Event planners can fall into the trap of assuming the policies from one venue apply to others when they can be entirely different.
Unfortunately, many venues for mid-size events of 20-200 people have limited information on their website about such policies. Contacting them to find out more is always a mixed bag, too. Some venues will get back to you immediately, while others may take days, and some you may never hear from again.
So before you make that deposit, here are a few details to confirm and some tips to help you find the information you need about a prospective venue:
Narrow your search to venues that meet your core criteria
Instead of trying to chase down a venue’s basic information on their website or by contacting them directly, you can start your search on our site (if your event is in the Colorado Springs area, that is. We’re planning to expand to other cities soon!).
Filter by guest count, food and drink needs, budget, and more, and Perfect Venue will eliminate venues that don’t meet your criteria. You can save the venues you like, compare your final options, and then book fast and for free.
Take a 360 tour
One feature that many planners find helpful in selecting a venue is taking a 360 digital “tour.” You can find a 360 tour for most venues on our site at the bottom of the venue’s page. The 360 tours also make it easy for you to give your boss or other stakeholders a feel for the venue without having to visit in person!
Confirm the total price (hidden fees included)
Now that you have a few venues in mind, you'll want to confirm what fees, charges, and taxes will apply to your booking. Doing a thorough analysis will highlight any hidden costs and provide you with a better picture of the venue’s total ticket price.
For example, one unanticipated but often expensive cost is for tech support. Ask if the venue provides tech support, along with other tech-related amenities you may need, or come up with a plan to provide them yourself. As tech support can be costly, it’s helpful to know this information early in the decision-making process.
Ask about parking
Parking is a classic, ankle-bitter issue that can be frustrating for event planners and attendees alike. Ask the venue if they provide complimentary parking, and if not, what parking options will be available. Additionally, ask them how the day of week and time of the day will affect parking availability during the event.
Document your research
Lastly, keep your venue research in one place and save or tag emails so that they can be easily found. If you don’t, you'll quickly end up with a mountain of random sticky notes, buried emails, and half- finished Google Docs.
If you ever need to go back and confirm agreed-up prices or other event details, you’ll thank yourself for tracking this communication and keeping the information organized! Plus, you can reference your research when planning future events.
Although it is more work upfront to thoroughly research your venue options and ask the right questions, it will be well worth your time and money. It's a horrible feeling to decide on a venue, make a deposit, and then realize that the parking options are a deal breaker or something you thought you agreed on was a miscommunication... and now you’re arguing about getting a deposit back while scrambling to find a new venue.