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Site inspections, or showgrounds, serve only one purpose – to ascertain whether a venue is the most suitable venue for your particular event. Usually you already have some details regarding the venue and likewise they have some details regarding your specific event. However, a site inspection will help clarify if the venue is right for your event.

Below we identify our 7 Top Tips for a successful Site inspection visit:

1 – Make an appointment beforehand!
The venue will then be expecting you and more importantly you will not have wasted an impromptu journey to find out that the facilities you want to see are not available to view. Confirm that the function rooms you want to see are actually available to view on that day. Mystery visits can be conducted at a later stage to get even more feeling for the venue;

2 – Meet with the right personnel. Whenever possible try to meet with the person who has been dealing with your enquiry from the initial stage as they will have a better understanding of the event than one of their colleagues. Also, make sure that they have the knowledge about the venue to answer specific questions correctly. If you need a member from other departments to be present, eg the Banqueting or Audio Visual team, request their attendance in advance;

3 – Preparation. Advise the venue in advance what you want to see, what is key to the success of your event and give them as much information about the event itself, including objectives. The more they know about your event, the better prepared they are to help you;

4 – Time. Allow yourself plenty of time for a thorough site inspection, plus time for discussion and questions afterwards. Inform the venue on your arrival of the amount of time you have available so that they can react accordingly;

5 – Venue appearance. How does the venue look? Is it clean and tidy? Are the staff polite and welcoming? Is there any litter inside or outside? Is the furniture straight and tidy etc? These indications can give you a good idea as to how much attention the venue actually pays to customer service and hospitality;

6 – Negotiation. Don’t wait until the end of the inspection before asking what the venue can do for you on certain criteria. As you tour the venue, throw in some key negotiation areas that are your priorities. When you sit down at the end of the tour, discuss your event from arrival to departure so that you do not miss out on anything ;

7 – Follow up. On departure, ask your venue contact to confirm in writing what you have discussed and agreed, plus what the next course of action to take is.

Of course, each event is likely to be different to the last one you worked on, therefore there is room for adapting these tips to best suit your needs. Checklists can also be an excellent tool to remind you what you need to cover at each stage.

Don’t underestimate the value and opportunity conducting a site inspection visit offers you. It could be the difference between a disastrous event and a successful event.

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