When it comes to event planning, the devil is in the details. Your team is focused on event ROI – building brand equity, expanding share of voice, collecting leads, rewarding top performers, etc. However, you still have to worry about event costs, logistics and risk management.
Following are 8 questions all organizations should ask venues when in the throes of planning an event:
- Price: What is included in the price? Are there extras, overages or surcharges not spelled out in the booking quotation or contract? Make sure paperwork enumerates all included billables, and also calls out excluded line items and prohibitions.
- Access: When does your team gain access to the venue and by what time/date must you strike? Don’t strand your team outside an event venue with no way to start load-in. Equally challenging is having to rush from the building post-event or getting locked out without access to equipment and shipping materials.
- Venue calendar: When possible, try to discover which events directly precede and follow yours. Will there be other events at the same time, and will they impact access? Event venues can be extremely dynamic, noisy and confusing places, especially convention centers and large hotels – plan accordingly!
- Staffing: What staffing is included with the booking? Does the venue supply riggers, networking, audio/visual staff and other functions? During which hours will staff be available? Are venue staffers employees or contractors? Are they subject to union rules? Can you supply your own workers and/or broker union labor? For international events, does staff conduct business in English or is translation available?
- Catering: Does the venue include catering services (many don’t)? How do included services compare to outside catering? Is there an on-site kitchen or will caterers need a mobile galley? Do menus accommodate special dining needs (religious, vegetarian, non-gluten, etc.)? Your event may not be food-centered, but attendees always remember a good (or terrible) dining experience.
- Power and connectivity: Whether you are outfitting a table-top trade show exhibit, presenting a panel or hosting a banquet, you’ll need to push around electrons. Lighting, sound equipment, projectors and computers need accessible A/C power. Presenters, booth staff and attendees require ready access to internet bandwidth. Make sure your event team and attendees don’t end up tripping over exposed extension cords or cursing glacial connections.
- Cancellation: Perish the thought, but plans do change. Six months out, you may be keen to exhibit at a trade show or host a meeting, but in the meantime, your company may change direction. Make sure you understand venue contract timelines, fees and penalties for termination.
- Other contract terms: Ask for a copy of the venue contract well in advance. If you have doubts about any aspects of the agreement, request written clarification. Consider showing the contract to an attorney.
A well-executed event builds brand equity and amplifies your company’s reputation. Successful event experience planning needn’t be intimidating. Temple Rock Productions has the experience and expertise to handle the challenges outlined above. You can count on Temple Rock – contact us today and we’ll make your next event a breeze.