Event planning is a career for many people, so it’s easy to see that there is an art to putting on an event from start to finish. Reserving banquet halls or locations for training or a meeting is the first step in successful execution. Here are some questions to ask when securing a venue.
Budget or Expense Questions
First and foremost, a budget should be set for the event. When looking for a venue, it’s best to get at least three options. Some specific questions while fact-finding before submitting a Request for Proposal or RFP are:
– How much is charged for a ballroom or meeting space with and without catering?
– How much for any additional people who attend the meeting once the final headcount is given?
– What are the cancellation fees or fees associated with a decrease in number of attendees?
– Is there a deposit to reserve the room or rooms?
– What are the costs for audio visual setup or technical support on site? Will the materials like whiteboards, paper, pens, or other supply items be provided?
Planning is the keyword here – planning ahead of time, planning during the meeting for any changes or things like technical problems with equipment, and planning on a systematic approach to tear down once the event is complete. Most banquet halls offer assistance from their staff with tear down, especially if there is catering provided by their facility.
Logistics or On Site Support Questions
Again, if catering is offered as part of the package, most hotels or other types of spaces have staff who assist with the execution of the meetings or training. But some places offer support even if there is no food and beverage service involved. A big part of business events is logistics and getting prep work done before hand to be sure that materials, supplies or equipment are available on site once the event is held. Keep in mind these questions, to be asked of whomever is providing support both at the venue and back at the office.
– What is the final headcount, and what are the books or materials necessary to be shipped to the venue?
– How can costs be kept to a minimum for shipping? (For example, use as much lead time as possible to get items sent to the site to avoid rush or overnight shipping charges.)
– If the venue is not providing office supply materials, such as post-it pads, whiteboards, and pens, how many should be shipped to the site?
– Who supplies audio visual equipment – instructors/meeting hosts, hotels, or banquet halls? Who will be available on site to provide technical support if there or issues?
– If there is catering, how many meals are included in the package, and will there be coffee breaks or other beverages and snacks offered?