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Looking for a place to hold an event?  Here are a few steps to take to simplify the process.

Create a picture in your mind. Before contacting venues, imagine the event you would like to hold. An evening cocktail party, an afternoon shower, a three day family reunion? Having a vision for the whole thing will make planning and budgeting easier. The more detail you can envision, the better: inside, outside, or a combination? Appetizers only, or a meal? Buffet, or plated service? How many guests?

Next, think about budget, and where the funds will come from. Most venues and caterers will require a deposit to hold the date you select, and the sooner you can get to that point in your decision making, the more likely you are to secure the date you want. Share the budget with the venue if you trust them. Some will work with you to make the cost suit the occasion, and help you think of ways to get great results with little money or effort.

How will decisions be made? With one decision maker, life is easy. If you have a committee, however, review with the committee the budget parameters they will support before you approach venues, to avoid frustration for all parties. If a group is sharing responsibility for payment, collect at least some funds from your committee members before you start as a way of confirming commitment to the event. Class reunions, for example, often believe that attendance will be high, only to find participation disappearing as the date draws near. You do not want to be on the hook to pay the venue, and the venue does not want to hold space for an event that does not occur.

Have your proposed date, the number of guests, and the general style of the event at the ready when you contact venues. You will get much better information by providing those details than you will if you simply ask “How much?” Event venues have trouble answering that question with anything other than “it depends.” absent more context.

5. We find it very helpful when prospective clients share the budget with us. Our goal is to help clients create indelible memories, and when we know the budget we can often help stretch the available funds to create the experiences the client believes most important to creating those memories.

6. Arrange a visit to meet the people you will be working with, and see the spaces and their possibilities. Though email and phone can be used for working out details, there is no substitute for seeing the space, learning how it is operated, and feeling whether is seems right, not just geographically and logistically, but emotionally for your event and your guests. These people will be important partners in creating a joyous and worry free celebration.

Questions or comments? Contact us today.


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