Choosing the Right Venue
Let’s face it. One of the crucial and sometimes most time consuming parts of planning any event is identifying the right venue whether, corporate, wedding, reunion, reception, holiday party, etc. For any of these types of events you have a vision for the décor, the food, and ultimately very happy guests. We’ve gathered a few tips that we have discovered along the way to help you navigate through choosing the right venue, which will allow your guests to have the time of their life!
Before you begin looking at event spaces, first figure out the theme, style and ambiance of the party you are planning. You could go classic, rustic, modern, themed, princess, hipster, vintage…the list is end-list. Say, a modern lounge-style cocktail party reception done in black and red — those gold cord swag curtains are really going to wreck the effect. A castle for a regal theme or a spa retreat for a comfortable location can work wonders to wow the crowd and make your event memorable. The site doesn’t have to be done in the exact colors as your planned decorations, but the walls, carpets, chairs, and curtains shouldn’t clash or conflict with your party’s mood or theme.
Before you decide to hire a venue for your event, ask them for a list of events they’ve planned, ask to see pictures of those events so you can see the various layout options, and ask for references. You might want to speak to some of the staff as well so you know what expertise they have and how accommodating and friendly they are.
Here are questions to ask:
Décor: Do you provide tables, chairs, and linens? Are there any design limitations? Do you provide decorating services, setup and teardown?
Catering: Do you provide catering services? Do you allow outside caters? What type of bar service do you provide?
Servers: What is your server to guest ratio? What will your servers wear during the event? Will they work over-time, if needed?
Accommodations: Do you have onsite accommodations for out of town guests? Will you provide a block of rooms at a discount? If you do not have onsite accommodations, do you have a partnership with a local hotel?
Add-ons: Do you provide free Wi-Fi, music systems, DJ, party lights, dance floor, and most of all flexibility – to change the current space to match with your event needs?
Walk around the entire venue, checking on the fixtures, the lounges, extra rooms, dining area, restrooms, alcoves, wiring and plumbing, everything has to be in top condition. Check for possible noise issues outside the venue, where neighbors are located, where the fire exits are located, and parking or drop off points for limousines, buses or taxis.
It sounds obvious (because it is) but make sure the room is large enough to accommodate the number of people on your guest list. The space may look enormous when it’s empty, but party essentials — tables, chairs, a buffet, a bar, the band or DJ setup, the dance floor — can take up a lot of space. Not to mention your guests will need some elbowroom. Even if you choose an outdoor site, you’ll need ample room on the lawn, in the arboretum, or poolside. The best way to assess the size of a site? Ask to take a peek of the space when another event (with an equivalent guest list size) is all set up. Of course, if you decide you must have your event at your favorite bar (the one with one bathroom, two booths, and three feet of floor space), you can always work backward and tailor your guest list to match.
Every event has a particular budget, which you need to stick to. Make a shortlist including your top venues and then select the one, which best matches, all your criteria and stays within your budget. (Look for our blog post coming soon with budget tips.)
Start your search for the perfect venue with our list of locations in the Pikes Peak region. Click Here