Lily Frohlich, content marketing manager at VenueScanner, on how to make sure you’re selecting the perfect event venue, every time.
Sourcing the right venue is the most important first step in event planning. There’s no denying that this task holds a lot of weight when it comes to ensuring the success of your event. Get it wrong and you’ll have put your trust in the wrong team, the wrong setting, which may spell potential event disaster.
The venue you choose says so much about how you want your event to feel far beyond the practical aspects of selecting a venue, such as price and location. So how do you ensure you get venue sourcing right?
I might be biased, but VenueScanner is an excellent way to compare prices and venue credentials up front. Having free access to a tool that allows you to search and filter by capacity, event type, location, and refine by venue features (such as outdoor space) is going to save you hours of frustrating Google searches. Make sure you send enquiries to a number of venues to find out exactly what’s on offer before committing to take the process any further. It pays to shortlist around five venues so you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Conduct site visits
It’s extremely important for event organisers to conduct site visits prior to signing off on a venue in order to visualise how they would make the space work for them. In selecting a venue you’re essentially making an important statement about your event, so ask yourself ‘Does this space align with my expectations?’ and always go with your gut instinct. Once you’ve visited a handful of venues, it should be clear to you which space will work best for your event.
Double check every detail
Before signing a venue contract, you have a number of details to run through. Check the venue’s access hours, cancellation clause, pricing (don’t forget VAT), minimum numbers, and payment schedule before agreeing to anything. Finally, make sure to ask for clarification if you need it. You can be forgiven for not understanding complicated contract jargon, but you would be foolish not to clarify anything you don’t understand.
Ask yourself (and the venue host) ‘Who is responsible for paying for damages, losses, or anything else that goes wrong? What does the venue cover and what is your responsibility?’. It’s really important that you understand and agree with the venue’s insurance clause before committing. Ensure you take time to read over this so you know what to expect.
Don’t be afraid to haggle
So many people make the mistake of assuming that the price the venue has quoted you is the final price. There is almost always a little wiggle room. Think about what you can offer the venue host – whether that’s publicity or some kind of discount – and use that power as a bargaining tool. Make sure you don’t push it