The Ultimate Guide to Booking your Perfect Venue, Part 2: The Walkthroughs

Business of Events Podcast Episode 7 on Venue Walkthroughs

A venue walkthrough is your opportunity to find out everything, and I mean everything you need to know before signing on the dotted line. Because we all know, once you sign, you are left to deal with all the good, and the bad aspects of the venue. So THIS is your moment. Get ready to ask all the questions!

When we are walking a venue for a client, we divide the walkthrough into two parts. The front of house walkthrough and the back of house walkthrough. 

The front of house walkthrough

During the front of house walkthrough you are looking at everything through your guests eyes. You want to walk through their entire guest experience. Starting from the parking lot, here is valet? When they get into the lobby, where’s registration? Is there signage to get them to their main room? What are the bathrooms like? Is there a lunch? Where will they eat? Everything that the guests is going to see from the moment they park at your event, to the moment they leave. You want to see it, take photos, and video. 

Now you are going to go back and do a back of house walkthrough. Now, you are a vendor and need to walk through their entire experience. Where do they deliver? What does the loading dock look like? What does the freight elevator look like, and what are the dimensions to make sure that the stuff that you want to bring fits? Is there Wi -Fi? What are the fees? So now you are going to go through it as a vendor and as a planner, because a planner is a vendor, asking all those questions.

Here are some of the items that most people miss on their walkthrough. They don’t look for it, don’t ask it, and it becomes a big problem afterwards. *For the full list, check out the walkthrough checklist I included in the Step by Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Venue for your Event*

  1. Ask about ALL fees. The rental fee is just one fee. How about extra hours for setup? Trash removal? Security? Extra guests? Catering fees? You want them to be upfront about every possible charge.

  2. Will there be other events held at the same time and if so, how do they keep guests separate.
  3. Limitations on loading your items in. Is there certain hours you can have exclusive access to loading dock? What are the size limitations to the loading dock and freight elevators.
  4. What exclusive vendors are you required to use? If they have any ask them for pricing before signing for the venue. 
  5. Look at all Plan B spaces and ask if you have access to those for the same hours you would have access to your main space. (Listen to the podcast for the horror story of the venue that wouldn’t release the plan B space until 5:00pm. The event started at 6:00pm!! 

At Love.Style.Events we actually do two venue walkthroughs. One with the client and then another one with just our production team. We schedule a couple oh hours to sit walkthrough with the venue coordinator and then we sit with our team at the venue doing the initial planning. That way we can quickly measure or take a photo of that one thing we would have missed. We know that taking this time to do a thorough walkthrough will make the rest of the planning so much easier. 

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    The Ultimate Guide to Booking your Perfect Venue, Part 1: How to find it
    The Ultimate Guide to Booking your Perfect Venue, Part 3: Venue Contract