Your company has tasked you with finding a unique venue for a new product launch or business meeting. You have a budget. You have a few event venues in mind. But before you call venues for information, make sure you know all the elements your event will need. While the venue and catering costs are usually the largest part of any budget, many overlook the other, expected professional services required for putting an event together. Make sure when you call a prospective venue, you ask what services are available and what are the costs so you can avoid any surprise cost overruns!
- Set up fees
Depending on the venue and depending on your set up requirement, there may be additional labour or rental charges billed for room set up. Some events set ups take 4 hours or even more. If this is required the day before or even the day of, this will require the venue to be available to you, which costs the facility either lost business opportunities or overtime labour charges. The duration of a meeting or event does not start when guests arrive and leave. . . Be realistic about how much time your event needs, from the load in to the tear down, and ask the venue what they charge.
Depending on the level of your speaker’s requirements, A/V can be as simple and inexpensive as using your company’s portable projector or can run thousands of dollar if you need to hire a professional A/V company to set up, run and tear down your presentation. Sometimes a venue will have high quality, built in A/V. Determine what your expectations will be – a portable projector may work for a small, internal meeting but for a larger meeting or event, a more robust, high quality, professional set up is expected. Don’t underestimate the costs for A/V.
In this connected world, access to WiFi is an expectation of guests but free W-Fi is never good and good WiFi is never free! Ask your special events venue if there is an extra charge for WiFi. If free WiFi is available, make sure it will meet the needs of your meeting. If your presenters require the internet to show content, free WiFi may not be sufficient. Always make sure what you need and expect.
Unless you have a team of volunteers, labour is not free – not for your company and not for the venue. Determine what assistance you will need to plan, set up, execute and tear down your event if you are managing it yourself. If you require assistance with your event, expect that there will be labour charges and staff appropriately before your event. Never underestimate how much help you will need – not having adequate coverage on the day of your event will be either very stressful for you or may impact the success of your event.
If parking is not free, what will that cost your company or how will it impact the success of your event? If you are hosting a company meeting and bringing employees to a central location, will employees expense their mileage and parking to the company? If you are selling tickets for a training seminar, will a high cost of parking impact registration? If you are hosting a reception to clients, will paying for parking impact their decision to attend?
If you are hosting your meeting in downtown Vancouver, be ready to pay for parking in one form or other. In fact, if your company is paying for parking expenses, the cost of the parking can often exceed the cost of the venue. This overlooked expense is typically not included in a meeting planner’s budget but is nevertheless part of the total cost.
Remember, in most venues, the fee for rental space is just for space. Don’t make the mistake of expecting that all the elements you need will automatically be included in the venue rate. Also, budget realistically . . . both with your time and money. Venue and F&B selection may be the easiest elements to decide when planning an event. . . don’t underestimate the resource and staffing requirements for a successful execution.
If you are looking for a central Vancouver or Burnaby event venue with free parking and reasonable WiFi and AV costs, call the Deeley Exhibition for your free site visit at 604.909.6234