Choosing a venue for your event is one of the biggest — and most important —decisions to get the party planning rolling. To help with that, here’s a list of 10 questions to ask before choosing the perfect party venue.
1. How much will it cost?
Find out how much the venue will cost, but also, what is included in that price. Does it include a dance floor? Tables/chairs, linens, parking, decorations, food, staff, or a liquor license? Get as many details as possible to help you plan – and avoid surprises.
2. Is the venue appropriate for the event?
It’s a subjective question, really, but an important one. For example, a black-tie charity gala might be better served in an upscale venue, such as the Hazeltine National Golf Club.
3. What’s the capacity of the space?
This may seem obvious, but it’s important to know. If you have an estimate on the number of guests, you should know right away whether the answer is a deal breaker. However, some kinds of events also require more space than others, so keep in mind how the space will fit people comfortably for your specific type of event. Conversely, for smaller gatherings, find out if more intimate spaces are available.
4. What extra services will the venue provide?
Parking options are a big part of this question. Check on a parking facility, a spot nearby, or valet options. There’s also extra personnel, like security for the event, police, and/or paramedics.
5. When is the space available?
A day/time for the event might already be set in stone. But in case it isn’t, go venue-searching with a few different dates and time options as possibilities. That should help limit the number of venues that will be eliminated from the list just because of availability.
6. What is the ambiance of the venue?
Take a look around at the décor, or potential the room has for DIY decorating. Try to picture what the space would look like in keeping with the theme of the event. If the ambiance doesn’t seem quite right, a lot of decorating may need to be done to make up for it.
7. How accessible is the venue?
Some older buildings may not be up to today’s standards when it comes to regulations for those with special needs (ADA requirements).
8. What’s the travel factor like?
This might depend on the guest list. Will the venue be so far away that everyone will need to book hotel rooms? Then that might be a place to take off the list.
9. What do people think of the place?
Ask around among other event planners, vendors, or those in the area about the reputation of the venue. Hunt around online for reviews, too, but remembering to take them with a grain of salt.
10. What’s the cancellation policy?
This might not be at the top of your priority list, but it’s worth knowing – just in case the party needs to get moved or cancelled. Pay attention to refund policies or any damage charges, as well.
11. Is the venue a draw?
Is the venue unique, historic, or "hot" in the minds of potential attendees? This might not matter if your's is an invite-only event, but if you're trying to boost attendance, as in the case of a fundraiser, you'll want a location that people want to visit.
Hazeltine National Golf Club is a private golf club located in Chaska, Minn., about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The club opened in 1962 with a mission to build and maintain a golf course suitable for the conduct of national championships. Hazeltine is one of only two courses in the United States to have hosted the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur, and Ryder Cup. Hazeltine’s meeting and event space, golf shop and specified services in the learning center are open to the public. More information about becoming a member at Hazeltine is available at www.hazeltinenational.com.