Visit Venue Before Event. Always.
1 week ago – “Oh, honey I’m sure it will be fine. We can just use the kitchen oven at the community hall to heat up Grandma’s Lasagna for your birthday party.”
Present moment – “Uh, darling…guests are coming for my birthday in 60 minutes. Where is the oven? I don’t see one.”
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, do a site visit of the venue or outdoor site where you will be holding your event. This tip deserves a whole series of articles! But here’s a quick run-through.
- Visit the venue.
- Take LOTS of pictures. These will serve as a reference for later. Snaps shots of the entrance way, kitchen, dance hall, stage, patio, designated smoking area, storage spaces, washrooms, etc.
- Make a quick list of available and missing amenities. Electricity, drinkable running water, Wi-Fi Internet, ovens, washrooms, podiums, projection screens, etc
- Take note of electrical outlet locations. Are they close to where you need them? Will you need extension cords and black duct tape (to tape cables down)?
- Is the venue fully wheel chair accessible?
- Make a quick note of ceiling heights. Are you allowed to hang decor on the ceiling? If so will you need to supply a ladder?
- Who is responsible for cleanup?
Visiting the event site before booking it prevents an unbelievable number of headaches. Also if hiring event vendors that have not worked in the venue you are using, ask them also to visit.
When hired for an event I will always visit the venue and take pictures. I’ve assembled quite a database of pictures in 10 years, and may already have your venue photographed! I cannot begin to tell you how much this one simple thing has saved my backside! I know doing this will make your experience so much more positive too. Best wishes,