Five questions to ask when you’re booking a venue

When you’ve spent weeks looking at venues, reviewing rooms sizes, delegate packages and price lists, it can be easy to forget about the smaller details.

While most don't look further than the information on the venue’s website, it’s essential that you dig deeper, to ensure you are not blindsided by unknown factors.

Here are five crucial questions to find out everything you need to know about your dream event space.


  1.      What are the venues policies?


It is essential that you know the contractual obligations before signing on the dotted line.

While you may be delighted with the natural lighting or the five-star catering facilities, these factors should not stop you checking cancellation or refund policies.

Venues may have very strict guidelines when it comes to cancelling, so ask about policies for postponing your event, or making adjustments such as delegate numbers.


  1.     Is there Wi-Fi and Audio/Visual equipment?


Gone are the days when presentations can be successfully delivered with a powerful voice, a pen and a flip chart. Today, Wi-Fi and Audio-Visual technology have become integral to any modern event, meaning even the smallest malfunction has the potential to ruin weeks of planning.

When viewing the venue, make sure to enquire about the tech facilities available, such as access to projectors, printers, wireless internet and tech assistants.

If the venue is a hotel, you are encouraged to enquire about Wi-Fi connectivity. Otherwise, you may find as hundreds of guests try to get online your internet speed is drastically reduced.


  1.         Can you bring in outside suppliers?

Most venues will have preferred suppliers, which means they may not allow you to bring in outside vendors. If this is a strict policy, then ask to meet the suppliers beforehand and sample their products, whether it’s catering, decorations or Audio-Visual equipment.


  1.      What is included in the price?


It is always important to clarify exactly what will be included in your event package.

It is often assumed that certain services, such as room set up or mineral water are free of charge.

Make sure to ask the event manager for a full breakdown of prices and negotiate if possible.


  1.      What are the payment policies?


Instead of paying a large sum upfront, many venues now offer payment scheduling options, so you can stagger the payment over a period of time.  

Don’t just assume that all costs need to be paid in one go, negotiate with the venue to agree a plan that works for you.


  1.     What are the on-site facilities?


Before you hire out the event space, check out the facilities available at the wider venue.

Whether its onsite accommodation, leisure facilities or parking, ability to access these amenities are likely to be very important to your delegates and may be a deciding factor when it comes to them RSVP-ing to your event.

If there is no parking or accommodation onsite, then research facilities nearby.  

If parking takes place on the street, ask whether delegates will need a permit or whether they will be charged for leaving their vehicle. Alternatively, make sure to check availability at nearby hotels for your preferred dates.


Thinking of hiring a venue? Check out Lanarkshire’s top meeting and event spaces on our dedicated venue page.