Selecting the perfect venue for your event can be a daunting task. I sometimes have difficulty trying to get venue information from some meeting planners about the type and style of venue that would be appropriate for their group. It’s like pulling teeth trying to get an answer to a few questions so that I could source an appropriate venue. Now, to be fair, most planners know pretty much what they’re looking for in a venue. And when they provide me with that valuable guidance I’m able to propose a selection of venues that are suitable for their event.
The angle that I take during the RFP (request for proposal) stage is that I don’t want to waste a planner’s time and present a whack of venues that are not appropriate for the group. Sometimes I would ask the following questions during site visits and other times I would send the questions in an e-mail asking for a little bit of guidance.
Questions to Help Refine Your Venue Search
Location, location, location?
What areas of the city is the planner willing to consider for hosting the event?
What venue styles would you consider?
With this question I’m trying to get an idea as to what atmosphere the planner he is considering. Some styles to consider include:
- an attraction
- a banquet facility
- boat cruise
- convention center
- golf course/clubhouse
- historic property
- sports facility
What type of event will be occurring? Is it a meal function for a presentation?
Example event types include:
- a meeting with food and beverage (or without)
- a presentation
- a reception
- a tradeshow
What day of the week will your event be occurring? And what time?
The timing is important because many venues are only available to groups at set hours during the day. You can eliminate a lot of venue options if you know the time of day that the event is occurring.
How many people are you expecting?
Do you want a venue that allows outside caterers?
For some planners, working with an outside caterer is a deal breaker.
Is it important that the space be private/exclusive to your group?
Some events may be perfectly suitable for a private room in a restaurant whereas other events are looking to have the facility exclusively.
Do you require wheelchair or other special accommodations?