A well-planned venue can take a lot of the stress out of the event on the day
Have you agreed a price for the venue hire?
There may not be a cost, of course. In some venues, if you are bringing in bar and/or food business – especially on a weekday – they may be happy with the bar and food take alone.
Does the venue understand at what time you need to access it and how long you may need in order to vacate it after the event. Is it all included in your cost?
Have you set an end time as well as a start for the event?
This can be useful both for the venue and for your potential customers who may have baby sitters, etc.
Check that you have suitably located power sockets if needed. You may need to bring an extension lead.
Is there disabled access?
You will be asked this on your application form. It is not required in all settings but you will need to be sure what it is and if it is practical.
Where will people park their cars?
If parking space is limited can you suggest alternative parking places or other means of getting to the venue? Will there be spaces that allow disabled people to park near to the venue? If directing people to the village centre car parks, it might be useful to give a reminder that these are “pay and display”, including evenings, so that your audience don’t return to a parking ticket on their windscreen!
Will you have a bar?
Do the premises already have a licence? If not, how are you proposing to handle this?
Are you offering food or other refreshments?
Are you and the venue quite clear on who is doing what? Is it part of the ticket price or an optional extra, e.g. for events at local hotels, restaurants? Be clear on your application form what you are offering, if anything, and what is included in the ticket price.
If you do have a bar, be sure to let the venue management know your likely level of traffic. How many tickets have you sold? When will your interval be? What time will you finish? A well run bar means happy customers and a happy venue. There is nothing worse than waiting to start your event while 50 people queue up at a bar with one person serving.
Can you create the ambience you want? You could consider hiring lighting but this will add to your costs. Remember, if you are viewing the venue in winter or spring that the Festival will be when the days are longest, when there will be a lot of natural light.
Get your seating plan and capacity sorted out well in advance. Seating in rows maximises capacity but cabaret-style seating round tables tends to make for a more convivial atmosphere for some events. Be sure to discuss this with the venue manager and arrive at a realistic maximum capacity.
Will you have any other costs that are specifically venue-related e.g. paper table cloths, disposable cutlery, room decorations, etc? Again this is likely to depend on the type of venue.
Just check that there will be nothing else on the same night at the venue that may conflict, e.g. a music quiz in the room next door in the pub!!
If you are holding an exhibition, please be sure to get venue agreement before hanging or fixing anything to the walls that may adversely affect the finished surfaces.
Have you worked with the venue to assess and mitigate health and safety risks?