venue can be.
Not extensively checking online reviews prior to your booking can also result in some last-minute surprises and service-related issues as well.
PRO TIP: Instead of reading reviews on the venue’s social media handles or website, check Google Reviews instead.
2. The first impression is the last impression.
When you are out there looking for the right venue for your event, the best advice would be to trust your instincts. If your first impression isn’t quite up to the mark in terms of ambience, food, or even service, your best bet is to scratch that venue off your list. The chances of your guests having a similar impression are quite high. When visiting the venue, see whether the event inclusions mentioned online are being offered or not, and also be very attentive to cleanliness and other factors that can set the mood for your guests. Observe if the staff is sufficiently cooperative and attentive to avoid having your guests leave your event dissatisfied.
3. Be as attentive as possible to all the tiny details.
A small, missed detail, while you are visiting your venue, could heavily influence the success of your event. For example, a lack of attention to a venue’s cleanliness resulted in a major issue at a corporate event when mice were seen running around the premises. Unless you want these tiny details to be a major bummer at your event, you should pay close attention on your first venue visit. Consider everything: the venue’s physical condition, the people in the venue and how satisfied they look, how good the service is, the elements that the venue is providing and whether they match your requirements, if the music played suits the theme of your event, if the food is up to the mark, the variety, and just about everything. Squeaky doors, stains on the walls, malfunctioning equipment or technology, broken furnishings, cobwebs in corners, greasy kitchen floors should all be warning signs!
Avoid throwing a poorly hosted event; people almost never forget it. Keep an eye on the smallest details to make sure your event is executed seamlessly and that the guests have an awesome time.
4. Don’t let an inaccessible location affect your gathering.
If your venue is reached via narrow passages in some far corner of the city, your best bet is to move on to another venue option. The location of your venue plays a massive role in the success of your event. If the location is accessible and convenient for the majority of your guests, the attendance will likely be higher. However, with a poor venue location, where guests must make a significant effort to reach your event, it’s possible that not many people will show up. There are certain concerns related to the location, including if the venue is located on a busy street or if the local area has noise pollution that will disrupt your event. Before you finalise the venue, ask yourself: Is it in a convenient location for my attendees? Is it safe for everyone? If the answer to most of these questions is “No”, best to strike that option from the list.
5. Discuss the policies and identify the areas of negotiation.
Different venues have different sets of guidelines and policies for hosting an event. For instance, certain venues set up their own male-to-female ratio if your event requires the venue to serve alcoholic drinks, and many venues have strict policies regarding age and other factors, like event duration and more. When you are visiting the venue, do not forget to sit with the venue manager and discuss their policies to see if they fit your requirements for your event.
There are many areas for negotiation, based on your needs, and these may include the following:
- Outside vendor policies: Check to see if the venue allows outside vendors like caterers, decorators, event planners, and more. Certain venues have a strict no outsider policy and thus provide in-house services upon request.
- Capacity & guest-related concerns: Ask the venue manager if there is a required minimum number of guests for events if guests below 18 are allowed, if a certain ratio between males and females is set, and any others so you have clarity on all issues.
- List of inclusions: The best way to make sure you aren’t surprised by any last-minute additional costs is to discuss the inclusions beforehand. Write down your needs and requirements from the venue, and talk about which ones are included in the booking amount and which amongst them need to be paid in advance.
- Budget: Decide if the venue provides the space and amenities that justify the cost of the booking. If it is overpriced or doesn’t match your needs, move on to the next option.
The most successful events are hosted at the right venue. While the struggle to find the right venue can be difficult, the success of your event will completely compensate for the effort, and then some.
Preeti Kalra is a content writer at VenueMonk, Delhi NCR’s largest venue-booking platform that connects both venue owners and venue seekers with an extensive range of venues for over 16 venue categories at the lowest guaranteed price.