How To: Evaluating a Venue

How To: Evaluating a Venue
Posted on March 9th, 2023

You’re in a pinch. Your planning your next event, but before you can get into the details of catering, decor, etc. you need to pick a venue. With so many options in San Francisco alone, this can be a daunting task. While it will always be easier to contact an event planner at this point (for reasons such as their knowledge of the existing venue choices, costs associated and vendor relationships for added discounts) here are some things to consider when evaluating a venue for your needs:

How does it feel.

What feeling do you want your event to have, despite the decor you may add, there is a drastically different feeling between a hotel conference room and a mansion space. What do you want your guest to feel while at your event, this is the biggest step in evaluating a venue. Once you have a feeling established, the choices are less broad and the real evaluation can begin.

Act like you're buying a house.

  • Condition of the grounds and parking.
  • Condition of carpet, paint, and decor.
  • Condition and appropriately sized draperies/skirting.
  • Adequate room size and capacity to hold event.
  • Flexibility to adjust room layout/tables.
  • No visual obstructions within room.
  • Indoor lighting (flexibility to adjust/dim sections).
  • Ability to control natural light.
  • Limited noise distractions in hallways/behind walls.
  • Event room away from kitchen.
  • Nearby restroom access.
  • Nearby medical access.

What are your options.

  • Can you bring in outside catering, do they offer catering?
  • Can you bring in a bar?
  • What are the electrical limitations of the space?
  • Does the space have AV and sound equipment?
  • How far can you take your decoration themes?
  • Do you need to get any special permits?
  • Can you have open flames?
  • How early will they accept deliveries of supplies for your event?
  • Will a representative be on-site?

These are just some of the common things to consider when evaluating a venue. Each event will have a different set of needs, but these baseline pointers should help keep you organized when the time comes to venue scout.

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