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Scratch Beneath The Surface: Site Visit Questions Event Planners Must Ask

Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 12:15

When embarking on venue selection for your next event, ensure that you have picked the brains of the in-house venue teams during your site visit to get a clear understanding of exactly what can be achieved. Here are just some of the topics for consideration:

  • Check whether you have to use the venues’ choice of accredited suppliers or if you have free rein to bring in your own suppliers. Some venues with an accredited supplier list will sometimes allow third-party companies in to work on an event under the agreement they are supervised by a supplier on the pre-approved list. Ensure you are supplied with clear time frames on both load-in and load-out availability. Find out whether the surrounding environment and local neighbourhood will place further restrictions on your loading times - are there parking or noise restrictions after a certain time to protect local residents? Take the time to have a tour of the venue’s loading dock and find out any hidden costs if loading time extensions are required. Finally, ensure there is a clear strategy for where vehicles can be left during the event itself, both for suppliers and guests.

  • Head behind the scenes to find out which back of house areas can be utilised for kit and empty flight case storage. Additionally if you are a supplier with equipment or large deliveries of alcohol that need to be kept on site for the entire festive period rather than bringing in separately for every single party, ensure there is a lockable space in which to store everything long-term.

  • With communication growing ever more important both for the teams behind the event magic and the guests themselves, selecting a venue with a strong Wi-Fi connection, power access and plenty of conveniently-situated power sockets is a must and will help ease the pressures of set-up.

  • During your venue tour, keep your beady eyes open for suitable spots in which to help maximise brand awareness for any event sponsors you have on board.

  • Ask the venue hire team how the process is managed internally from initial site visit through to post-event communications – will there be a single point of contact who can seamlessly take you through the whole planning process and will they be present at the event itself or will duties be handed over to a separate Ops Manager?

  • It is worth taking into consideration whether the venue itself or spaces close by will be hosting simultaneous events that may impact either on set-up or the overall guest experience during your event?

  • Find out exactly what event production restrictions are in place when looking round historical or unique venues, sometimes smoke machines, water features and other novelty set-ups are not permitted in order to protect the building itself.