by Maxim Kotsarev

How to choose an event venue without a planner?

Independent venue selection for an event. What you need to know!

Clients often apply to the agency, with an already chosen venue on their own. Most venues have their manager and his main task is to sell you his venue with a few pieces of advice.  And only the planner takes into account all the pitfalls and technical nuances that the manager will hold on one's tongue. 

Here's what you need to know:

1) Friday, Saturday, and Sunday can be 30% more expensive than weekdays. A lot of money can go down the drain just because you want to celebrate on the weekend. Consider other days and give your guests advance intimation so they can take time off.

2) Well-fed guest is satisfied guest. Check the grams amount per person of an individual banquet menu. A lot of venues are reluctant to tell you this and there can often be not enough food. For example - the optimal amount of food per guest at the wedding is about 1000-1300 grams including the wedding cake.

3)  Take care about the force-major if you plan an outdoor event. Where are you going to move in case of declining weather conditions? It happens - 200 people can be easily placed outside, barely 150 inside, and then you can get into trouble.

4) If you don't want that decorations, artists, technical stuff  assembling to be done in the guest area, be sure to specify a plan for the whole venue. An emergency or staff exit for the whole planners and contractors team is a must!

5) To avoid an unexpected consequence when some of your guests don't have enough space please ask the venue for all varieties of seating plans for specific examples.

6) Always be specific about the socket quantity and their volts.
The electricity may fail and know the meters right at the event, if you order a lot of lights and sounds, especially in older venues.

7) Be sure to ask if early arrival and late departure will cost extra money. Always keep in mind extra hours for assembly and disassembly.

8) Don't settle for times and meal plans suggested by the venue! Always rely on the time plan created by the planner. Only the planner can set up the time plan so they don't have to take the cake out while you're in the WC. It happened before...

9) Ask how the main light in the venue is regulated if you want the photos from the celebration to be of the right quality. Venues often have no dimmer and the light is either bright or off. It's not cool.

10) Do not make an advance payment without an agreement! There are cases where the venue is resold to those who have paid the entire amount at once, and you are left out of the loop, just because you have made only the prepayment. Contract first, then the money! 

Perhaps this is only 1/5 of the checklist when choosing a venue for your event. Specific situations depend on the number of guests, type of event, time of year, logistics.

As an organizer, I always approach this process with great attention and double-check the whole checklist 10 times. To avoid accidents - contact the organizer, and be calm, he will always find you what you want!

For an advice:
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