We strongly believe that choosing an event venue is one of the most important parts to planning your next event which is why we decided to come out with a part 2. Last month, we discussed the Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Booking an Event Venue in Columbia, SC. This list included questions such as: Is my date available? What’s the cost and what does the cost cover? We also discussed the importance of finding out the venue capacity and catering requirements. If the Columbia, SC event venue you’re considering met your expectations with those questions, congrats! You’re one step closer to finding the perfect venue for your next event. However, before signing the contract, we strongly encourage you to schedule a meeting to view the venue in person. Once there make sure you consider the following:
Columbia, SC Event Venue Location
An important aspect to think about before making a decision is the location of the venue. Proximity matters so you should choose a venue that is within a reasonable distance from where your event attendees will be traveling from. Whether your attendees are traveling from their homes, a hotel, the airport, or the office, an event venue too far out of the way will discourage guests from attending. If you’re serving alcohol at your event, you may want to consider offering some free or affordable transportation alternatives. In addition, if distance is a concern of yours, you can also reach out to hotels in the surrounding area to work out a room block or shuttle service for your event attendees.
What is the Parking Situation?
An event venue with a parking lot is what we consider to be a rare gem here in Columbia, SC and at Riverbanks, we are so grateful that we are able to offer this to our event guests, at no additional charge. However, not all venues are as lucky. If the venue you’re considering does not have its own private parking, ask if there are parking lots nearby that your attendees can use. If they don’t have parking altogether, you may want to consider the following:
- Take a look at Uber and Lyft discounts offered for large groups and events or team up with local cab companies to see if they’d be willing to offer a discount to your event attendees.
- Ask the venue about parking lots in the surrounding area to see how and if you can reserve them.
- For upscale events such as a gala, look into hiring a valet parking service.
When touring a venue, make sure you keep all of your event guests in mind. Can the venue be accessible by all of your event guests, especially those with special needs? You should pay close attention to pathways, the venue itself and we even recommend checking out the bathrooms. Of course, before you can determine whether or not a space is adequately accessible for your guests, it is important that you know who your guests are and more specifically what their needs or limitations are.
This really only applies to those events taking place outdoors, but if your event is one of them, make sure you ask what options there are should weather become a concern on the day of your event. Is there an indoor space you can move to? (Below is our Ndoki Lodge, with all of the windows, it can feel outdoorsy, without any weather complications!) If not, does the venue have a third party vendor that offers tenting at a reasonable rate? Who makes the ‘Rain Plan’ call? If it’s you, how late do you have until you make a decision? These are all very important questions because the weather is the one thing we can’t control so make sure you have a specified backup plan in place that you feel comfortable with your Columbia, SC event venue.
Aesthetics / Ambiance
If this is something that is high on your list of importance, we recommend letting the venue know you’re interested in touring the space once it’s been set up for a private event whether its a corporate event, a wedding or a birthday party, ambiance matters equally! While touring, pay special attention to the existing decor inside the venue. Does it match the desired feel of your event? Does the decor match altogether? What about the linens? Have they been pressed? Do they touch the floor? Although the room may not be set up exactly how you plan on setting it, seeing the space set up with tables, chairs, food stations, etc. versus an empty room may be an indicator of the ambiance that you can expect at your private event.