Clients depend on you to make it look easy. They count on your talent to coordinate every detail. As a corporate event planner, you oversee it all from setup and guest service to final breakdown and cleanup.
When was the last time you slowed down and took a fresh look at your checklist for choosing a venue?
We provide a complete line of after-event cleaning services across Chicago, so we know firsthand how hard you work. We offer our behind-the-scenes experience to help you organize your criteria for choosing the best event venues.
10 Tips That Streamline the Event Location Process
Every client has different needs and expectations. No two jobs are ever alike. Whether the ideal location is a convention center or a hotel ballroom, it has to impress attendees and fit the occasion. This 10-point event venue checklist can help streamline your selection process.
1. Know Who, Why and How Many
Selecting a venue for an event always starts with your initial client consultation. You get to know who you’re taking care of, determine the event type and tally estimated head counts. With this basic information, you can begin narrowing down the best choices among potential locations.
2. Check Maps and Parking Lots
Most venues maintain a digital presence with websites featuring location maps. Use these online tools to verify which venues offer the best access for your client’s event. Also confirm parking availability, capacity and applicable fees.
Power Tip: If you’re coordinating a large event, take a look at venue transportation options like off-site parking, drop-off points and shuttle services.
3. Find Floor Plans That Fit
Use your online visit to get an overview of floorspace and layout options. Venue space information should include a general idea of options for functions ranging from trade shows to executive luncheons. Browse the location’s portfolio for views of its most recent events.
4. Narrow Your Search With Interviews
Most facility managers are happy to arrange a meeting and answer basic questions. Be prepared with your checklist for choosing a venue so that you cover all the details. Does the location handle jobs similar to yours? If not, ask how they plan on accommodating your event.
5. Size Up Staff Availability
Ask about staff availability for setup, parking, food and beverage service and other jobs during the event. Discuss your requirements for staff-to-guest ratios. Compare the cost of in-house support with outsourcing services.
Power Tip: A meeting with the venue’s head of staffing can often help clarify important service details.
6. Define Needs and Expectations
Before choosing an event venue, be sure facility management knows exactly what you need. If plans include a buffet for 500, does the location handle on-site food prep? Who takes care of staging for an awards ceremony? Be very clear about what you and your client expect.
Power Tip: If your corporate event involves bar service, make sure the venue carries a current Consumption on Premise License.
7. Understand Venue Restrictions
Ask about restrictions that might modify your planning. Are you allowed to post exterior signage? Can you bring in your own food and beverage services? Most locations are planner-friendly, but avoid complications by understanding site-specific restrictions.
8. Insist on Fee Transparency
As you negotiate final costs, know what is and isn’t covered. Insist on a total job cost breakdown that lists everything from setup fees and on-site security to last-minute changes in space or staffing requirements.
Power Tip: Ask about the venue’s policies on event cancellations and client refunds.
9. Finalize Cleanup Arrangements
Some event venues expect you to handle final cleanup while others provide the service. You can often negotiate fees if you arrange to bring in professional after-event cleaning crews. By working with an independent cleaning contractor, you leave final cleanup in the hands of certified teams who efficiently handle the job regardless of venue size.
10. Trust the Power of Your Network
One of the oldest forms of marketing is also one of your best resources for choosing an event venue: word of mouth. Today, you can instantly access reviews across internet sites and social media channels. Confirm online positives and negatives with your own trusted network of corporate event planners.
Choosing the Best
Our teams tip our professional hats to your hard work in a very demanding business. Let us know how our checklist aligns with your experiences.