Event Planning: Information to Gather at a Site & Venue Visit

event planning

Selecting the right venue space and location is one of the most important event planning decisions that is critical to the success of your event.  Once you identify the main purpose and type of event you are having, be sure to cover all important considerations when evaluating a venue during a site visit.  Do your homework by gathering the following essential information to avoid mishaps and unpleasant surprises.

Questions to Ask During an Event Venue Site Visit

1)  What is the maximum capacity and is it all available during my event?

Any venue on your evaluation list is probably already screened for offering adequate capacity, just be sure that you are aware of any capacity restrictions during your show.  It’s always good  as part of your event planning, to confirm that you’ll have the site to yourself rather than sharing space with another party. If you’ll be sharing space, you need to know how your guests will enter and move about your space.

If you are limited to using a shared entrance, this may hinder your ability to place signs and directions to your registration space.  Sharing space may also limit your ability for increased brand awareness.  Know the rules for printed signage and how attendees will be directed and move about during your show.

Evaluating capacity also includes safety considerations.  Know the fire and safety plan for your space, if there is on-site security and the location of the closest hospital and emergency first responders.

2)  What is the available parking?

While this also seems like an obvious consideration, some venues have different parking rules on different days. Is there a parking lot attached or nearby?  This is one of the best scenarios but not always available.  If there is a parking garage available, are there different daily rates on the weekend? Special rates for events? Are there adequate disabled parking spaces available? 

Check out discounts available from Uber and Lyft for event transportation.  Most ride sharing services will work with you on a discount and you can even create a specific promo code for guests to use just for your event.  Convenient parking, transportation or door to door service is a big plus for your attendees. 

3)  Is the venue expecting any changes or remodeling?

If you contact a venue that you have experience with in the past, make sure that it is the same as you remember it.  Also ask if there are any plans for updating or remodeling the space.  This can be an easy question to forget about, although is extremely important as many venue sites are continually upgrading and improving amenities.

If a venue has moved or changed the type of rigging points, for example, this can be a show stopping alteration if you are not made aware of this until the day of setup.  It’s even happened that venues updated their space without updating blueprints or CAD files. Asking when the last upgrade to your space was may draw out helpful information.  Be sure to confirm the type and location of rigging points and electrical outlets.  

4)  What are the labor laws for your venue and location?

Knowing the labor laws for your site location is a very important consideration, for a pleasant experience as well as budget constraints.  Some venues may require the use of union labor only with specific rules to follow. Regulations may include a mandatory double time rate during early or late hours or different rules for meal breaks. Make sure you know the labor laws ahead of time for proper budgeting without big surprises.

5)  What are all of the on-site amenities and labor services?

People mingle over food and beverages

Keeping your guests happy and satisfied is important to keep their attention.  People like to discuss your event and network with new contacts over good food and drinks. Some venues offer their own kitchen and catering staff or allow you to use your own, sometimes with an upcharge.  It is well worth it to evaluate the food options in advance to be sure you either select a venue with great food or have the option to bring in your own.

Deliver your message loud and clear

Even if the venue offers their own AV services, be sure to talk with an experienced AV services provider to learn all your options with the latest event tech.  Know specifically what equipment is available for your use and what you could bring in yourself.  See if there’s a maintenance person on staff in case something goes out or isn’t working when you need it.  Knowing the AV capabilities of your venue is one of the most important considerations to make sure you deliver your message loud and clear.

Are there enough tables, chairs and linens?

You can save on your budget by using what the venue offers if it fits with your theme and ambiance.  Whatever you do, don’t under budget for adequate seating and table space.  Check out event rental items such as tables, chairs, desks and lecterns to create the comfort and feel that fits with your theme.

Do they offer their own setup and cleanup crew?

It’s a pleasant surprise to find a venue that offers setup and cleanup crews.  If you plan to provide these services yourself, you should consult with an event production company that has experience in managing logistics for events like yours.

Production Plus Offers Event Venue Services and All Logistics For your Event Planning

Production Plus is an event production company, based in Chicago with over 40 years of experience in providing total, turnkey event production services including venue selection, evaluation and rebranding.  We offer comprehensive event services from start to finish, partnering with you to help define, design, deliver and deploy an event to remember. Production Plus offers innovative, captivating storytelling with:

  • AV services from experienced techs and high grade equipment
  • Scenic Constructions from skilled artists and engineers
  • Exhibit fabrications for stages, museums and trade shows
  • Exhibition design for a single booth or the whole venue
  • Venue selection, evaluation, rebranding and even digital event rendering
  • Event staging with design, rental equipment and AV services included
  • All logistics for flawless execution of all event services
  • Event rental equipment, setup and cleanup
  • Custom app development with Augmented or Virtual Reality apps available

Production Plus saves you time, money and headaches by coordinating all event production services under one roof. We ask the questions that experienced event planners know will make or break your event production.  Our passion and experience help us to select unique venue options which perfectly complement your story and theme.

Production Plus is a leading event production company, with experience in all U.S. States and nearly every continent.  We provide complete event services with creativity, innovation and the latest in event tech.  Contact us to speak with an event specialist about our proven event production solutions.