The Top 7 Questions You Should Always Ask Your Venue Before Booking

The world of event venues doesn’t have to be confusing. When you’ve got your budget ready and a few places you’re interested in, head over for a tour and collect as much information as you can! Use the following seven questions to set yourself and your event up for success with any venue!

Midpointe Event Center - The Grand Ballroom in the Majestic Hall

Midpointe Event Center - The Grand Ballroom in the Majestic Hall

1) What is included?   It may seem obvious, but many forget to ask. Venues are thrilled to explain all of the general benefits of their space, so dig deeper and ask specific follow-up questions to get the best results. Are all of the tables and chairs included? What about Kitchen access? Do those drapes come included? The more flexibility your venue can provide, the less you’ll spend with other vendors. It pays to ask!

Lancer Catering Hosts A Dinner Party For The National Association Of Catering & Events Twin Cities Chapter

Lancer Catering Hosts A Dinner Party For The National Association Of Catering & Events Twin Cities Chapter

2) Are there food and/or beverage minimums?   This crucial question can save you thousands. Many event centers are able to offer attractively low venue fees by requiring that a certain amount (usually between $5,000 and $15,000) is spent on food and beverage service. While this is not dishonest, it can make venue comparisons tricky. Be sure to ask before you put down your deposit. In addition, ask if tax and gratuity is included (it’s often not).

3) What is the alcohol policy? When it comes to alcohol service, different venues can have differences and restrictions in their policies regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol. Note whether the venue requires you to purchase their alcohol, or if you are given the option to bring your own. Find out the bar hours and any restrictions they have on service (e.g. a ‘no shots’ policy). In addition, ask about the difference between a hosted bar and a cash bar–your salesperson should be able to explain the difference.

Lisa's Catering Provides Catering Services At Midpointe Event Center In The Majestic Hall. 

Lisa's Catering Provides Catering Services At Midpointe Event Center In The Majestic Hall. 

4)  Who can Cater? This question is especially important for any event that desires specific cuisine, like cultural events, traditional weddings, or community programs. Many event centers are under contract with specific caterers, whom you must order your food from. These caterers are of the the most capable in the industry, but may not have the specific food you’re looking for at a price you like. Discuss this with your salesperson in conjunction with question number two. Venues that allow you to bring in outside caterers will likely ask them to provide proof of licensure, for liability purposes.

5) Where will we park? One of the most commonly overlooked considerations, parking can be a nightmare for your guests if not thought of beforehand. Street parking often gets congested and invites the risk of tickets, and parking in ramps can get quite expensive. Ask your salesperson what kind of parking the event center offers, as well as the parking’s capacity. Overnight parking may be an additional consideration, depending on your plans regarding question #3. The goal of every venue is to ensure that all of it’s guests make it home safely.

A Pink Themed Wedding Reception Setup In The Grand Ballroom. 

A Pink Themed Wedding Reception Setup In The Grand Ballroom. 

6) Will there be time for setup? Decorating a venue can take a surprising amount of time, especially for those who choose to handle all or part of the decoration themselves. Ask the venue how early you will be able to get in prior to your event in order to set up and get things ready. Times will vary, so be sure you ask. 

7) What would you recommend? Venues thrive on happy, successful events, and hosting hundreds per year gives the staff a unique perspective on what tends to work best. Your salesperson or coordinator will know all of the best (and most affordable) vendors for you to work with. They’ll also give you informed ideas about what the venue showcases best. Don’t hesitate to ask! 

Midpointe Event Center - The Sterling Hall

Midpointe Event Center - The Sterling Hall

At the end of the day, venues exist to serve you, our guests. Finding the right one for your event should be a part of the event experience, not a dreaded chore. There are, of course, hundreds of other questions you could ask, but these seven will set you up with a strong foundation of knowledge to use when making your venue decision.

If you have more questions, we're always here to help!  To get in touch for more details, just CLICK HERE >   Until next time, have a happy and eventful day!

-The Midpointe Event Center Team


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