I have decided that I am going to start adding to my blog helpful hints and ideas when planning any event. Today's topic is reserving a venue. I have been receiving many calls and emails in regards to insight on where to book events and what is a good amount to spend. When thinking of reserving a venue you have to take into account what it has to offer you for the set rental price.
~ Venue Questions ~
•What is the max capacity of the space? This does not always mean you can seat that many people at tables and chairs as well as have room for dance floor etc.
• Are you required to use their catering? If so what is the cost of the food. In many cases the rental of the space seems to be a great deal, but once you add the food tab it really was not a "deal" at all.
•Do they supply tables and chairs? If so how many and do they also offer any linen options?
•What are their rules when it comes to alcohol? Is it permitted? Does there have to be someone licensed to serve the alcohol? Is a cash bar allowed?
• Do they include clean up in the price of the rental? If not, what is expected? Some places require you to remove everything from the room; tables, chairs, all trash. They also require you to vacuum and mop.
•Is the location easy to find? Are there signs or landmarks that would help your guests to find it?
•How long do you have it reserved? Every venue require you to be completely out of the building by a certain time.
•What are there lighting options? Are the lights on dimmers or separate switches so you can achieve the look and feel you picture? What are the outlet wattage limits? That is key to knowing if you can bring in additional lighting and if so how many.
•It is 100% normal for every venue to have a contract at the time of booking. If you are not asked to sign a contract then you should be worried. A contract is the ONLY way to garantee you have reserved that location for you date. They also usually require a non-refundable deposit. Sometimes I have people who are scared by the non-refundable part. The reason the deposit is non-refundable is they can not be held liable for date changes or cancellations. They understand things come and things may change, but they are responsible for holding that date for you and only you. With that being said, if 30 other people call about that date, they have to turn them away because it is reserved by you. If you cancel your event you could be keeping them from reserving it for that date and in return they will lose money. They are in the business to make money and that is why contracts are put into place. So be sure that you want THAT venue on THAT day BEFORE you book.
•It is also good to know if the venue requires you to take out a special event insurance policy. These insurance policies are a great investment I think. I have told many brides and grooms about this and to my knowledge none of them have had to use them, but the thought of them having complete protection is a wonderful piece of mind. Sometimes people get out of control and can damage part of the venue or maybe even be involved in a car accident. This insurance would cover you for the time of your event so that in the event that something bad were to happen, you could not be sued or help financially responsible for whatever may arise.
It is VERY important that you follow every rule that the venue has in your contract. They have the right to keep your deposit if you do not follow what they have asked. In some cases you will be charged more than your deposit if there is damage that exceeds the amount put down.
I hope you find this helpful when reserving your event space. Please let me know if there is anything I can help you with in you special event needs.