Vehicle Vault Event Venue Scottsdale

Knowing about cars is one thing, seeing them in the flesh is another 

Vehicle Vault this prestigious venue will leave your guests spellbound and in awe of its surroundings, providing you with the wow factor every event needs.

Style, history, and America’s love affair with the automobile come to life at Vehicle Vault of Scottsdale

Vehicle Vault believes that determination and hard work can change the course of one’s future.  Henry Ford changed the world with his innovating invention of the affordable automobile.  We want to support young people with the determination to change their life in a positive direction. “Some men may succeed because they are destined to, but most men succeed because  they are determined to.” Henry Ford

We specialize in unexpected events 

We understand that planning an event for awards dinners with delicious décor, endless entertainment, and all the additional particulars can be very nerve-wracking. With over 10,000 square feet, soaring ceilings, concrete floors this is the perfect setting for your next event. Our team of event planners will sit with you to listen to your vision. Give advice and recommendations, and most significantly make it a flawless and memorable event. Vehicle Vault can accommodate up to 500 people inside guests are sure to have an extraordinary experience in the spectacular venue amidst awe-inspiring vintage automobiles.

This dazzling and very private event venue magnificent for hosting all types of corporate events. From lunches, sit down dinners, canapé receptions and film premieres to product launches, live music showcases, awards ceremonies and of course, fabulous holiday celebrations. An expert events team is on hand to ensure that everything is just perfect. The Scottsdale Automobile Museum inventory includes several antique & classic vehicles which are offered to enhance your company party, corporate event, wedding, anniversary, or another special event. In other words, no matter how special the seating arrangement, decorations or the entertainment gets, the venue itself makes an event boring.

This is why there is a need to choose a more unique venue for events now. Thinking outside the norm can help you achieve an event which becomes a night for everybody to remember. Above all, while it is good to enjoy the creative juices flowing, it is also a good idea to consider the standards set by traditional venues in mind. The best practices for events have to be kept in check while going all out with your unique ideas.

With that said Vehicle Vault is helping today’s youth supporting programs that have a positive impact on their lives. The automobile industry is the focus of our passion.  To educate and motivate young people with the history and development of the automobile. Proud to be a partner with DRAGG PHOENIX. Our mission is to provide an alternative to gangs and graffiti through a positive learning opportunity. Hence teaching youth responsibility and respect for others in a unique environment. Through the automotive industry while gaining hands-on exposure to knowledge of automotive careers

Spotlight on Our Caterers

Our Caterers

With three outstanding preferred caterers to choose from, there’s no way you can go wrong! We hand picked all of our caterers based on their food, price, and customer culture.

Santa Barbara Catering:
This extraordinary company creates beautiful meals that are creative, delicious, and Eco friendly. They proudly use biodegradable cups, plates, and silverware for their events. In addition, they use locally produced products to support local farmers and environmentally friendly food. Their creative displays add a unique dynamic to any event. Santa Barbara Catering prides themselves on using local, high quality food with an artistic display. Please visit for more information.



Cater Phoenix:
Another one of our caterers is Cater Phoenix. This company believes that food should be part of the party,

not just at the party. Their creative displays bring the food to life and add a unique twist to  normal catering services. Cater Phoenix works one on one with the client to take off some of the stress that goes into planning events. Overall, the award winning chefs, delicious food, and outstanding customer service are just some of the reasons why Cater Phoenix is one of our preferred caterers. For additional information about pricing, menus and events, please visit

Brat Haus: 

Finally, our third caterer is Brat Haus! This restaurant is located in Old Town Scottsdale and specializes in artisan sausages, Belgian fries, and craft beer. In addition to sausages, fries, and beer, their menu is amazing! Additionally, all of the food is made in house from scratch. The creators of the menu got their inspiration from  European food craftsmen, offering a wide variety of burgers, salads, sides and, of course, brats. Brat Haus is a perfect choice for an event that wants a casual, high quality dining experience. To make reservations, view menus, and discover more about what Brat Haus has to offer, visit



In Conclusion, our team at Venues of North Scottsdale puts hours of time into picking our vendors. We strive to meet the needs of all our clients and give them a variety of catering choices to choose from for their special event.

Special Event Planner’s Guide to Venue Planning

An Event Planner's Guide to Venue Planning

Assuming that you have already identified the type of event you are planning and its purpose, there are many other factors must be considered as you begin the process of selecting the venue itself.

Venue Planning

The following this roadmap will help guide you through steps in choosing the perfect event space.

Identify Your Target Audience and Know Your Guest List

When venue planning for an event, one of the most important pieces of information you must know is who your guests will be and how many you expect to attend. While the type of event will certainly inform the venue choice, one of the largest limiting factors for an event space is its capacity. Make sure that you know at least an accurate estimate (it can be a range) of the number of guests as this will immediate limit your venue options. You should also consider your audience. Be sure that the venue reflects not only the event itself but the guests’ tastes and expectations.

Identify Event Dates

Check your calendar because timing will influence many decisions, including your venue of choice. After your guest list, the date of your event will be the next limiting factor.

Depending on what type of event you are planning, you may find that you either have to be flexible with your event date to get the venue you want or you will have to be flexible with your venue choice in order to get the date you want. You should begin venue planning knowing where you or the client are flexible.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • When are your guests most likely available to attend based on their schedules?
  • What venues have appropriate and available space for those times?
  • When is the best time for your management team to hold the event?

Calculate Your Budget

With an open-ended budget, anyone can plan a great event and have an infinite selection of venue choices. But more than likely, your financial resources are limited and you should be aware from the beginning of what your financial limitations are – even if your event budget is simple a ballpark estimate or range. An event planner can always plan a great event within a reasonable budget.

  • Do the venues fall within your budget parameters for space, technical and catering expenses?
  • Have you negotiated a favorable rate for services and demonstrated the value of your role?
  • Have you allowed flexibility in your budget in case line item expenses exceed the plan?

Scope Out Different Locations

Once the guest list numbers and possible event dates are narrowed, it’s important to identify the locations where the event could be held. Hotels and event or conference centers are some of the most popular event spaces for corporate events and wedding receptions, but they are not the only options.

This is a time to be creative in your thinking. Consider the following:

  • Based on the theme of your meeting, what three best locations come to mind?
  • Where would your guests prefer to attend this meeting?
  • What will be most convenient for your guests?
  • Other than a hotel, what unexpected locations could increase the RSVP rate?

Find the Right Type of Event Space

The venue you choose must have an appropriate space for the type of event you are planning. Will your event require a dance floor? Will you need a PA system? What about a speaker’s podium or a projector screen? What sort of table setup do you need? In addition to considering these sorts of questions, here are some of the top venue planning questions to ask yourself:

  • Does the event venue meet the special criteria of your program or event?
  • Can the venue accommodate your production, entertainment, A/V, sound, and other technical needs?
  • Does the condition of the facility reflect the high standards of your organization?

Consider Venue Services and Restrictions

In addition to finding the right type of event space, you will want to look into the types of other services offered by the venue and decide their value to your event. Some venues will also have a preferred vendor list from which you must work to find vendors or suppliers for other services. Other venues have restrictions on decor or other aspects on the event itself. Some questions to ask include:

Updated March 05, 2017


Hottest Trend: Industrial-Style Spaces

Hottest Trend: Industrial-Style Spaces. Industrial-style spaces are one of this year’s biggest trends in the events industry. These edgy venues make a bold statement and bring guests together in new and exciting ways. Exposed brickwork, steel beams and original fixtures (complete with peeling paint) make an authentic backdrop for a thoroughly urban affair. In this article, we take a look at the top five reasons industrial-style spaces are the perfect place for relaxed family weddings as well as cutting-edge corporate experiences.

Industrial venues are bursting with character and have colourful histories that help generate buzz around an event. These spaces are in high demand for parties, exhibitions and corporate events. An unusual venue, like a warehouse, studio or loft, completely transforms guests’ perception of an event and helps make it more memorable.

Spaces that Stand Out from the Pack

With the industrial chic wedding trend showing no signs of abating. Warehouse venues are proving to be an increasingly popular place to tie the knot. The juxtaposition between a formal event and an industrial-style space? Perfect for brides who want to break the mold or stamp their own style on their special day. Revamped warehouse spaces or light-filled lofts are a breeze. Personalise and make the perfect backdrop for an urban cool wedding.

Industrial-style spaces are also ideal for product launches. After all, a great product deserves a great venue that really packs a punch. When it comes to hiring a venue for a product launch. An industrial-style space that grabs the attention of industry experts or reviewers could make all the difference to a product’s success.

A Blank Canvas Means No Limits

Experiential events are growing in popularity and are well-suited to industrial-style spaces. Event planners are beginning to bring the creativity of the pop-up concept to their events. Hosting one-of-a-kind event experiences in warehouses, garages and converted factories. Great benefits of hosting an attention-grabbing experiential event include improved brand perception, increased word-of-mouth marketing and better attendee engagement.

2016 Chicago Cubs and Great Meeting Teams Have in Common

2016 Chicago Cubs and Great Meeting Teams Have in Common. Before the 2016 World Series is a distant memory, I want to share my observations about what made the Chicago Cubs so great and how those qualities translate to great meetings and events teams.

1. During the locker room celebration, Cubs executive Crane Kenney proudly proclaimed that culture eats strategy for lunch. Culture starts from the top, with leadership setting the tone for willing followers. There can be great strategy, but without inspired people who genuinely love their jobs and who are empowered to execute, strategy is nothing more than an idea.

2. But…strategy is important! You have to have a grand vision (what you aspire to be) and a well-articulated plan for how to get there. Culture and strategy work in tandem: With a poor culture, the plan is going nowhere fast. Both are key to any organizations success, and meeting planning is no exception.

3. Pay attention to the details. In baseball, players simply need to react to the ball. However, those who rely on Sabermetrics—baseball’s version of Big Data—have a better chance at success. Good planners combine an eye for the big picture with a knack for knowing the details.

4. Balance matters. The Cubs, by design, had a good mix of veterans and rookies. There was a group of players who had been there before and knew what to do and those who were curious to know what it means to win it all. Experience and exuberance continually proves itself to be a worthy combination. Successful meetings teams aren’t comprised just of seasoned professionals.

Luck is not an accident

5. Luck is not an accident, and neither is success. Sometimes the ball bounces in funny ways, or the rain comes at an opportune (or inopportune) time. Great teams seem to get the breaks, but the reality is they are prepared for any situation that comes their way. They are resilient and are rarely caught off-guard.

6. Shedding is growing. The Cubs had to let go of a lot of talented players over the years to get the right people in place and in the right order. Great meetings and event teams are not those that continually try to do the same thing, but those that take calculated risks and dare to be different. Letting go of the right things creates new opportunities and keeps events fresh.

7. Good things often take time—well, not usually 108 years!—and sometimes it is the journey, rather than the destination, that matters the most. Quality and success do not happen overnight. There is no such thing as the perfect meeting. Planners learn from their mistakes. Sometimes having a few bad events makes the great ones more satisfying.

8. Many Cubs played multiple positions during the year and didn’t complain, although they may have had expertise at one position. Versatility is valuable. The most valued meeting professionals may be great at one thing while simultaneously demonstrating their breadth by adapting to virtually any situation.

Relax and have fun

9. Relax and have fun. Nobody performs well when they are stressed. Cubs manager Joe Maddon often created dress-up themes for road trips to keep the players loose. Meeting planning may be among the most stressful professions, but at least you don’t have a 90-mph fastball coming at your head!

10. Celebrate your successes. The Cubs celebrated every victory in their locker room. When the event ends, does everyone pack up the boxes and head to the airport? If so, you’re missing an important part: the celebration of a job well done.

11. Cubs employees get the best of everything. The organization flew all of its employees to Game 7 of the World Series. You can call it their incentive trip! Everyone will receive a World Series ring. The Cubs spared no expense because they knew the rewards in the future will pay dividends in employee retention and loyalty. Find a way to convince your leadership to support your efforts in big ways.

12. In conclusion You need loyal, passionate customers. Therefore none of this matters without appreciative fans—or, for meeting planners, attendees. Fortunately your participants don’t have to wait a century for a great event!

Executive Director, Financial & Insurance Conference Planners

How Event Planners Choose Venues

How Event Planners Choose Venues.

Choosing a venue is one of the most delicate decisions that event professionals face.

The largest trade shows in the meeting and event industry are mainly focused about connecting two audiences: event professionals and venues.

If you walk the floor of IBTM or IMEX events you will notice dozens of venues (sometimes through convention bureaus or national tourism boards) from around the world trying to win planners’ favour.

Hosted buyers programs where created to facilitate this connection. Some hosted buyers programs pay for travel and accommodation expenses, give access to VIP lounges and lavish private events if the event professional is able to demonstrate they manage venue budget and are willing to make appointments.

Technology Is Not Standing and Watching

One of the strongest focus of technology providers over the past three years revolved around facilitating this exchange.

Venue search engines popped up all over the place. Websites where event planners looking for a new destination or venue could find all the information about potential candidates.

Some companies automated the Request For Proposal (RFP) process. They collectively got venue owners to reply to event planners’ demands.

Undoubtedly this is one of the hottest areas of technology where innovation could mean multi-million dollar revenues.

Why Is Choosing a Venue So Important?

If you are starting out in the event industry, you will soon realise that the venue decision will have the biggest impact on your budget and overall performance of the event.

To captivate event profs’ preference, venues gained control of catering, audio visuals and technology at large. They offer inclusive packages that cover most requirements associated with events.

Such service convergence makes the bill bigger and the weight associated to the decision heavier.

Choosing a venue is without a doubt a decision that can make or break your event. It is that one decision where event professionals feel the pressure.

What Influences Venue Decision Making Process

I could come up with several factors influencing decisions when it gets to choosing venues. But that would only be my speculation. An absolutely and utterly sound speculation, but still a speculation.

You know how I like to try to be analytical with content that makes it to the blog. Don’t like gossip, I don’t like fashion.

Decided to dig deeper and did a bit of research.

I found an interesting paper on the topic, that I strongly suggest to read. Here it is: Individual and Organizational Characteristics Influencing Event Planners’ Perceptions of Information Content and Channel Choice by Amanda Caroline Alexander, Dae-Young Kim and James Groves in Journal of Convention & Event Tourism – Vol. 13, Iss. 1, 2012 (That is how pros reference articles


?Findings are succulent.

Personal Interaction Is the Most Valuable Channel Affecting Decisions

While as an event professional you may think this is quite obvious, this may not be the case for venue listing websites, search engines, trade magazines, blogs, events, etc.

In fact the research, which was carried among 5500 ISES members, computed decision preference among channels such as direct marketing, printed media, technology (websites, search engines), collateral advertising and personal.

Therefore word of mouth seems to be the channel we rely on when looking for a venue or advice on selecting a venue.

A year ago we published an infographic called How Technology is Changing Events. One of the stats in there is that according to a study, professionals trust online information almost as much as information gotten from in person.

That means that exchanges with our peers online will influence decision making in regards to venue selection.

Meeting Room Information Has the Strongest Influence on the Final Decision

This is also an interesting one to better understand how event professionals’ minds work. Despite the research has been carried within the International Special Events Society (which I am proud member of), therefore in a demographic who pays extra attention to the venue component, the findings are quite surprising.

The study found that meeting room information is the most important factor in the decision, more than the cost of facility, attractions, exhibit space, food service, previous experience, sleeping rooms capacity and tech support.

Venue cost? For Real? I would have guessed that pricing was going to be the major factor influencing decisions. Apparently not the case.

I am impressed and this gives a lesson to all those marketing their venue or creating technology for marketing venues. Meeting Room information is what matters. Exposing the features of your meeting room is what makes event pros say yes!

In Conclusion

Choosing a venue is surely one of the most delicate decisions an event professional faces.

Research has demonstrated that we trust others’ advice when looking for information about a venue. That has a massive implication for events and trade shows promoting destinations and venues. In fact facilitating this exchange of information through networking or peer-to-peer sessions becomes extremely important for the success of the event.

Another important factor that impacts suppliers is exposing the meeting room information as much as possible. In fact this will be the ultimate influencer in the decision making process.

I’d be interested to know whether this is also your experience or if you have anything else to add. Do use the comment section to express your thoughts.

About The Author


Julius Solaris

Julius Solaris is the editor of, he is an international speaker and author of The Event App Bible, Engaging Events, Social Media for Events, The Good Event Registration Guide and The Annual Event Trends Report.


20 Things Venues Say and What They Really Mean

20 Things Venues Say and What They Really Mean. Working with a variety of different venues can be an exciting part of your event planning career but what do venues really mean when they say some of these things?

We know that event planners can drive venues crazy and venues can drive eventprofs equally up the wall. Sometimes it might seem like we speak different languages. Here are a few comments you might hear from your venue and how you can get to the bottom of what they are really trying to tell you!

  1.   Our WiFi is a bit spotty…

… Don’t rely on our WiFi because it will fail. Guaranteed.

Check out the WiFi capability during your site visit. Be sure to ask questions about their capacity and even test the bandwidth. Find alternative options, or perhaps book another venue if it seems like this will pose an issue for your group. Find a venue that understands how important WiFi is to your event and attendees.

  1.     We have a list of preferred vendors…

… and you may pay a premium to bring in someone else not on our list.

If you have a vendor in mind that you always work with or that you trust and prefer, be sure to ask your venue about any restrictions to bring them in. Some venues require that you use certain vendors such as specific accredited caterers or AV companies. Sometimes they will charge extra for vendors outside of their preferred list or not allow them on site at all.

  1.     We have upcoming construction scheduled, but it won’t impact your event…

…Unless it is delayed of course.  


venue-3If you have ever seen any type of construction or renovations you know that they very rarely finish on time. Be sure to discuss any potential renovations or changes to the venue that might impact on your event. If the timeline seems too tight you may want to explore some other locations to host your event to be on the safe side.

  1.     We are happy to accommodate your requests…

… but we might charge you extra for it.

Be sure to ask about any hidden fees that may be incurred for additional services. On occasion a venue may offer complementary services that come at no charge, but you should be sure to confirm in advance and avoid any hidden surprises in the final bill.

  1.     We need to move your group to another space…

… and it might be less desireable that your original location.


venue-5With large scale events you should not be running into this issue, but on occasion with smaller meetings or events you may be asked to move from one space to another. This might happen because of an error such as a double booking, the venue prioritizing a more lucrative contract over yours or perhaps some type of problem such as improvement works being required. When this arises be sure to ask the venue about your options and why you are being requested to move. Sometimes the new space might be an upgrade, but if you feel like you are getting the short end of the deal ask for this to be reflected on your final bill.

  1.     We offer complimentary services…

… but you might need to ask or negotiate harder before they are offered.

Your venue may offer added benefits such as transportation services, coloured linens, funky furniture, in-house AV and much more. If you don’t ask you never know. Be sure to communicate all of your needs, ideally before contracts are signed, and see if the venue can offer to fulfill any of them for free.

  1. We offer all the latest and greatest in-house technology…

… but don’t ask me how it works.


venue-7Make sure you do a trial run on any AV equipment you plan on using. Often times there are only certain staff members at a venue who know how the technology works. Make sure these people are available during your event (ideally), or prior to the start so they can show you and your team how to use it.

  1.     We can offer lots of rooms for your breakout sessions…

…. but some of them might be a long walk from your main space.


venues-8A venue may have plenty of space to offer, but it could be spread out throughout the facility. This might mean long walks for your attendees and increased signage to ensure no one gets lost. Sometimes the rooms are even on different levels with limited lift capacity. Ask questions about where your group will be and actually walk the route between rooms prior to signing the contract if you can.

  1.     We can provide transportation…

… but it probably won’t fit the exact needs of your event.

Certain venues may have complimentary transportation, but these services are often very limited. They may only service a specific area, or they may only run during certains times. If you plan to take advantage of this option, be sure to confirm all of the details in advance and read the small print.

  1.  We offer a variety of menu selections…

… and there might be room to negotiate on pricing to meet the needs of your group.

Most venues can find a way to accommodate the needs of your group when it comes to menu selection. Even if the item you would like isn’t on the menu, you should ask about having it as an option. You should also have some room for negotiation in pricing depending on your food and beverage choices. Many menu items can be adjusted to fit within your available budget.

  1. We have other events taking place on that date…

… and some of them might interfere or overlap with your event space.


venue-11Many venues have the ability to host more than one event at a given time. Because of this, you should check out the other spaces to have an idea of where the guests of other events may overlap with your group. If everyone is gathering in one lobby prior to the event and both bookings begin around the same time, it could cause major confusion.

  1.  Early access is no problem…

… but if you haven’t specifically requested it before contracting we will of course charge you $250 per hour.

Make sure you ask about everything you might need before you sign your contract. Even something such as early access, that would seem like it should be complimentary and expected, can bring a hefty fee if it hasn’t been discussed in advance.

  1.  We accept credit and debit cards…

… but we will charge you a service fee for processing, so you might want to pay another way.

You may want to pay by card, but some venues will charge you a service fee to use a card for payment. Ask about this ahead of time and if so, you may want to considering cutting a check or making a bank transfer.

  1.  We require a specific dress code…

… so be sure to ask about this and inform your guests, otherwise they could be turned away at the door.


venue-14While most venues will let you decide the dress code for your event, some exclusive and prestigious establishments like private member clubs, country clubs, golf clubs or higher-end venues may have a dress code policy that you should be aware of. Inform your guests well in advance in order to give them time to prepare and to ensure that no one is embarrassed by wearing the wrong attire.

  1.  We thought this room layout would be a better fit for your group…

… it was easier and quicker for us to turn the room around in this way so we ignored your set up instructions.

Most venues will have knowledgeable staff members to advise you regarding the logistics, set up and layout for every room that can be very beneficial. However, if you have specified and agreed instructions in advance and your requests have been ignored then be sure to speak your mind about your preferences. Sometimes busy venue staff might do things to make their job easier but don’t be afraid to push back and ensure that they organize the room in the fashion that works best for you.

  1.  I will be your main contact at the venue…

… but I may not be available on event day when you need me most.

Venues can have a variety of staff members, some that work in the sales office and others that are actually present for your event. Just because you work with someone early on in your planning process, doesn’t meant that they will be available during your event. Obtain clarification on this prior to event day and determine who and how you should contact if you need something during your event.

  1. We no longer offer that…

… we changed our mind about that so unless it is written in your contract the answer is “no”.

Venues have the ability to change their policies or offerings at any time. As we tend to plan events many months in advance, changes can happen between the time you book and the date of your event. Be sure to get all of the important details written down and review all of your needs in the weeks leading up to the big day. Even if a venue makes changes to their policies, if you have it in writing you can be sure they will honor your request.

  1. We have a backup option for any inclement weather…

… but it doesn’t offer the same “wow” factor and may not work for your specific event.

Most venues with outdoor space will also offer a backup option for rain or inclement weather. Be sure to ask about what this will look like in order to know if it will fit with your event. Ask if they have photos of what the setup looks like or explore the indoor room options during your site visit.

  1. We will have everything ready and set up…

… but you may need to arrive early and remind the staff.

Even though you take the time to plan your needs and timings on your BEO, the staff setting up your event may not always have things set exactly the way you’d like. Set time aside to arrive early and review everything with the venue staff, including going through all timings, special instructions, final numbers, the menu and any small but important details you don’t want to be overlooked. This will help you to feel prepared and avoid feeling rushed while your guests are arriving.

  1.  We look forward to hosting you for future events…

… we might give you a deal if you book another event soon.

If your event goes well and you build a good relationship with your venue, they will most certainly be happy to host you again in the future. Use the time soon after your event to negotiate any deals for future events. Many venues will honor the current rates if you book early.

In Conclusion

Building quality relationships with venues and vendors is an important part of growing your business and career. Finding a way to read between the lines and plan ahead for what you can expect to hear from your venues will help to keep your events running smoothly. Lookout for the statements above at your next event, because now you will be prepared to interpret what they are really trying to say and ask the right questions!

About The Author


Kelli White

Kelli White has 10 years experience in event management, creative marketing, volunteer coordination and non-profit fundraising. You can follow her at @kellimwhite.


10 Things to Consider When Choosing your Event Venue

10 Things to Consider When Choosing your Event Venue

When organizing an event, you are confronted by many decisions. However, choosing a venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event. Critical planning information, such as the date for the event, is dependent on the venue you select. Understandably, making this choice can be a bit intimidating as it can be hard to know what to look for when selecting a venue.

Before you begin your search, there are a few things you’ll want to have a strong understanding of:

  • Budget
  • Number of attendees
  • Type of event (formal, high-tech, etc.)

Once you have an idea of these three things, you can begin your search for a venue. Having the venue booked at least six months in advance will ensure that you have the date of your event set in stone. This date will inform the timeline and milestones you’ll need to work with until your event happens. Additionally, this will give you ample time to market your event.

When you’re ready to search for the perfect venue, consider the following 10 important factors:

1. Cost

As a cost-conscious organizer, you may want to keep the venue cost down to allow more room in your budget for food and beverages and entertainment. Being flexible on the date can be a great negotiating tool, as certain days of the week tend to cost less.

Keep in mind that if you use the Whova event app, your printing cost for programs is completely eliminated!

2. Ambiance

Pay special attention to the existing decor inside the venue. What style is the architecture and what does the building’s interior convey? If you’re holding a gala, you’ll likely need different venue accommodations than you would for an expo. The less the ambiance matches the desired feeling of your event (upscale, high tech, etc.) the more decorating you’ll need to do to make up for it.

3. Services and Amenities

In addition to the appearance of the site, it is also important to take into consideration the services and amenities that the venue offers. Consider the following:

  • Does the venue have a kitchen and can it provide catering to your event? If so, often a venue will waive the facility fee and only charge a down payment along with the cost of food for each attendee. Other venues may not have kitchens. Those venues without kitchen facilities may have a partnership with a food provider that you’re required to use, or you may be free to bring in your own vendors. Many venues have an exclusive relationship with certain vendors, typically food vendors. This can be great if the venue has partnered with a fantastic vendor. If not, it can create a huge headache, and negatively impact the experience of your attendees. If you can’t book a venue that serves food your attendees will enjoy, it would be better to select a venue that allows you to bring in outside food vendors.
  • Does it have tables, chairs and linens you can use? If a venue has these items, you can save a great deal of money and effort by using what they have, assuming it matches your theme and ambiance.
  • Does it have a setup/clean up crew? If you’ve found a venue which provides a setup and clean up crew, rejoice! This isn’t always the case. If these services aren’t available you’ll need to build your event team.
  • Does it have AV capabilities? Some venues have a built in audio-visual equipment for you to use, and others will require you to bring that in yourself.

4. Location

A convenient location means different things for different events. For an event with attendees within a limited geographic range, a venue within a reasonable distance from most attendees’ homes or places of work may make sense. However, if many attendees will be traveling from out of town, hosting the event at a venue near the airport or their hotels will be beneficial. Better still, if attendees are being housed at a single location, hosting the event at that hotel mitigates the need for valet parking and the chance that attendees will be late due to getting lost.

5. Capacity and Minimums

  • What’s the capacity? If you’ve followed our advice, you already know how many attendees to expect. You’ll need to know the room capacity of the venues for a few reasons. First, for general and practical reasons, 500 people can’t comfortably fit into a room with a 250-person capacity. And second, there are fire and safety codes that the venue has to abide by.
  • What are the F&B Minimums? If your venue offers food and/or beverages, find out what the food and beverage minimums, also known as F&B minimums, are and get this information in writing. If you have past attendance records for this event, ensure that those records are in line with the minimums. You may have plans to attract an even larger audience this year, but you also want to make sure that your bases are covered in case attendance expectations are not met.

6. Parking

Does the venue have a parking lot or valet parking? A venue with a parking lot is what dreams are made of. If that’s not the case, are there parking lots nearby which attendees can access and use? If there is no parking available, you’re not completely out of luck as you have a few alternatives:

  • You can rent out or reserve nearby parking lots for your attendees and either include the cost in the ticket prices, or have attendees pay when they park.
  • Uber and Lyft often provide a credit to new users. You can work with them to set this up and let your attendees know the new user discount code and encourage them to carpool.
  • If there’s only street parking available, you can encourage them to use Zirx, an on-demand car service that will drive them from their parked car to the venue.
  • You could offer valet parking for the event, even if the venue doesn’t. Providing a valet may be essential if the event is an upscale event such as a gala.

7. Layout

Even though you’ll be finding your venue early in the event planning process, you’ll still want to have a rough idea of what types of activities you’ll be including, the amenities you’ll require, and the needs of your team and the attendees.

While narrowing down your selection, get an illustrated floor plan of each venue, and walk through your favorites at least once, making note of important things such as where the outlets are and where AV equipment is or can be located.

The layout and floor plan will greatly affect a few different aspects of your event:

  • Flow of traffic. Think about the flow of traffic through your event. The kind of flow you’ll want will be different for each event. What areas will be high traffic at the event? Registration? The auditorium doors? Keep this in mind when choosing your venue, realizing that how you setup the tables and decor will greatly affect this as well.
  • Event activities. If you want to have keynote speakers at your event, you’ll either need a stage, or a spot to place a rented stage. Will you need a demo area? Will there be a bar?

8. Accessibility

Accessibility refers to the possibility that everyone, especially those with special needs, can access the building and its amenities. Before you can answer this question, you’ll need to understand who your attendees are and what their needs are. Meg Hall, C.E.O. of elaborates on the importance:

Often when novice event planners are touring a venue they forget to consider guests of all ages. Meaning – if your event is going to have a lot of children or babies, check the restrooms for diaper changing stations. If you will have elderly guests, consider finding a venue that is ADA compliant or has minimal stairs. I am also considerate of guests special needs as I create a seating chart.

You’ll probably know whether there will be children at your venue, but you may not know if there will be individuals with other special needs. In this situation, reviewing recent events hosted by your organization may give you a sense of this.

9. Insurance

According to BizBash, some venues won’t even do business with you if you don’t have insurance. Amy Hallquist-Hamric, president of Hallquist Insurance Agency agrees with BizBash. “There are several venues that require a certain amount of liability as well as them named as additional insured for the event,” states Hallquist. “Typically you can ask your general liability insurance agent for this endorsement for your event. It is also a great idea to START EARLY in planning to have this added; as well as to have all of the wording required, address, etc. prior to contacting your agent.”

10. Acoustics

Have you ever attended an event at a venue that was so loud, it was hard to hear others, causing you to strain your hearing and lose your voice, all in one night? That’s caused by poor acoustics. Acoustics is just a fancy word for how sound travels through the venue. A low ceiling will make the venue seem cozy, but it will make it louder if it’s packed. Alternatively, a large warehouse-style venue will result in echoes, or what architects refer to as “reverberation”.

Although, acoustics aren’t the be-all and end-all of your event, there are things you can do to improve them such as making good use of patios outside the venue, or as Armstrong Ceilings states in their article written for the American Institute for Architects’ website, you can use acoustical clouds or canopies.

Note: once you find the venue that’s just right for your event, you can use the Whova event app to upload the venue information, such as parking, directions, venue map, into the logistics section of the app. This will make the venue even easier to find and will help your attendees have an even more pleasant experience at the venue.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your event’s venue. However, if you take the above into consideration when doing your research, you’ll find the perfect venue for your event.