Questions to Ask When Booking a Private Venue
Private venues can be a great option for your clients who are looking for a more intimate feel for their event. These venues offer sole access to their facilities on the day of an event, so there are not multiple events going on at the same time. As a planner, you will want to have some private venues in your personal inventory that you can suggest to your clients. Here are just some of the questions you are going to want to have answered before adding a private venue to your list.
What kind of events can the venue accommodate?
This may seem like a fairly straightforward question, but it is one that is extremely important. If you have a client who wants to have an outdoor wedding ceremony, you want to make sure that the venue you are suggesting has an area where this sort of event could be held (i.e. a garden). If the venue cannot accommodate the kind of event your client is picturing then you will not want to suggest the venue for this particular event.
How many people can each area of the venue hold?
This question goes hand-in-hand with the previous question. You want to make sure that the venue has enough space to accommodate your client’s guest list.
What do the event areas look like?
Your clients may have a theme in mind for their event, so you will want to make sure that the look of the event areas fits with your client’s desired image.
Is the venue insured?
This is extremely important to find out before you add a venue to your list! Accidents can happen, and insurance will mean that the venue is covered in case someone gets hurt. Venues that are insured have more security when it comes to financial issues, so they can be more secure with offering rental dates for future events.
Is there an area for cooking? If so, can the venue offer meals for the number of guests it can hold?
Some clients will have their hearts set on a particular caterer for their event, but others will want the food to be prepared at the venue. Make sure you know if your private venues will offer meals for events, and if they are able to prepare enough food for the number of guests they can accommodate.
If the venue does offer meals, can they be modified for specific dietary restrictions?
Not everyone can eat everything, so you will want to find out if the venue will be able to offer different items for different dietary restrictions. You will also want to ensure that there is no cross-contamination when preparing the special dishes.
Does the venue have rooms that can be rented out overnight? If so, how many?
This is especially important for venues that are farther out of town and may not be near any other accommodations. There also could be guests coming from out of town that would prefer to stay on-site. If your clients are looking for a venue for their wedding they’ll probably want a room for the night before and the night of the wedding for convenience.
Is there parking available, and if so how much?
Again, this is an important question to ask with venues that are not situated in a city center, or when guests may be coming from out of town. You want to be sure that there is ample parking for all of the guests that may be attending your client’s event.
Is there an area where vendors can park?
You will want to know if there is an area separate from the guest parking where vendors will be able to park their vehicles. If not, this is something that will have to be factored in when working out parking plans for guests.
Is the venue easily accessible for deliveries and does it have an area to store equipment?
Does the venue have a delivery area? This is something you are going to want to know so that you can keep the vendors up-to-date in case they have to make changes to their normal delivery routine. It is also handy to know if vendors will be able to store equipment at the venue the night before, or if the delivery and set up will have to happen on the day of the event.
What can the venue accommodate for audio/visual equipment?
Does the venue have the necessary wiring for AV equipment, or does it have a wireless set up? Any AV companies that come in for the event will need to know what they have to work with so that they can bring the correct equipment.
What can the venue provide in terms of entertainment, and what will have to be brought in by a vendor?
If the venue already has entertainment they can provide for events, this could save on some of the cost for your client. Be sure to find out what types of entertainment they have available and what the cost would be to add them on to the venue rental.
Are there particular vendors that the venue uses/works with?
The venue may have contracts with particular vendors that once again could cut costs for your client. You’ll want to find out if the venue has any special pricing they can offer with particular vendors. This can also be a great resource for you as a planner since you may not have known about these vendors before approaching this venue.
Does the venue have a pre-set contract that it uses?
If so, make sure to have a copy that you can show your client when you are suggesting the venue to them. This contract may be able to answer some of the questions they might have, and having it handy will show that you are prepared.
What methods of payment will the venue accept?
Will the venue accept credit card payment for deposits or balances owed? If so, which credit cards will it accept? If not, will it accept checks, money orders, or other forms of payment? This is good to know so that your client will have the proper method of payment ready when needed.
What will the venue fees include and what will be extra?
Some venues will offer different packages that include things additional to the rental (i.e. food, entertainment, etc). It will be good for you to know what is available from the venue, and what the pricing for the different packages would be. Giving your client a better idea of how much the event will cost if they go with this particular venue will make them feel more secure in their decision making. Having this knowledge can also help you ensure that you keep your client’s event within the budget provided.
If there any other questions you can think of that might be important to know, don’t be afraid to ask! It’s always better to have more information rather than not enough when you are discussing a potential venue with your clients. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable your clients will feel.