7 Things to Think About Before Choosing a Venue in Houston
Whether you are organizing a corporate awards ceremony or the wedding of your dreams, you will be confronted with a long list of decisions that will determine the event's overall success. Arguably the most important of these decisions is choosing the best venue for the event. Other critical planning details, such as the date, catering type, and entertainment, are all dependent upon the venue itself. Of course, with so many to choose from, this can be a bit challenging if you're not sure what to look for.
As you begin researching Houston's best venues, it's important to have a list of your own:
- Proposed budget, and absolute budget limitations
- Number of expected attendants; both expected and absolute maximums (such as if guests are invited to bring a +1)
- The type or feel of the event, such as high formal vs. business casual
Once you have a strong idea of these three concepts, the time to search is nigh! Keep in mind that it's recommended to have a venue booked at least six months in advance for optimum event planning and, where applicable, event marketing.
Ready to get started? Here are 7 key factors to keep in mind when researching venues in Houston for your event:
- Cost. Another great reason to book early is that you will have room to negotiate for the best price. For instance, the winter months – January, February, and March – are considered the wedding off-season. Booking during this time can result in a more favorable rate, allowing more room in your budget for aspects like food, entertainment, and servers.
- Location. A great location varies for different types of events. It also depends on factors specific to the event, such as where attendees are based. For example, if you're throwing a corporate event for staff members who live and work in the Houston area, then it makes sense to book downtown or within a reasonable distance for all attendees. If friends and families are traveling from out of town for something like a wedding or reunion event, then choosing a location near the airport could be more advisable.
- Capacity and Minimums. You can use the plan you created above to further narrow down your selection. For instance, an anticipated group of 300 won't be appropriate for a venue with a capacity of 150 people. Likewise, some venues offer food and beverages but will require you to pre-purchase what are known as Food and Beverage Minimums. Working with a catering company is a great solution for those who don't want to use the venue's menu or don't believe they'll meet the requisite minimums.
- Layout. Request an illustrated floor plan of the venue you're considering and plan how the layouts may impact aspects of your event such as traffic flow and event activities. For instance, if you are planning on having a keynote speaker at your annual business conference, then you will need a stage or space for a rented stage. Most wedding receptions will require specific space for tables, seating, and other appropriate decor to be set up.
- Acoustics. A room's acoustics refers to how well sound travels throughout the venue. The design greatly impacts its acoustics. For example, while a lower ceiling might make a venue feel cozy and perfect for a small group, it may be too loud for a larger gathering. On the opposite side, too big a venue results in reverberation or echo when not appropriately filled.
- Service and Amenities. In addition to the layout, acoustics, and other basics, it is likewise important to consider the service and amenities that are offered. An otherwise outstanding venue choice might need to be nixed if all they have to offer is the building itself. Consider the following services and amenities you might need:
- A kitchen or food prep facilities for catering groups.
- Tables, chairs, and linens that match your desired theme/event ambiance.
- Setup and clean up crew that is included with the event's billing.
- Audio-visual, pull down screens, and similar types of equipment
- Insurance. This is another event component that will depend upon the venue you choose. Some venues will include general liability insurance with the price of the venue rental, while others will refuse to do business with you until you purchase your own insurance with an outside vendor. Insurance planning should begin early and it is a smart idea to work with an agent or attorney to ensure that all of the wording is correct.
To learn more about what you need to know before you book a venue, or how our catering team can help ensure your event's massive success, contact Goode Company Catering today. Our catering group will work with your team to ensure that everything from the food prep to meal service is done according to plan. Enjoy the perfect southern cooking at any venue in Houston.