Surprised by an invoice with a final balance you weren’t expecting? Or worst case – rained out when hosting a patio party? Who could have known that when securing venue and event rentals that there could be so many factors to take into consideration. As professional corporate event planners, we work hard to perfect the art of event rentals. To help you prepare for your next function, we’ve put together a checklist of tips to ensure there are no hidden surprises when planning your venue and event rentals. .
1. What type of event are you hosting? This contributes to the venue and event rentals you will book.
The theme of the event should coincide with theme of the venue. If you’re hosting a summer event, you may want to consider venues near the lake or ocean or with that style of decor. Looking for something a little more private? Several halls and restaurants provide event rentals and unique spaces for a group any size! One of the most memorable elements to an event is the venue in which it’s held. Whether it is an employee appreciation, holiday or anniversary party, you want to ensure that your guests will be impressed. Similar to buying a house, the first thing you judge the property on, is the door. This is the same when it comes to selecting a venue. The venue will set the mood for your event, so be conscious of what your guests will see not only upon arrival but as they head home towards the end of the night.
2. Is this going to be an outdoor event?
Depending on the season, a lot of venues have patios that you can book as part of the events rental package. The main concern with patio events is that most patios are not covered. This doesn’t affect the events that are held on a bright and sunny day, but as you can imagine, this could potentially ruin an entire event should it take place during a spring shower or a stormy summer day.
When booking your event, it is important to inquire as to whether or not the venue can provide tenting and if so, at what cost. Once this information has been obtained from the venue, the next step is to confirm the availability of the patio tenting for your event. A general rule of thumb is to book the tent rental within a month of the event. Most vendors will request a non-refundable deposit, but the deposit is well worth the risk of a rained out or worse, a cancelled event.
3. I have to call who?
It is very common for banquet facilities to have preferred vendors for event rentals, which means that you must use the company the venue has provided for the service you are seeking. This eliminates the option to price shop, so it’s good to be aware of what budget you have in mind, as some of the supplied vendors have set costs that they cannot or will not reduce – because they are paying a kick back to the venue. This list may include catering, furniture/decor rentals, tenting, A/V & lighting, security and event staffing agencies. This information should be included with the contact, but it’s always good to ask in advance so you can research the preferred suppliers prior to finalizing your venue selection.
4. Site checks: when to visit and what to ask about the venue and event rentals
When selecting a venue for any style of event, you should ALWAYS request a site check, sometimes 2-3. More often than not, you will find event planners re-visiting a venue over and over to ensure they have the information required to plan the event and secure and event rentals. When conducting a site check, you want to be mindful of parking and transit options for your guests, as this could be a deterrent if not provided or easily accessible. This also gives you the opportunity to ask questions pertaining to the payments, including the deposit and any extra costs that may not be outlines, such as administration fees, A/V or mandatory security, staffing gratuity and taxes. This is also the ideal time to discuss food and beverage options, the itinerary of the event, maximum capacity, A/V capabilities and any décor regulations.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you ensure that there are no hidden surprised with the venue and event rentals you selected for your next function.