The corporate event market is big business, clearing nearly $100 billion in 2020 alone. It’s an amount that’s expected to quintuple by the end of the decade. That likely signals a meaningful increase in the number of event spaces to choose from moving forward.
Of course, once you get past the research into corporate event spaces near me, you face the problem of choosing one. Before you lose all hope, point at one at random, and cross your fingers, here are some key questions to ask before picking a corporate event space.
What’s the Cancellation Policy?
Like it or not, schedules change. Sometimes, you must cancel an event or at least reschedule it for reasons you couldn’t control. If your keynote speaker gets into an accident two days before the event, the odds of booking a decent replacement aren’t zero, but they’re close to zero.
Since everyone knows that life has a habit of throwing monkey wrenches into well-laid plans, knowing the cancellation policy of your corporate event venue makes sense.
Some places employ a policy that all deposits are non-refundable. Other places will play a little nicer and refund partial deposits, depending on how much time is left between the cancellation and the event.
If you cancel three weeks in advance, there is a decent chance that venues in the second group will give you something back.
Are Covid Policies Still in Place?
Covid policies regarding social distancing and masking vary a lot from state to state and even from venue to venue. In some places, they’re still firmly enforced, while others have largely moved on from them entirely.
You want a venue that embraces a policy that reflects the policy of your organization. If your business has rescinded all Covid policies, you want a venue with a similar mindset.
Just make sure that you’re a little flexible. If all of the venues have some policies in place, you must bend a little or the event will never happen.
What’s the Booking Policy?
Something else you should make sure about when considering function room options is the booking policy. Things you want to check on include:
- How far in advance can/should I book?
- What is the fee for a completed event?
- Are there payment plan options?
While every corporate event space will book up at a different rate, venues do eventually book up. The thing is that they may book solid at different times of the year. Knowing when those times are can help you pick a nice, but typically available space for your own event.
Knowing the total fee lets you comparison shop the different venues. Payment plans can make booking and using a venue a little less painful if they’ll let you spread the payment out for a month or two afterward.
Is Catering Included/Available?
Some venues provide catering when you book the space and fold it into the overall fee. Other places provide catering, but only as a separate service. Yet other places don’t offer catering at all but do have space set aside for that kind of service to set up.
Knowing the catering situation lets you plan ahead. Maybe you’ll use their services, or maybe you always use the same caterer for every event. If they provide no catering service, then you know the food problem is squarely on your shoulders and can make appropriate arrangements.
A word of warning, though. Places that typically provide catering will sometimes charge you an additional fee if you bring in an outside caterer for your event. Make sure you ask about those kinds of fees so it won’t come as a shock later.
Do They Provide On-Site Staff?
Some event venues maintain a staff to assist with events, but it’s by no means universal. On-site staff can prove incredibly helpful during setup and breakdown, as well as to help people check into the event.
If the venue provides staff, that’s great. If not, you must make sure you bring enough people to cover all of the tasks that go along with the event.
What Is the Venue Capacity?
Some corporate events are relatively small, but plenty of them involve a lot of guests. You should have a fairly accurate headcount in mind before you start inquiring about events, even if it’s just the number of people that got invited or bought tickets.
Knowing that number will help you eliminate potential venues simply because they cannot accommodate the number of guests that you expect.
What Is the Parking/Guest Transportation Situation?
Depending on the type of event and the location, guests might arrive in a personal vehicle, a cab, or from a local airport. You need a clear picture of what kind of transportation and parking options the venue has available.
If the venue has no parking, you must let the guests know ahead of time. If your guests need transportation from a local airport, you can help make arrangements to get them from point A to point B.
What On-Site Tech Is Available?
It’s a rare corporate event these days that doesn’t include some kind of presentation with an audio-visual component. If yours includes these kinds of elements, you need to know what, if any, on-site technology is available.
So they have a sound system? A projector system? Can you simply load the presentation onto a USB stick and plug it in or do you need a tech and A/V team on-site to handle it?
Picking from the Corporate Event Spaces Near Me
Once you create a list of the corporate event spaces near me in your area, you must pick one. While it’s often repetitive, you can run each venue through the questions listed above and get a pretty clear picture of what they have to offer.
The good news is that picking a venue will largely boil down to how many of those questions prompt answers you like. Assuming you don’t need a venue in a specific area, you go with the best fit.
Looking for more corporate event tips? Check out the posts in our Business section.
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