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As any event planner knows, choosing the venue in which an event is hosted may well be the most vital step in the planning process. After all, your chosen venue impacts everything about your event save for the content: how many people can attend, what sort of amenities you can host, and even the general mood of your conference. Now, there’s a good chance you’ve already got the sort of venue you’re going to need for your event clear in your mind. That’s good, because that isn’t going to be our focus today.

We’re not going to work out how you can select the right venue for your event. Instead, we’re going to be taking a look at how you can avoid settling on the wrong venue. How can you tell if a venue and its owner are bad news? What warning signs should send you running the other direction?

Let’s get started.

It Doesn’t Provide WiFi

This might seem like a relatively minor fault, but it should be a deal-breaker for any event planner worth their salt. The simple truth is that, in this day and age, it’s effectively impossible to run a proper event without a stable, powerful wireless Internet connection. If the venue you’re looking at can’t provide that, you’re better served looking elsewhere.

It’s In a Rough Part of Town

Even if the interior of a particular venue looks gorgeous and seems like the perfect fit for your conference, you still need to do a bit of research into the area of the city in which the venue is located. Is the district known for vandalism, or muggings or is it simply run down and unappealing? If so, it might be a good idea to let go of that great venue and find someplace else.

Your host neighborhood is your guests’ first and last impression of your event.

Many of your attendees are likely new to whatever city you’re hosting in, and might not know a great deal about their surroundings. A rough part of town is probably the last place they’d care to be.

Not only that, you want to make things as comfortable as possible for your guests. Ask yourself, if your quests exit the facility will they find a nice restaurant, are taxis readily available, are there nice hotel accommodations near to the venue and will they feel safe walking in the area. Hosting your event in a disreputable part of town doesn’t tend to enhance your guests’ experience as a whole.

You Get a “bad feeling” about the venue owner

Trust your gut. If the venue owner makes you uneasy in any way, shape, or form – if you immediately get the sense that you can’t trust them, or feel you dislike them – walk the other way. Human beings are rather intuitive creatures, and our gut feelings about other people more often than not turn out correct. Besides that, the owner of a venue and their staff could be your best ally during your event planning stage and at execution time. If someone is setting off warning bells in your head, there’s likely a very good reason that you’d be foolish to ignore.

If you don’t trust a venue staffs’ leadership in the first five minutes, it reasons you will struggle when you need them most.

Venue management staff doesn’t communicate effectively

If the people responsible for managing your chosen venue fail to establish regular contact with you – if they fail to call you back at agreed-upon times or go for several days without returning your calls – then they aren’t worth doing business with. This sort of behavior demonstrates indifference, lack of organization, or both. Since organization is one of the key elements to any successful event, and for true success you need a strong support team, do not ignore this warning sign.

A venue staffs’ poor communication demonstrates indifference or lack of organization – find another location! 

The Venue Isn’t Clean

As with lack of communication, a venue that’s regularly dirty, grimy, or in some state of disarray signifies disorganization and apathy – and hence serves as a red flag for people you don’t want to work with. Keep a close eye on a venues appearance as much as its layout. If the venue is dirty during your site visits you can’t bank on it being entirely clean when you run your event, either.

The Building Isn’t Up To Code

This one’s rather self-explanatory. A competent venue manager should have facilities documentation readily available. Familiarize yourself with the building codes for the area, and talk to a certified building inspector if necessary. Should you find even a few aspects of the venue that aren’t completely up to code, you need to leave. It’s not worth the risk if something unforeseen happens. Plan for anything and take proper steps to avoid potential disaster.

The venue you choose is your event’s stage; every aspect of it hinders or enhances your potential success. Following these simple rules when picking your event location will go a long way toward creating a truly fantastic experience.