You have an idea for an event, thought about how "_____" it will be to bring the event to life. Looking for and requesting pricing packages from a venue can be intimidating, even the most professional of all people can find themselves hovering in the fetal position under their desk, praying for it to stop.
Hotels often have a lead capture initial form that doesn't fit into the criteria that is needed to communicate effectively about the details of your event. You enter what you believe to be every single detail to get a simple quote only to receive an email with 50 questions you hadn't even considered.
Think through your event from conception to follow-up after. Walk through the steps needed to execute. Visualize what it will be like walking in the door, what and where people will be during the event, their activities, presentations, speakers, exhibitors, staging etc.
Once you have a feel for how your event will play-out on the grand scheme, whack yourself on the head. This just started to get real.
Make a list of every aspect that you have visualized, look at your event from the eyes of the organizer, attendee and vendor, add to that list.
Now, think through the setup to tear down. What items will you need during the event? The venue is going to want to know most of this prior to providing you with pricing.
Things to include in your request:
Setup - how much time is needed to fully setup for your event? Will you need the venue the day prior or several days prior?
Time and duration of the event - Do you need the venue from 8am to midnight? Multiple days?
Services - Will you need AV equipment, Wifi, Dedicated parking, Hotel rooms for your event staff, vendors and attendees, tables and chairs, podium, microphone, lighting, dance floor or pipe and drape surrounds for the booths?
Catering - some venues have strict policies about catering, find out what they are and don't be afraid to ask for clarification. For example, Need Continental Breakfast on day 1 for 50 people, boxed lunches for 70 during the event, water service throughout the day. If you are serving attendees, is there a minimum order or can you order by consumption (typically in a buffet style catering) Catering can sometimes cost almost as much as the venue itself and need to be considered for your budget.
Parking - Do you want your attendees to pay or is it possible to buyout the parking for the event?
Security - Some venues insist on security, it's your job to decide what your event will need.
Registration or check-in desk - will tables be ok or do you need a ticket office on site
Event staff headquarters - Where will you base your event staff, do you need access for office setup?
Hotel Rooms - If booking at a hotel, how many rooms, what type of rooms will you need? Need a hospitality suite for VIP networking?
Union Labor - In some areas, you are required to have union services to oversee the event.
Including these topics will help the venue staff have a better concept of what you are looking for and will be able to provide you with the best pricing.
Don't be afraid to negotiate, take your time and review every detail, get every single thing in writing prior to signing a contract.
We will continue this conversation in future posts.
Do something that inspires you today!