We’ve all had that moment: you’re with a possible client during a venue visit, everything is fine, but suddenly they throw a curve ball of a question that you just can’t answer! Well, never again! This list of important information will help you or whoever is showing off your gorgeous venue be ready for anything. From the most obvious questions to those ones that come from left field, we’ve got you covered.
Dates and discounts
Most people will want to know immediately on which dates your venue is available. Be sure to have your calendar on hand at every site tour. You should also decide beforehand if your venue will offer special prices for off-season bookings. Be sure to be clear on any sort of package deals you might be offering, since customers might create expectations you can’t fulfill.
Another one of the first questions you’ll be asked is about the number of people your venue can accommodate. This is important for all sorts of events and you should probably have very detailed information about this. Remember to have multiple estimates depending on how a space is arranged, but always give a maximum and a minimum number.
Nowadays, most venues offer more than one space. From bridal suites to cocktail lounges, each one is different and appeals to a different sort of client, but you should tell your visitors about all these spaces, their capacities, and possible uses. For weddings, a bridal suite and a separate space for ceremonies are great assets. If you’re booking a seminar you’ll want to show off your largest hall. Either way, remember to tour outdoor spaces since these can be quite attractive to possible clients.
Rules and restrictions
Be very clear on this point. If there are outdoor areas where people shouldn’t walk or spaces where candles shouldn’t be lit, let your client know during the venue tour. This will avoid a lot of problems later on since you won’t create false expectations for your clients. Another important rule to communicate is whether or not furniture can be moved around for events. And, lastly, let them know at what time they can start setting up and when they need to leave the site.
From sound systems to seating, let people touring your venue what sort of extras are included in the base fees and which ones can be made available at extra cost. This also includes spaces and fees that may be charged for using them as well as set-up and clean-up fees.
Who will be their contact?
Does your venue include a venue coordinator? Or maybe you will be your client’s main contact? Let them know who will be working with them, let them meet the person and make sure they have a positive experience. Sometimes a coordinator can make all the difference! Also, provide a contact number and/or email address at the venue tour so that any questions can be directed towards whoever your clients will be in contact with while planning their event.
Are there any restrictions due to permits? Remember to discuss noise restrictions, alcohol permits, and available parking. If your customers have to acquire any permits for themselves be sure to let them know. Insurance is another big concern, especially when planning large scale events. Have the basic details of your liability insurance at the ready, but don’t be afraid to tell someone you have to double check specifics.
Be very clear about the cancellation policy
This is a no brainer! However, a lot of people don’t talk about these things during a venue visit. Make sure you have the information ready in case your client asks for it, but also try to volunteer it yourself. If you offer outdoor spaces, remember to discuss weather contingency plans such as tents, heaters, or even moving events indoors to other spaces.
Discuss catering and staff
Most events you’ll host will include food, so it’s a good idea to discuss this topic with possible clients. Remember to mention if you have a kitchen and staff or if catering cannot be provided onsite. Also, talk about whether or not you can provide servers and bar staff for events.
Some questions don’t fall into any category! Is your venue wheelchair accessible? Are dogs, cats, even horses allowed? Can fireworks be used inside the property? And these are the normal ones! Sometimes you’ll find yourself faced with something you could never have thought of. In those cases, it’s probably fine to ask for a little time to figure things out and get back to them. They probably know their request is super weird anyway!
Now that you have all of this vital information on hand you’re ready to meet with even the pickiest of clients! Have you ever been subject to weird requests? Tell us about them in the comments! Don’t forget to check out our other blog posts about Venue Design and Making Your Venue Stand Out.