Meticulous preparation is the key to delivering the event of your client’s dreams. Sometimes, you will have to plan and prepare even harder than usual. This is because people are starting to desire unconventional venues for their events.
Whether it is because of sentimentality, a desire to be unique, or a cherished space with fond memories, if it is physically possible to hold the event there, people will attempt to do so. Like the wizard behind the curtain, it is your job to make sure the client understands the difficulties involved and prepare them for what is feasible and what is not.
Once you are both on the same page, you can begin working on the details that will pull the whole day together.
Insist on a Walk-Through Before Beginning
Contact the venue and do a walk-through before agreeing to take on the event. Take along any staff who would be helping with the planning and organizing and evaluate the space well. This will help you to identify if it is possible to deliver the event your client is thinking of and whether the space is effective for those plans.
Look at the space’s size, the catering area, the lighting setup, and other similar seemingly small details. If the event is outside, look into what options are available to move the party to in case of rain. Even if the forecast is favorable, there are other issues, such as pollen and bugs. Hire an exterminator to take care of any worries at least a week before the event. Also, have pest control measures in place on the day itself.
Time Management Is Key
When working with an unusual event space, you might have time constraints that you would not have in a more conventional space. Museums and conservatories are increasingly popular paces for wedding ceremonies and receptions, but they have set closing times to which your clients will have to adhere.
Because of this, use vendors you have worked with before and know to be meticulous in their timekeeping. Depending on how tight the time frames are, consider doing a practice run with the most critical lead vendors. Walk-through the space with the caterers and waitstaff so that you can minimize delays and create a flow that suits the space and helps staff do their job better.
Keep a Go-to Bag of Every Item You Need
When you are in an unconventional event venue, there is no guarantee that you will be close to a store that you can send someone to get last-minute items. Make a list of everything you will need, the client will need and fill a go-to bag. This is the bag you will, quite literally, go to in case of emergency.
Include a first aid kit, duct tape, scotch tape, a sewing kit, staples, and tacks. You also need scissors, pens, pencils, and a flashlight. Extra chargers, USB cables, power strips, and a flashlight might also come in handy. Include trash bags, paper towels, wet wipes, and a spot cleaner for possible mishaps. Tylenol, Benadryl, antacids, bottled water, and energy bars can also come in very useful if the need for them arises.
Designate a Troubleshooter for Vendors
You are the main face of the event for your clients and will need to be available throughout the day. But, the vendors will need more help than usual when outside of the usual conventional events venues. Designate a member of your staff to help the vendors on the day itself.
This person should be armed with instructions on how to navigate to the venue, a fully charged phone with every vendor’s contact information, and a printed list of what each vendor must deliver and where they must set up.
They must direct the vendors to their parking spaces, show them where to unload equipment, the location of the main event space, and integrate them into the overall event flow.
The most important factor in holding an event in an unusual space is ensuring that you have secured all the permissions and licenses required. An unconventional space might need special licenses for several aspects of the event, from playing music to preparing food on the grounds.
Check with the local authorities about your intended use of the space to ensure that you will not be breaking any laws. Failing to have the right permit can ruin the event at the last moment. It can seem daunting but remember that your client would not have come to you if they did not trust that you are the right person to deliver their dream.