When you’re planning an event, there are dozens of small details that can either make or break your day. While you may be able to find the perfect room for your gathering, there are still many other details you’ll need to iron out to make sure everything goes smoothly.
As you’re searching for a venue, it can be easy to let emotions take over. However, to be sure you’re happy and satisfied the day of your event, take your logical side (and this list!) with you to your venue review meetings.
1. What type of A/V equipment will be available for my event?
You’ll want to plan out any times that audio and visual materials should be shared with your attendees, then map out exactly the resources you’ll need. You may be surprised at how often you’ll want A/V support – from mood music as people gather to visual guides or interactive options during presentations.
While some venues provide A/V as an included service, at others, you may have to hire a separate provider. Bringing in someone new or inexperienced can mean a learning curve that you’ll need to allow for.
2. Who will be on-site the day of the event?
When you’re the event coordinator, your worst nightmare is having an event and having no one available to assist you in a crisis situation. The best venues will have an event staff member dedicated to your needs and focused on serving you.
This person should be with you through the planning process and have an understanding of your event goals, so they can serve as your second set of eyes and hands during the event and ensure any crisis, small or large, is handled.
And, even if nothing goes wrong, your event coordinate plays a big part avoiding any calamities and potential crises, from ensuring your A/V equipment is tested prior to the event to monitoring your event timeline and helping you stay on schedule. 500 Pearl assigns an event liaison for each gathering and they are available before and during the event to get a full understanding of your needs and to provide comprehensive support.
3. What caterers are available?
Most events need some food or drink to keep attendees happy and not too grumbly. On-site catering options can make an event much easier, because the catering team will know the venue well and there won’t be any big logistical issues to work out.
And, if you use the on-site caterer, you can usually work with their preferred resources to bring in your big extras like wedding cakes.
4. Is there WiFi?
If you’re hosting a wedding, WiFi might be a nice-to-have. If you’re hosting a corporate retreat, it’s probably mandatory, unless you want a room full of executives frustrated over not being able to connect during their time away.
Asking about WiFi early in the process allows you to factor into your budget any additional charges for making the connection available and secure for a large group.
5. Where do attendees usually stay?
It’s fun to have a venue that is convenient to a lot of interesting things – good restaurants, nice hotels, etc. It’s even better if you can make all those conveniences available on-site.
Allowing your guests to socialize outside your event can help increase the opportunities for networking if its a business gathering, which can lead to deals being made and happier attendees (and repeat bookings for the following years).
If it’s a social event, like a family reunion or a wedding, having everyone stay in an on-premise hotel can keep the celebration going (and ensure safe travel back to their lodgings, if it’s an especially festive gathering).
6. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen done in this space?
You don’t necessarily need to duplicate or top the best event hosted in the space. However, asking this question can do two things; it can give you an idea of how supportive the event staff is, because you’ll see their enthusiasm for creative ideas.
7. What’s parking like?
With the advent of Uber, Lyft and other car services, out-of-town event attendees may not bring their own vehicles very often. However, for local events like business meetings, family reunions or weddings, you may have a contingent that wants to bring vehicles on-site.
Nothing is more annoying than driving around endlessly looking for parking or spending the entire event worrying about whether you might get a ticket in the parking spot you snagged when you just gave up hope. The best venues should have a plan for parking, and built-in parking on the premises is an added bonus.
8. What sets you apart from the competition?
Some venues may compete on price, while others may focus on ease of service or uniqueness of location. The best venues will be able to tell you their top selling points and the things they’re most proud of.
At 500 Pearl, choosing a top trait is actually a little difficult for us, but we love showing off our historic spaces that are both attractive and functional; we think the convenience of our on-site hotel is hard to beat; and clients rave about how easy we make it to host an event with our dedicated event coordinator and a variety of in-house services available for your use.
9. Who do you recommend?
Your event will likely need support from multiple different vendors. Depending on its focus and attendees, you may need everything from live music to floral design to acrobats and contortionists (okay, they might be a little rare, but you never know…).
The event venue should have connections with a variety of local vendors who can make your event a success; they should also know who has already worked successfully in their event space, so they can be a seamless part of your event’s success.
When you’re putting together a special event, the devil’s in the details… or so the old adage says. Our on-site team at 500 Pearl is there to smooth out those little details for you and make your event an incredible success. Contact us today, and let us answer all these questions and more about the benefits and services we can provide to make your event seamless.