What to look for on a venue site visit
The Venue Visit - What to look for
So the proposals are back and, after great deliberation, you’ve made a shortlist, now it’s time to make some visits to see your potential venues. First rule is always make a visit, website pictures can mask many imperfections and only by visiting in person can you ever get a real feel for the place. Even if you’ve been to the venue before there could be a chance that you’re getting a different room or there has been a refurb in between visits so if it’s an important event it’s probably worth going back. Second rule is see a number of venues, 3-4 is usually sufficient, to get a good overview of what’s available, even if you are set on one particular venue. Once you’re at the visit there are some key things to look out for, here is our run down of the most important of them;
- Obviously you want to see the rooms you’ll be using and make sure to include breakout rooms. If possible try and visit a venue on the day of an event so you can see the spaces in use, lunchtime will be best as there is more chance you can go into the rooms rather than just poke heads round doors. If you’re viewing a hotel then check out the bedrooms on behalf of guests staying.
- Any venue worth their weight will want to get you sat down talking about future events etc and this will usual be accompanied by a coffee. Indulge them for 10mins while you suss out what they present you with, is it made with freshly ground beans or are they serving luke warm instant from a pump dispenser. This is an excellent measure of their entire catering operation.
- Keep your eyes peeled for staff and bear in mind they work in the hospitality industry and as such should be able and willing to assist, friendly and smiling, smartly turned out and look like they enjoy what they do. I particularly like it when maids and cleaners take the time to say hello as you pass, it shows good training and a personal touch.
- It’s up there next to godliness and sounds obvious but is definitely worth keeping an eye out for in key places such as public areas, out front of the building, toilets etc.
- Firstly it should be free, but it’s always worth checking just how good it is. Obviously you can’t recreate 300 people accessing emails at once but try and watch a YouTube video or send an email with a large attachment to gauge how fast it may be.
- Often overlooked but can be vital, especially in those hotel conference rooms housed in the basement levels. Obviously you don’t want delegates spending the entire time on phones, but this is business in the 21st century and people won’t feel comfortable without access to the outside world for too long.
- This is my personal top tip. Make your excuses and nip to the toilets, whether or not nature is calling. Are they using paper you’d be happy to serve in your own home or is the offering a flimsy 1-ply paper of nightmares? If it’s the latter ask yourself just what else they’re are scrimping on.
Written by Paul Moynihan, Director of wefindvenues.com. If you require a venue anywhere in the UK for an event then submit a free enquiry to venues in that area, it’s simple, free and gives access to great savings.