10 Critical Questions to Ask During a Venue Site Visit for Corporate Events

Intro

When planning a corporate event, selecting the perfect venue is a crucial step. Before signing any contracts, it is important to get a good understanding of the venue and its services by scheduling a site visit. During the site visit, there are certain questions that should be asked to ensure the venue is the right choice for your event. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 critical questions to ask during a venue site visit for corporate events. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you make an informed decision about whether or not the venue is the right fit for your needs.

1) What is the maximum capacity of the space?

One of the most important questions to ask during a venue site visit for a corporate event is what the maximum capacity of the space is. This information is crucial for planning purposes, as it will give you an idea of how many attendees you can expect to accommodate comfortably.
To determine the maximum capacity of the space, you will need to know the layout of the room. Consider factors such as the location of the entrance and exits, the placement of tables and chairs, and any obstructions that may limit the flow of people.
You should also take into account the number of toilets available in the space. As a general rule, you should assume that each toilet can accommodate between 1 to 10 people, depending on its size and layout.
Fire exits and assembly points are also important to consider when determining maximum capacity. Make sure that the venue is in compliance with fire codes and that there are enough exits to accommodate the number of people in the space.
Lastly, don’t forget to take into account any other tables, equipment, or staging areas in the room that may eat into your capacity. The stage, in particular, can take up a significant amount of space and reduce your overall capacity.
Overall, asking about the maximum capacity of the space is critical for ensuring that your event is safe and comfortable for all attendees. Make sure to gather all of the necessary information during your site visit so that you can plan accordingly.

2) What is the rental fee?

When you’re scoping out potential venues for your corporate event, it’s important to get a clear understanding of the rental fee for the space. Knowing this information will help you budget accordingly and ensure that there are no surprises down the line. When discussing rental fees with a venue representative, here are a few questions you may want to consider:
Does the rental fee include power? Depending on the venue, power may be metered separately, so it’s important to find out if it’s included in the rental fee or not.
Are staff costs included in the rental fee? Some venues may charge an additional fee for staffing, so it’s important to clarify if this is included or not.
What about food and beverage? Is there an additional charge for catering, or is this included in the rental fee? It’s important to know what is and isn’t included so you can plan accordingly.
What happens if you go over your allotted time? Is there an additional charge for overrunning your time slot? This is important to know so you can plan your event timeline accordingly.
Lastly, it’s important to ask if there are any additional fees for set up and set down. Some venues may charge a separate venue hire fee for this, so make sure to clarify what is and isn’t included in the rental fee.
By asking these questions and getting a clear understanding of the rental fee, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not a particular venue is a good fit for your corporate event.

3) What are the dimensions of the space?

Another important question to ask during a venue site visit for corporate events is about the dimensions of the space. Knowing the total area of the space is crucial as it will determine the maximum number of attendees that can be accommodated comfortably.
Additionally, it is important to consider the placement of plugs and electrical outlets. You will want to make sure that they are conveniently located and not too far from where they will be needed.
Another thing to consider is whether the venue has extra spaces like breakout rooms and foyers which can be used as overflow or smaller meeting rooms. These areas can come in handy when attendees need to break off into smaller groups or when you need extra space for networking.
Therefore, be sure to ask the venue manager about the dimensions of the space, electrical outlet locations, and any additional areas that may be available for use. These factors can play a major role in determining if a venue is the right fit for your corporate event.

4) Is the space ADA accessible?

It’s essential to ensure that the venue you select for your corporate event is accessible to all attendees, regardless of their physical ability. This means that the venue should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, which were created to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
During your site visit, be sure to ask the venue representative about the accessibility of the space. Some of the questions you may want to ask include:

Are there wheelchair ramps or elevators to access all areas of the venue?

Are there designated parking spots for individuals with disabilities?

Are there accessible seating options available?
If the venue representative is unable to answer these questions, they should be able to connect you with someone who can. It’s also a good idea to bring someone with a disability with you on your site visit to provide additional feedback and insights.
Keep in mind that ensuring the accessibility of the venue isn’t just about complying with regulations – it’s about creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all attendees. By prioritizing accessibility, you’ll not only create a better experience for those with disabilities but also show that your company values diversity and inclusivity.

Are there accessible restrooms available?

5) What is the lighting like in the space?

One important factor to consider when doing a site visit for a corporate event venue is the lighting. Lighting can greatly impact the ambiance and overall feel of the event, so it’s important to take note of what’s available in the space.
Firstly, you should inquire about the house lights. Are they dimmable or just on and off? Are all the lights working and are they the same colour? You want to make sure that the lighting is consistent throughout the space, as uneven lighting can create an unprofessional atmosphere.
If there are any accent lighting fixtures, be sure to ask if they are separately controlled. This will allow you to adjust the lighting to fit your needs and preferences.
Another consideration is whether the lighting in the venue can be operated by DMX. This is a common protocol used for controlling stage lighting and can be useful if you plan on having any sort of entertainment or presentations.
Finally, it’s important to ask yourself whether you like the look of the lighting. While it’s possible to make adjustments, it’s easier and more cost-effective to work with what’s already available in the space. If you’re not happy with the lighting, it’s worth considering other venues that better suit your needs.
Overall, taking the time to consider the lighting during your venue site visit can make a huge difference in the success of your corporate event. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make note of any potential issues. This will help you ensure that you have the best possible experience in the space.

6) Is there a stage in the space?

Having a stage at your corporate event can make a big impact on the overall feel and atmosphere of the occasion. It’s important to know if the venue you’re considering has a stage available and what the specifics are regarding its use. Here are a few critical questions to ask during your venue site visit.
First and foremost, does the venue have a stage available? If so, is it included in the rental fee or does it come at an additional cost? Knowing the venue’s policy on stages and how it may affect your budget is important when making your decision.
Next, find out if the venue will set up the stage for you or if it is your responsibility to handle the setup yourself. If the venue provides setup services, be sure to inquire about any additional fees associated with that service.
The size and shape of the stage are also important considerations. Determine the maximum size available and find out if the stage shape can be altered to better suit your event needs. Knowing the exact measurements of each stage piece can also help with planning the layout of your event.
Another crucial factor is the height of the stage. It’s important to make sure that it is tall enough for your presenters or performers to be seen and heard by the audience. Ask about any limitations on the stage height and any safety requirements that need to be followed.
Finally, if the stage comes with a carpeted top, find out if the colour can be changed to better fit the theme of your event.
Overall, the presence and specifics of a stage can make or break your corporate event. Taking the time to ask these important questions during a venue site visit will ensure that your event is executed to the best of your ability.

7) Is there audio/visual equipment available?

When it comes to corporate events, having reliable audio/visual (AV) equipment can make or break the success of the event. This is why it is essential to ask the venue if they have AV equipment available for use.
If the venue has AV equipment in-house, it is crucial to talk to an expert to ensure that the equipment is functioning correctly. You don’t want to run into technical difficulties during your event, and this is where a reliable AV service provider like RapidAV can come in handy.
At RapidAV, we offer cost-effective solutions to ensure that your event’s AV needs are met. We will work with you to assess your requirements and provide a customized package that suits your needs. We also offer backup equipment, so you can rest assured that everything will run smoothly even if there is an unforeseen issue.
Before arriving on-site, RapidAV will test all equipment to ensure that everything is in perfect working order. This way, you can be confident that your event will be executed without a hitch.
In summary, make sure to ask if there is AV equipment available at the venue and partner with a trusted AV service provider like RapidAV to ensure that your event runs smoothly. By doing so, you can guarantee that your event will be a success.

8) What is the policy on outside food and beverage?

When it comes to corporate events, catering is an essential aspect of the planning process. Many venues have on-site catering options, but if you’re looking to bring in your own food and beverage, it’s crucial to understand the policy beforehand. Some venues may not allow outside catering or may charge a fee for bringing in outside food and beverage. It’s essential to ask about any restrictions or fees, as this could affect your overall budget and planning. Additionally, if you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, it’s essential to ask if the venue can accommodate them. Some venues may have limited options or may require advance notice for special dietary needs. Understanding the food and beverage policy will ensure a smooth planning process and a successful corporate event.

9) What is the parking situation?

Parking can be a big concern when it comes to choosing a venue for your corporate event. You want to ensure that there is ample parking for your guests and that it’s affordable. It’s important to ask the venue coordinator about the cost of parking and if it’s included in the rental fee or if it’s an additional charge.
You should also ask about the location of the parking lot and how far it is from the venue. If the parking lot is a bit of a distance away, it’s important to make sure that the venue has a shuttle service to transport guests to and from the parking area.
The size of the space and gate size should also be considered when looking at the parking situation. You want to make sure that the parking lot can accommodate larger vehicles, like buses or trucks, if needed. It’s also important to inquire about any height restrictions in the parking lot.
Finally, ask about loading bays. If you’ll be bringing in equipment or supplies, it’s important to ensure that there are loading bays available and that they’re easily accessible. This will make setup and teardown much easier for you and your team.
By considering these factors, you can ensure that the parking situation at the venue is suitable for your event and that your guests will have a positive experience from the moment they arrive.

10) What is the cancellation policy?

While no one wants to think about a corporate event being cancelled, it’s important to ask about the venue’s cancellation policy. This will help you understand what the consequences are if your event needs to be cancelled or rescheduled.
Make sure to ask about any fees associated with cancelling the event, and what the deadline is for cancelling without penalty. If there are any deposits or payments that need to be made before the event, ask if those are refundable in the event of a cancellation.
Understanding the cancellation policy upfront can help you plan for unexpected circumstances and avoid any surprises down the road. Be sure to also ask about any policies or procedures for rescheduling an event, as you may need to be prepared for that as well.
In the end, having a clear understanding of the cancellation policy will give you peace of mind and ensure that you’re not caught off guard in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Make sure to get all of this information in writing, so that there is no confusion or miscommunication down the line.

Jonathan Knowles
Jonathan@RapidAV.uk

Guru on Events and Marketing
Head of Strategic & Business Development

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