6 Tips For Effective Event Venue Site Visits - Part 2

In our second part of a two-part blog post, we look at six more tips to a successful venue site visit.

1. Kitchen/catering facilities
What type of kitchen facilities does your venue offer? Does it have a full commercial kitchen, a cooktop, microwave, food preparation area and sink, or just a small sink for hand-washing - or not even that? Do you need to bring catering trucks in? Where and how does your catering team access the guest dining area? Is there a refrigerator to store desserts, floral arrangements or wine? Where can you store ice? How far is the catering area from where you want to serve food and drinks?

2. Inclusions
Are you hiring a bare-bones hall? Does it have a stage or audio facilities? Does the venue include linen, vases, candle holders, table numberscutlery and glasses as basic inclusions or do you need to bring everything in? Are the dining chairs in keeping with your decor theme or do they look like office chairs? Do they have a standard venue decor package to help you keep costs down - or a list of recommended event hire suppliers?

3. Decor
Is it a shell of a room or is it already decorated? Does it have plain carpet, patterned carpet, vinyl sheets, polished wooden floorboards, polished concrete, or tiles? Does it have vertical blinds, venetian blinds, roman blinds, festoon curtains or tinted windows? Does it have LED ceiling lights, fluorescent lighting strips, coloured spotlights or chandeliers? All of these types of flooring, window and lighting treatments create a different effect and may mean you spend more - or less - to achieve a chosen look.

4. Hire restrictions
Is it an historic estate? You may not be able to attach anything to the walls. Are you allowed to install festoon lighting? Fairy lighting? Do the ceiling joists have the strength to hold chandeliers? How long can you hire the venue for? Are there any days or hours you cannot hire the venue? Do you have very short turnaround times to get the event inclusions installed and removed? Can you hire more or less of its space depending on guest numbers? Do you need to hire the venue at the same time next year for an annual event? 

5. Natural lighting
Does your venue have floor-to-ceiling windows to capitalise on a magnificent view? if your function is daytime only and is lit by natural sunlight, you may not need to hire, for example, candles, candelabras, uplighting or decorative lighting. Is the room internal without natural lighting - such as in a hotel ballroom? Then you'll need additional lighting to add atmosphere.

5. Reputation
What do online reviews say about it as a venue? Is it easy to find? Easy to get to? Pleasant staff? Good atmosphere? Your choice of venue will largely impact the success of an event. New, trendy venues can make guests excited when they receive your invitation and keen to attend, while events held at established venues can be seen as a safe bet, but perhaps not especially memorable and unique. A quirky venue choice could well suit an event which has a very strong decor theme to meet.

 Get ideas on how to choose offbeat locations for your event.

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