For any event, the venue can be a maker or breaker. If you’ve found the holy grail of venues, not only are you on to a winner, but your event could go down in history for being absolute perfection. Bagged yourself a bad venue? Chances are your event will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Bad venues not only leave a bad taste for your guests, but they can also risk your reputation as an events planner. What if your event has a leaking roof, loos next to the bar or it’s an exact copy of the cabin in the woods…cue mass shudder.
OK, you know you don’t want to host your event in a bad
venue (who does?!), but how can you tell if it’s a no-go? Follow these 6 ways to make sure your venue is perfect, every time.
1 – They’ve Got Poor Reviews
So, this might seem like an obvious one, but bear with us! Doing your research before or after you’ve seen the venue is essential. It might look great on paper and in person but knowing what other people have experienced can really cinch it for you. Take your research online – check out the venue’s social pages, their Google reviews and Yelp reviews as a starter. If a huge proportion of people are leaving bad reviews, it’s good to be cautious. On the other hand, remember people are much quicker to condemn than praise – bear this in mind and approach research with a level head.
Check out the venue and liaise with the manager on those bad reviews – giving them the opportunity to refute negative claims is the fair way to do business.
2 – You Get a Bad Gut Feeling
You know that feeling you get when something’s not quite right? It’s like something’s sitting in the pit of your stomach; you can’t quite put your finger on it. That gut feeling is worth listening to – there’s a lot to be said for it.
If you get to the venue and you find the staff are rude, basic cleanliness isn’t being met, you’ve been ignored, and something doesn’t sit right then you might want to listen to those niggling feelings. Of course, you should always give people the benefit of the doubt and the chance to make things better but be mindful of how your first impressions translate to your guest’s impressions on the day.
3 – They Can’t Provide References
A great venue will be more than happy to share feedback they’ve had, with many happy to ask their previous customers to contact you with their reference. Alarm bells should be ringing if you get objections: “Oh, yea, I’d love to pass on your reference, but my dog ate their contact form…”
An unwillingness to share their client’s feedback doesn’t scream reliable – if they want your business they should be able to put you in touch with customers. If they don’t it would seem like they’re trying to hide something, and that’s a bit fishy.
The likelihood is that most venues have a list ready to give you – get in touch with these people to make sure you’re making the right decision. Don’t just rely on what you’re given though – check out their reviews online and make contact with people that way too. Chances are, they’d love to help you!
4 – It Stinks
We’re talking literally and metaphorically – if the venue stinks, it’s probably going to be a no. Keep a keen eye when you go to see the venue; if there are cracked walls, peeling wallpaper, fraying rugs, smelly toilets and dodgy floorboards you might want to reconsider your options.
Depending on the type of event you’re looking to hold, have your client in mind the whole time – chances are you won’t want to hold a wedding in a crumbling, run-down and unclean environment. Talk things through with the owner or manager – are they renovating in the next few weeks and all the issues you’ve discovered will be fixed? Then it might be worth considering after all! You may even save some cash on venue hire because you’re able to see what the venue will become
rather than see what it’s like now!
5 – They Don’t Email You Back
You’ve dropped the venue an email and tried to get through on the phone…for the third time. They still haven’t called you back. I’m sure you don’t need to be told, that’s a bad sign. If they can’t get it together to reply to you, what are they going to be like if you start working with them?
Lack of contact can mean they’re an incredibly busy venue, but customer service should be their top priority – if you don’t get a response within a day, move on to your plan b venue. Your plan b could be the venue you’ve been looking for, especially if they promptly respond to you, keep you updated with any changes and are proactive in their planning and contact.
6 – The Venue Manager is a Nightmare
We’ve all had those situations where professionally we’re around people we wouldn’t normally socialise with. That’s the reality of life – we don’t have to like everyone we work with, but if you’ve found your venue’s manager is an absolute nightmare, you might want to reconsider the partnership.
What do we mean? Well, if the manager goes into a meltdown over the slightest issue, can’t keep a cool head, is rude and generally makes the process harder than it needs to be, it’s worth finding an alternative. You’ll have enough on your plate without additional stresses to worry about.
So, there you have it, next time you’re planning an event, be sure to have these 6 steps in mind!
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