You are throwing a wedding, a baby shower, or an anniversary party. Maybe someone is graduating, your church is having an event, or your business wants to hold a conference. Whether you need a banquet hall, a ballroom, a baby shower venue, or a place to hold the corporate meeting, here are four tips for finding the best venue for your event.
- It’s never too early to start. The number one mistake people make when looking for a venue is waiting too long to begin. In fact, most experts would suggest that you book a wedding reception venue as soon as you’ve gotten engaged: at least nine months before the wedding. Since there are 2.4 million weddings performed every year in America, this sounds like sensible advice. The same advice holds true for renting a banquet hall or space for a meeting, where it is recommended you begin looking at least four months in advance.
- Consider the services and amenities carefully. The difference between one banquet hall and another is more than just price. You may need a kitchen for your event, and while some event venues can cater themselves, other venues will require you to hire separate catering. What about tables, chairs, linens, and even parking? Will the venue have enough of all of these things to accommodate the number of guests that you expect? If you are bringing some of your own decorations, make sure that the venue’s linens and furniture match what you have. If it does not, it might not be worth it to rent that wedding hall, even if you can get it at a cheaper price. And don’t forget audiovisual equipment and whether or not the venue has set up and cleanup crews.
- Think about whether the layout and ambiance will fit your event. What types of activities do you want to take place in the venue? What kind of traffic flow will be happening throughout the event, and do you need a separate area for high traffic, such as a registration point? Make sure you get a layout and floor plan to help you decide which venue best matches your needs. It’s also worth considering whether the decor and architecture are a fit for your event. If you’re holding some kind of business expo, for example, you might want a very different style of architecture and feel of decoration than someone who is planning a baby shower.
- Don’t forget the emergency things, like insurance and cancellation policies. No one wants to think about having to cancel or change something as big as a wedding or formal banquet. But the reality is you may just have to cancel that banquet hall booking for unexpected reasons. Some venues will not even do business with you if you do not carry insurance, so getting this sorted out right away could save you a tremendous amount of hassle later on. It’s also important to find out the venue’s flexibility about dates. If you can provide several date options right from the beginning, you’re more likely to get a discount. But you also want to go in knowing what it will cost you to cancel or change dates.
There are a lot of things to consider when planning an event, but if you do your research well and start early, you should be able to find just the right venue for your needs.