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Key Questions Guide Venue Choices

July 13, 2017

Snappening’s CEO and expert planner, Crystal Grave, asks three key questions of individuals looking for the perfect venue:

  1. How should your guests feel?
  2. What do you want them to remember?
  3. What should they do during and after the event?

Venues Should Suit the Feel of Your Event

Whether you are newly engaged, planning a big conference, or booking space for a family reunion, you probably have some idea of what would work. For a wedding, it’s all about what the couple wants—classic, intimate, vintage, outdoor, etc. Conferences generally need specific venue features. For any event, the right venue must be able to accommodate factors such as:

  • Desired Date: No venue will work if it’s not available the day you need it. Many planners work a year or more ahead of events to increase the chance of finding and reserving the best venue for a specific date. Date flexibility is also helpful.
  • Headcount: For a small event—like a retreat for 25 executives—you don’t need a ballroom. On the other hand, for an event with a lot of people, you will need to consider how well a venue allows guests to navigate the space and if the space will comfortably hold everyone who comes.
  • Guest Demographics: Wedding guests can range from very young to very old, so a wedding venue should be accessible to all ages and abilities. Parking is another consideration for less able guests. Can they park close to the venue? Or will they have to walk a distance?
  • Tactical Considerations: Because a venue is a destination, planners must also consider how attendees can get there. If you are planning a national multi-day conference, are there hotels nearby? An airport within easy range?

Venues Should Help Make Your Event Memorable

What past events stand out in your mind? What made them so good? Amazing speakers? Abundant networking opportunities? Delectable dining experiences? What would your audience most value? Once you’ve identified the purpose of the event and what you hope to achieve, you can decide how to prioritize budget expenditures for food, AV, giveaways, decorations, etc.

When seeking information about a venue,

  • check their catering policies. Can you bring in your own caterers? Are there required minimums for food and beverage?
  • learn what the rental includes. Depending on your situation, you’ll want to know about set up protocol, staffing, AV and WiFi, and whether the venue can supply other items you’ll need.
  • ask about acoustics and the flow between rooms. Will every attendee be able to see and hear the speaker, the guest of honor or the bride and groom?

Venues Should Help Guests Have the Right Experience

You’ve arranged for your guests to get to the venue, but what experience should they have while there? Crystal Grave offers a checklist, including questions such as:

  • Can guests easily enter and get where they need to go at the venue?
  • Will they feel satisfied with the food, drink and entertainment options?
  • Can they find restrooms easily?
  • Are staff available to answer questions?
  • Can they find quiet spaces in which to catch up on emails, or make phone calls?
  • Are most guests likely to be pleased by the experience?

Then, based on their experience, what are you hoping guests will do next? Buy your product? Fondly remember your special day? Leave with a renewed sense of company loyalty?

It’s hard work planning an event—whether your own or for someone else. The venue you choose is key to the event’s success, and everyone’s satisfaction.

Need a venue for an upcoming event? The Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center, close to the Twin Cities with a far-away feel, has a flexible catering policy, free onsite parking and handicap accessibility throughout. Call 952-948-6502 to schedule a tour.

Click on the following link to access Crystal’s complete blog.

Key Questions Guide Venue Choices

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