Ask the Expert: What do I need to know before booking a unique venue?
Converting old warehouse space into a modern gala venue is certainly all the rage! Old brick, exposed ceiling beams, rustic cement flooring and refurbished wood – rustic is the new chic.
What’s not to love? Planners beware!
Behind those roll up doors lie hidden fees and expenses that could shoot your costs through the roof! On average, you can expect to add $50 per person renting furnishings that are provided at no cost should you book a hotel ballroom.
As much as we love these refurbished spaces, be sure to ask these important questions so you’re not taken by surprise when you get ready to sign a contract:
Do you have a preferred caterer list? And do they pass through a ‘site usage fee’ to groups that book the space?
What furniture comes with the space? You may be surprised to know that your venue rental feel may not include tables, chairs, linens, glassware, plates, silverware, etc., etc..
Do you have a preferred list of audio visual providers? Or can we bring our own?
Is there a fee for electrical services? Garbage disposal? On-site management personnel?
How long can we have the space? Do you double book the room – is there a group before or after our event that we need to be aware of?
Is there any décor that comes with the space? Lighting, plants, bars, lounge furniture, etc. Look around the room(s) and spot furnishings that could be an asset to your event design. Often times what’s out on the floor is for display only and there is a fee associated with using it for your event.
This is not an exhaustive list of questions; you’ll want to add your own based on your unique event requirements.
No matter how long your list of questions – be sure to end with this one: May I have 3 references from recent events held at your facility?
Even if you fall in love with the space and it fits in your budget, if this is your first time using a unique venue, it’s wise to talk with others who have ‘been there, done that’ and learn from their experiences.
If you’ve booked unique space - share your takeaways with us – we’d love to hear your story!