Are you searching for the perfect all inclusive Venue/Event Facility for your next event? Do you know all the costs associated with them?
Here are some suggestions for beginning your search:
- Get recommendations from friends and family to see where they have gone before.
- Look for a place that is centrally located and easy for friends and family to get to. Make sure they have plenty of parking too for your guests.
- Compare places online, look at their website and their menu and check for rental prices.
- Keep a budget in mind of how much you want to spend, it can get very pricey with room rentals and other fees.
- Give them a call and discuss your event details with them. Have a general idea of what you are looking for and see if you can schedule an appointment to tour the facility.
- You’ll still want to work with a Sales Manager or Event Coordinator that is dedicated to you so that you are not always dealing with other people.
Here are some key questions you are going to want to ask:
- Are they available the date and time you are requesting?
- Can they send you a copy of the menu with pricing?
- How much do they require for a deposit to hold the event date and space?
- When are the final counts and payments due?
- What is their cancellation policy?
- Do they have a minimum for certain days of the week or to use a certain room within the facility?
- Do they offer any discounts for having an event mid-week or any other types of discounts, like an Army discount?
- Do they have any other specials going on? Sometimes venues offer specials if you book something in the same year to fill up their available space.
- Ask how much it is to rent certain spaces/rooms within the facility? Certain spaces/rooms can be cheaper.
- How many hours can you rent the space/room? How much does it cost for extra hours?
- Ask about any additional fees – administrative fee/ event fee / staffing / liability fees.
- Check to see what each fee includes and if you have to pay gratuity afterwards. Do the fees include tables, chairs, linens, china, staffing, etc?
- If you are having a bar:
- Can you host a bar on consumption / cash bar / or open bar?
- Can you just serve beer and wine to keep the costs down? Or do they offer a full bar service with cocktails?
- Can they make you a specialty signature cocktail designed for you?
- Find out how many people can fit in each room. Make sure you have enough room if you are interested in having a dance floor.
- Ask them to put a proposal together for you based on menu items you want to have and all the costs associated with the event. See if they can stick within your budget.
- How many staff will you have at your event? Servers / Bartenders / Bussers / Event Chefs, etc.
- Will you have a day of Event Coordinator? Or will your Sales Manager/Event Coordinator be there for the day of your event?
- See if they will customize a menu for you or if you have to stick strictly to their menu. Make sure to ask if they can accommodate any allergies or dietary needs in your party.
- See if they have any referrals for any other vendors you might need like a DJ or Photographer.
- Some venues only allow you to use a preferred vendors list. Ask if they allow you to bring in your own vendors.
- Find out about bringing in decor or having them use their own decor. Again, some places will do it for you and most places have really strict rules. For example, most venues do not allow real flames/candles due to liability issues. Ask if you can bring in your own flowers, balloons, centerpieces, etc.
- Also ask about things like chair covers, different style chairs, specialty linens, cloth napkins. Although these will be an extra cost, they can add nice touches to your event.
- Ask if they allow other food items to be brought in. Can you order cake, pastries, cookies, etc. from somewhere else? Or can you do your own candy / dessert bar? Will they charge you anything extra?
Many of these questions you can find answers to on their websites or contracts when they send it over to you. Most people think it’s a lot easier to use an all inclusive Venue/Event facility but never realize all the fees associated with it. I’ve planned several events at different Venues/Event facilities and I am always surprised at their different fees and rules. Make sure to read over your contracts thoroughly.
I do think all inclusive places are a lot easier for events because you don’t have to worry about too much but they can get very pricey as you see. However, if you are looking to save money I would suggest looking for any deals or discounts that they do offer. Then try to look for places that will allow you to also do as much as possible on your own, like decor, centerpieces, desserts, etc.
Hope this helped you!