Things Every Venue Wishes New Event Planners Did

Guest author Wylie Mar works for Riverside Banquet Halls, an event venue that has hosted thousands of events over its two decades of business.

With nearly two decades of experience coordinating weddings and corporate events at Riverside Banquet Halls, Sue Habibi sums it up when asked what advice she can offer to new event planners working with venues:

“It’s all about building a mutually beneficial relationship based on open communication, trust, and respect. Not only does this apply to your clients, but your vendors as well!”

Get to know the venues

Start establishing your relationships by booking appointments to personally meet with the manager/owner. Here you get an opportunity to better understand how each facility operates, ask questions, and compare which location would best fit your client’s needs in the future.

Don’t know what to ask?

There is a fantastic questionnaire at Here Comes the Guide that helps cover all the bases.

Work together as a team

Sue wishes to see a more collaborative effort between the planner and venue.

During a past meeting with a client and their event planner, she asked the client to provide their itinerary. The event planner quickly jumped in asking, “Why do you want to KNOW?”

Well, the venue is the destination where everyone comes together—the guests, caterers, entertainers, photographers, bartenders, decorators, etc. There are many moving parts that need to be carefully coordinated to ensure your client’s event runs smoothly.

The best recipe for event planning success, according to Sue Habibi? Work together with the venue as a team!

Be honest and openly communicate with the venue throughout the planning process.

After all, both parties have a common goal—to do what’s best for the client.

Avoid extreme perfectionism

It can be a double-edged sword when it comes to event planners who consider themselves perfectionists. Their unparalleled attention to detail is what makes them great at what they do!

However, this same mentality of always making sure everything ‘perfect’ can hinder progress on a project. Venues will often accommodate a planner’s requests as long as these adjustments are within reason and have minimal impact on deadlines.

Focus on the big picture and don’t sweat too much on the nitty gritty.

Venues can promote YOU

Venues are a fantastic source of referral business and act as a marketing arm for your business.

Aside from working together on an event, there are ways to continually strengthen your relationship with them:

  • Offer to write guest posts and contribute to their website blog
  • Volunteer at their open house/food tasting/community events
  • Actively promote them on your own social media platforms
  • Invite them to participate in industry related events

Once you reach that solid relationship, ask to be included in their preferred vendor list. They can include your services in their marketing efforts:

Help promote your favorite venues, and they'll return the favor

  • Print advertising materials (e.g. brochures, wedding packages)
  • Promote you on their social media channels
  • List your business in their preferred vendor directory which provides a link back to your website

Check out Athena DeVonne’s AMA for more pro advice on networking with your vendors!

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