If you want your event to be a success, it’s always a good idea to inspect your shortlisted venues. While websites and reviews can help you narrow the choice down, they’ll never provide the same experience as seeing it first-hand. Seeing the physical space and getting an overall feel for the venue can really help give you a clear idea about how your event can be run.
Below you will find a checklist of questions to ask and helpful tips to ensure your site inspection is a success. Some or all may be relevant, depending on the type of event you are planning:
- How long did it take to get to the venue? Was it easy find? How will your delegates be travelling there? Ask about local transport.
- Is there parking onsite? Does it come at a cost?
- First impressions count - what is the appearance of the venue like? Attractive? Clean? Well presented?
- Were you sat down first to discuss the event and your requirements?
- Walk through your event and where all your meeting rooms are, is the flow right?
- Watch staff interact with other on-site guests, what is the service like?
- Connect to the Wi-Fi – how easy was this to do? Do you need to log in?
- Check the size and condition of the rooms, can they comfortably fit your group? Does the environment support your objectives for the event? Is there sufficient natural daylight?
- Take photos or even film a video walking through the event spaces - you will see so many different rooms during your visit and they will start to blur into one. Photos and video will also help decision makers who cannot attend the site inspection.
- What flexibility does the main room offer in terms of layout and change throughout the event? Can it be divided for syndicate sessions if needed?
- What AV equipment is already set up in the meeting rooms? Will you need anything extra?
- Find out what on-site support will be available on the day of the event.
- Where will the coffee breaks take place? Where are the coffee areas/toilets/breakout areas in relation to meeting rooms? Where is lunch and dinner served?
- Is there a designated registration area?
- Will there be other conferences or events on-site during your event? Will you be the majority or minority group?
- Can the venue be branded for your event? Is it the venue the right fit for your brand?
- Check all standards of bedrooms, from standard and twin rooms to suites.
- If you can, sample the food and view the different menu options available.
- Are there outdoor areas available for special events and team building?
- Can the venue offer flexibility to hold some provisional spaces to support a reduction in numbers?
- What is the venue's invoicing process? Do they require a deposit up front?
- Meet key contacts at the hotel including Operations Manager, Event Planner and General Manager - were they friendly and showed they wanted the business?
- Are there any refurbishment plans in place? When will this happen?
Ask Lots Of Questions
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions! Wrap up everything, go over the points raised and confirm next steps. Take the time to compare with any other venues you have visited and decide on which one will be the best fit for your event.
At SOS, we carry out site inspections on a weekly basis and know exactly what it takes to find a great venue. Why not enlist the help of one of our venue finders?