The first vendor many people want to secure for their upcoming event is the venue. But once they arrive at a venue and are bombarded with information, many also struggle with remembering the questions and concerns they have about that venue, or in general. The Durham Exchange is here to help with our list of seven venue tour questions! These are some of the questions that we recommend you ask venues when you’re touring them – including ours!
1. How much does the venue cost?
There are many different subsequent questions that arise from this one, but it’s essential that you get the ball rolling with this question first. Asking about the cost of a venue informs you whether it is within your budget or not. If a venue is out of your price range, that makes it easy to eliminate from your list, or gives you the opportunity to reevaluate your budget priorities.
2. Is our date available?
Some people are flexible about the date of their event. That said, others aren’t or can’t be flexible on dates, like those hosting birthdays, or celebrating anniversaries, or those with important guests who can only attend on a certain day. However, if a venue is not available on your preferred date and you don’t have flexibility, you can always ask to be notified if the event currently booked on that date changes.
3. What is the venue’s maximum capacity?
The capacity of a venue is essential. If you expect three hundred guests, a space that accommodates two hundred and fifty guests at maximum capacity would not only be a tight squeeze, but might also violate the venue’s fire codes. Similarly, if you’re only expecting fifty guests, the same space would likely seem cavernous – way too big for the number of guests attending.
4. Do you have preferred or required vendors?
Some venues maintain partnerships with other vendors, such as caterers, photographers, or musicians, to name a few. It’s important to respect the relationships that a venue has created with these vendors. Also, if you are set on having your favorite Thai restaurant cater your reception, but the venue requires a vendor from a list they provide, it’s best for you and the venue to clear up any confusion or conflict quickly.
5. What is included with the rental/what services do you offer?
These can be two different questions to ask a venue on a tour. Some venues offer tiers of packages that have different prices and more or less services included with a particular package. Other venues have a basic rental fee, and some things are included, but others can be added onto it for a fee. Some offer a bit of both these things; there is a basic fee for each package, but you can pick and choose services from other packages and pay for them individually.
This question(s) is important because it tells you the value of the rental. If a venue charges a large fee but is all-inclusive, or charges a smaller fee but allows customization, these can show that the venue is worth whatever you’re paying for it. This question(s) is also important because it can tell you whether a venue is a good fit for your needs or not. If you want a customizable venue, like The Durham Exchange, but a tour a venue that is all-inclusive with little room to customize, that venue may not be a perfect fit for your event.
6. Are there any restrictions?
This question is quite broad. A venue can have restrictions on alcohol, decorations, and hours during which an event can take place, to name a few examples. It’s important to know what those restrictions are, especially if a venue charges a security deposit, so you can follow the venue’s rules and have your security deposit returned, if that is an available option.
7. How do I book the space, and what is the cancellation or rescheduling policy?
So, you think this venue might be the one! You need to know the next steps. This includes how to book the space, and what the cancellation or rescheduling policy is once it’s booked, etc. Sometimes, venues allow cancellation or rescheduling depending on the distance from the date of the event. Some venues will keep the security deposit, but return any other payments. If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that the unexpected happens all the time. So, it’s important that you know what (if anything) you can do to accommodate life’s surprises.
And there you have it – seven important questions to ask a venue during a tour! We hope this article helps anyone who’s looking for a venue to celebrate life’s important moments. If you would like to tour the Durham Exchange, please feel free to schedule a tour!