Top 10 tips for corporate event planners before booking a venue for 2016

The summer wedding summer has just fizzled out and event planners are busily planning for 2016. When you’re looking for the best venue for your clients, it is important to be prepared and know what to look out for.

Before your first ‘Google’ search or calling to speak with hotel/banquet managers…here are some major questions to ask to help you determine if the venue is a fit for your needs:

1. Availability for the dates and do you have some backup options?

If you are planning for a ‘hot’ time of year, your dates may get beat out by other planners who book earlier. It is vital to have a plan b, so that you can give your clients some immediate alternative options.

2. Is the location central?

Whether you’re travelling there by plane, train or automobile, how will your attendees arrive at the venue? Do they offer shuttle service from the airport? Is public transit, a subway or sky train accessible? Is there a lot of free parking or will guests have to pay to park?

3. Can your guests ‘sleep it off’ at the venue?

As an event planner you need to think about everything. Can the guests get a safe/sober ride home OR can they stay the night at the venue? if there are no hotel rooms offered then you need to think of a way to get your guests home safely.

4. Does the venue set the mood?

A budget is always important…but does the venue have the atmosphere to carry an event of your client’s magnitude?

5. Do you have room to wiggle?

The last thing guests want is to feel like sardines squished in a can. You need to ensure there is plentiful room at the venue for guests to move around and feel comfortable.

6. Does the space have the right stuff?

There are a variety of details you need to look at including: tech requirements, projectors, number of screens, AV equipment, computers, wireless internet auditorium setting versus theatre setting, breakout rooms or even a lounge for unwinding/relaxation.

7. Location! Location! Loaction!

Will the location provide a memorable experience for the event goers? If this is a one or two day conference, may sure you plan for a location that is close to…shopping, dining or tourist activities. Sometimes it isn’t always what you do at the conference that makes the event, it is what comes after the conference.

8. Does the venue cater to individuals dietary needs?

You may have guests with medical conditions, religious beliefs or even vegans…make sure you can cater to their needs.

9. Everyone loves freebies?

Whether it is free shuttles to the airport, complimentary wifi, free coffee, notepad paper or even pens. Make sure you ask, you will be surprise at what you can receive.

10. The buck stops here?

Always read the fine print. Make sure you note anything that might throw your event off. For example, confirm the deposit fees, final payment due dates, and if there is interest on a late payment…it all must be accounted for in your budget.

If you require an event venue for 2016, Riverside Banquet Halls has 5 banquet rooms (4 Richmond locations, 1 Surrey location) that are available for early bookings.

Give us a call at (604) 244-7755 and speak to one of our highly experienced planners!