Many photographers out there (including us) have blog posts out there with ideas and suggestions for fun event venues. And those are so helpful when looking for a specific place that fits your theme, style, and event. But once you narrow it down to your favorite few, how do you know which one to ultimately settle on? As the premeire Event Photographer in Washington DC, we want to make that decision easier on you by offering a few little details to consider that might not have crossed your mind—and hopefully you’re left with a very clear last man standing.
Even though the venue you’re considering might have astonishing views, interesting history, or excellent space, make sure you consider where all of your guests are coming from. If you’re hosting an education conference for teachers, a venue in Canada may not be the best option as far as travel requirements, distance and cost are concerned. That example is a bit of an exaggeration, but you do want to try to pick a central location for all of your guests whether your event is local, national or even international.
Are most of your guests driving? Does the venue have enough parking space for the amount of people you are hosting? And if it requires paid parking, make sure to include parking passes in your budget. You could also consider providing a valet service (at extra cost if the venue does not provide it), or see about an Uber or Lyft discount that you could offer your guests.
Ask the venue what is already included in your package and what you will be responsible for providing (don’t forget to have attendance numbers on hand—they may be able to provide some amenities and resources, but not the amount you will need). Some things to consider:
- Chairs, tables, linens and place settings (if serving meals)
- A kitchen with various kitchen supplies/utensils
- Restroom access
- Setup/Cleanup crew
- Event signage
- Tech support / Wi-Fi / AV equipment
Many reputable venues will expect you to have insurance to cover any liabilities that may come with the event (especially large events). It’s definitely worth looking into early on as you’re narrowing down your venue search. Ask your general liability insurance agent if they will endorse your event and discuss any questions you might have.
When planning your event, make sure to allow for plenty of flexibility regarding the minimum and maximum capacity of the venue. It’s hard to get an accurate count early on in planning, so the more people you are inviting, the more wiggle room you need to leave. And be careful of getting too close to maximum capacity—remember that your guests will be moving around, switching rooms, and mingling, so you want to leave plenty of space for your guests to feel comfortable.
Is the right venue coming to mind? Go get ‘em, and we’ll be right beside you to capture every amazing detail!
Being an Event Photographer in Washington DC is such a blessing. Venues play a huge role in the success or failure of your big event. Choose wisely!