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Off-site venues and caterers

December 11, 2010

Hotels and conference centers are not the only venues that should be considered for an event. Venues come in all shapes and sizes and often the most out-of-the-box venues make the most spectacular events. In addition to choosing a venue there are many other considerations to be made such as catering, entertainment, and third party vendors. Fortunately, we at Kaleidoscope understand the pressure and the stress of picking out places and closing with vendors, and so we’ve compiled a list of questions you should ask yourself and potential vendors in order to ensure that on the day of your event there will be no surprises.

Questions to ask potential venues:

– What are the facility costs, and do they vary by season, hour, and day of the week?

– What is the cancellation policy?

– Does the venue have insurance? Is there an added cost for insurance? –

Is there parking available for guests? Is there an added cost? Is valet available?

– What kitchen and catering facilities and equipments are available for use and are they only available if an in-house caterer is used?

– Are there any decorative restrictions (such as lighting, fabric hanging and multimedia incorporations)

– What are the sound, lighting, and Av equipment that is available at the venue? What is included in the price and what has an extra cost added?

– Can the venue provide staffing for the event? If so, how many people and what are the costs? Make sure there is an engineer or AV specialists to prevent critical issues.

Questions to ask potential caterers:

– Are the chefs active in their field and up to date with continuous education in their specialty and in relation to the culinary world as a whole?

– Is there a separate cost for food, staff and equipment and transportation? What are the added taxes?

– Does the staff have banquet and event training and experience? Are there any specialists on the staff?

– What is the staff per person ratio? It is recommended (unless you are planning a VIP event) to have 1 waiter for 25-30 people if it is a sit down meal, and 1 for every 50 if it is a buffet style meal. –

Will the food be done at the company headquarters or at the venue? If at the venue, what equipment is needed?Of course there are just some of the many questions and concerns you should clarify with potential venues and vendors prior to closing with them.

If you have any additional questions and/or would like Kaleidoscope to help you out, contact us at Kaleidscopemeetings@gmail.com

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