Booking Venues: 8 Questions to ask before you hire
Booking venues. Where do you even start?
What should you be looking for? What are the absolute minimal essentials a venue should offer? There are all kinds of pitfalls when it comes to booking venues. This is why it’s worth having a checklist before you start thinking about the type of venue you want to hire. But what kind of questions will cover every issue?
Here are 8 questions on booking venues everyone should ask before they hire:
1. What’s included in the price?
Once you have chosen a venue, talk through exactly what is included in the quote the venue has provided. Think about furniture, lighting, the bar, staff, cleaning up at the end of the event, literally everything that can be charged for. Don’t just think about the big stuff a venue provides, but all the little additional things such as card transactions, after-hours or weekend costs.
2. Can I hire the venue staff?
Professional staff make all the difference when it comes to staging an event. So if your venue offers their staff with the venue then grab them with both hands. Experienced staff will know the venue inside and out. They will have experience of any little building quirks, such as lighting, deliveries, sound issues, which hired staff won’t know about.
3, How many guests can the venue accommodate?
You might find the perfect venue with everything you want thrown in for free. But if it cannot accommodate the number of people you want to invite then all that planning will be for nothing. So one of the most important questions to ask is the maximum number of guests a venue can manage comfortably.
4, What is the venue’s insurance policy?
Two things to ask here, what does the venue’s insurance policy cover and what exactly is their damage policy? In other words, one covers you if the venue is at fault, and the other costs you if you are at fault. Find out exactly where you stand in both cases so you’ll know the damage if anything does go wrong.
5. Does the venue offer assistance in planning and design?
Some venues get really involved in their client’s events. Whereas others give their customers full reign of the space with little to no input. If you are the kind of customer that needs a little extra help with planning and design it is worth finding out whether your venue offers this. It might come as an added extra or part of a package.
For example, director of marketing and product development at Cort Event Furnishings Kevin Dana, says:
“Does the rental company provide 2-D and 3-D models of all their products to create plans that assure everything fits into the event space?”
6. What rooms are available to hire?
Does your venue has several rooms to hire? For instance, there’s that beautiful staircase that as you enter the venue would be ideal for wedding photographs. Can your venue cordon it off as a private space? Does the building have separate cottages on its grounds? If so, can you hire them for additional guests if required? Make sure you get the most out of your venue.
7. Can I have my wedding and reception at the venue?
We all know what happens when we make assumptions about booking venues? But did you know that a venue must have a license in order to marry couples? Therefore, for all those who are planning a wedding, keep in mind the following. You must ensure the venue is fully licensed to hold civil ceremonies. This is if you want the ceremony and the reception in the same venue.
8. Can I bring in my own caterers and use the venue’s kitchen space?
Finally, our last question on booking venues is about catering. There’s a big difference between laying out prepared food on tables and cooking it in the venue’s own kitchens. Be very clear about what you mean by catering when you talk to the head of the kitchen department. It is more than likely that they will be busy in their kitchens and don’t want you getting in their way.