by Annette Naif

281We all know there’s a million details to handle for any event.  One of the most important meetings you can have when planning is the site visit.  Based on past experience, we’ve compiled a list of the questions you need to be asking at this visit with your venue.

Can I bring in my own vendors?

You may be surprised to learn some venues restrict who can work in their building to a specific list of approved vendors. If there’s a certain vendor that you know you’ll need for the event, be sure the venue will approve of it.

When can we begin set up and end load out? What costs are associated?

Especially with larger events, you want to know timing up front so that your vendors can give you an accurate bid based on the timeframe of set up & load out. Be sure there aren’t any hidden costs associated with this timeframe and what it would cost to change the times if needed.

Where do we load in? Who else should I expect to be loading in at the same time?

It’s always a good idea to tour the loading dock at a site visit, especially if it’s a venue you haven’t worked in before. Take note of how many loading docks are available and who else needs to use the loading dock at the same time as you.

What costs are associated with electricity at your location?

At some venues electricity can add up very quickly. Be sure you know what these costs could be based on your event needs.

Are there any union requirements?

Another possible large expense! Check to see if labor has to be union or not.

What permits are required to host an event at your location?

Depending on the venue and your event details, there can be a myriad of permits needed to legally hold your event. You need to determine which ones are needed and if you’re responsible or if the venue handles permitting. Such permits might include liquor, fire, food or others.

What areas can be utilized for back of house and empty case storage?

Especially with events with large production services, this will be important. You need to plan for a place to store all your vendors’ empty cases (and hopefully it doesn’t have to be a room that you need to pay for).

What is the parking situation for vendors & attendees?

Easily overlooked, but especially in large metropolitan areas, both guests and vendors will need to know where to park and how much that will cost.

Are any fire alarm drills scheduled during the time of your event and when?

Nothing ruins an event quicker than a fire alarm going off during your event.

Is there enough space in the hotel’s restaurant to accommodate the group and if not what restaurants are nearby and their capacities? 

If they don’t have a space big enough to accommodate all of the attendees, ask for an adjacent room for the overflow.

What other groups will be in the location of the space at the same time of the event?

This is especially important to gauge how loud the venue will be during your event. If you are planning a corporate meeting, you don’t want a concert happening at the same time in the room next to yours.

Will your internet services support live streaming and how much is it?

Many of the events we plan these days incorporate live video streaming. You always want to ask about internet capabilities (wired internet, not wireless) from the venue and pay special attention to how much bandwidth they can handle.

What branding opportunities are available at your location for my sponsors?

Many venues these days have many locations that you can sell/use for your sponsors. Learning all these possibilities will help you and your client maximize sponsorship opportunities.

What’s the availability of elevators?

You need to inquire about both the freight and guest elevators for your event. Are they easily accessed and working?

WE’D LOVE FOR YOU TO SHARE THIS IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEBSITE BUT PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING COMPLETE INFORMATION: Event Planning Expert, Entrepreneur, and Coach, Annette Naif, Owner & Creative Director of Forté Events NYC and publisher of the E-Zine, “Forté Today.”

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