Choosing a venue is one of the very first (and most important!) decisions you’ll make when planning your event. Your venue affects the event’s date, location, capacity, and budget. That might seem like a lot of pressure to put on just one piece of your large, event-planning puzzle. But there are two ways you can make venue shopping easier and less stressful—without compromising your wish list.
First, you can venue shop from your couch with Eventective. Filter thousands of venues by capacity, pricing, or quickness of reply. Then reach out directly to each vendor for more information on availability or package deals with a few clicks of your mouse. It’s that easy! You don’t have to make a list and call them all one-by-one. And after you’ve heard back from them (they reply right to your email) you can visit the top 3-5 choices that fit your criteria.
Second, when you start chatting with venues, ask how else they can support your event. Some venues offer package deals with local businesses, or add-on services at a discounted rate. This saves you the time and money of coordinating with two separate vendors. It’s all done at the same place! And if your venue doesn’t have any packages—don’t worry! They might still have the inside scoop or referral codes for top-rated businesses nearby. Below are five additional services your venue may be able to supply you with.
There may be specific decorations you want to bring yourself—like a personalized banner or custom centerpieces. That’s expected! But there are plenty of decoration “basics” that your venue may be able to offer. Tablecloths, chair covers, and, yes, even centerpieces if you’re not picky. Working with your venue to coordinate décor can save you money and lots of time.
Decorating typically happens the night before or the morning of, after the room has been arranged. If the venue is handling those details, you don’t have to enlist friends or coworkers to help. You might not even have to be there yourself! Plus, you save the time and energy of going to stores or ordering materials online while planning everything else. Check with your venue before you start the decoration shopping!
If your venue has a kitchen, this can greatly benefit your event. On the one hand, it means there’s space to store extra food and even do a little preparation on-site if need be. On the other hand, it could also mean your venue offers catering themselves!
Often, venues that offer catering don’t allow outside catering companies. It’s a way for the venue to make a little extra money. But it’s also a huge added value for you, because you won’t have to coordinate food pick-up for your event. Plus, the venue will be familiar with room configurations that are easy to navigate when food in involved, so you can totally leave it in their hands.
Set-up & Clean-up Crew
Outside of the decorations, someone needs to decide on room layout—and then set it all up. At a minimum, that means tables and chairs. But it also includes any special requests, like AV equipment or a podium. Your venue may be able to assist with the overall layout if they’ve hosted similar events before. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be around for set up. Always ask!
Clean up is entirely different—but just as important. If your venue offers a clean-up crew, it will increase your event’s bottom line. But it will also save you from paying extra for damages. After your event, the venue staff will inspect the room (or rooms!) you booked. If there is any damage or leftover trash, you will likely be charged for repairs or cleaning costs. Hiring the venue’s crew avoids surprise fees afterwards.
Parking & Transportation
Sadly, venues can’t create parking space where it doesn’t exist. But still be sure to ask what on- and off-site parking is available—especially for special events, like weddings. The couple won’t want to walk far in their fancy clothes, so you’d need to coordinate a drop-off for them and the rest of the wedding party.
For public or corporate events (like a conference or lecture), transportation is one of the top reasons guests don’t attend—even if they bought tickets! So make sure your venue is as accessible as possible. Hotels often offer shuttle services to nearby attractions or airports for free—which is perfect for out-of-town guests.
Let’s say you’re planning a fundraising dinner auction. The tables, chairs, and food are all covered by your venue. What about the AV equipment to announce the winners? Or maybe a slideshow featuring some VIPs in the audience? Your venue is likely happy to accommodate, and they may even have some clever solutions to make the execution easier. But you still need to have that conversation before looking elsewhere.
Whether or not your venue is equipped to support additional requests, you still need permission to perform them on your own. That way, your venue won’t add any surprise fees—and you don’t run into any glitches on the day of, or day before.
What package deals have you received before from your venue? Share it with us below!