A staggering 98% of event planners have hosted or will host at least one in-person event in 2023. 85% have planned to host upwards of three in-person events.
However, putting together an entertaining, memorable, and lively event isn’t always as easy as it seems. And if you want to host a successful function, you need to be sure that you start off on the right foot.
- A site inspection checklist is essential for ensuring the venue you pick has all you need
- Be sure to arrive at your visit with your team and a good camera
- Each event is unique, so be sure that your checklist is personalized
- Include general information about the venue and other items regarding things like food and beverages and general safety
Site inspections are critical in ensuring the venue you picked is up to your standards. Your soon-to-be guests deserve to spend their evening at the right venue!
Keep reading, and I’ll share with you the ultimate site inspection checklist that will help you organize the perfect conference, meeting, or event.
See Related: What Is A Run Of Show And Do I Need One As An Emcee?
Why is it important to have a site inspection checklist?
The thing about great events is that they’re made to look easy. Whenever guests arrive, they likely won’t notice all the fine details and painstaking effort that went into making the magic happen.
However, if you’re a speaker or an event planner, you need to always be on top of your game. There’s actually a lot that goes into organizing a great function, and you can’t let anything slip through the cracks!
Finding a location for your event is an essential part of the event planning process
For any event, you need to be sure you find a suitable venue. Not every location is going to have what you need. And you need to be totally aware of your desires before going into this.
That’s why the event planning process in and of itself is so essential. It’s the backbone of a successful evening. You can’t expect great results without taking the necessary time to prepare and plan!
After finding a prospective venue(s), be sure to conduct a site inspection
Hopefully, you spent plenty of time scouting out prospective venues online. You’ll need to set aside a good chunk of your event planning energy for just research.
But, before booking a venue, you need to conduct a site visit. This is the only way you can be sure if you found the perfect event venue.
Four essential tips to keep in mind when completing a SITE inspection
Site visits help you ensure that every detail of your prospective venue falls into line with what you are looking for. And though this can seem like a pretty straightforward deal at first, there’s actually a lot that you’ll need to pay attention to.
Before we dive into the more intricate aspects of site inspection checklists, let me give you a few general tips when going on a site visit with the acronym SITE: Sense, Inquire, Teamwork, and Expectations.
#1 – S: Sense
One of the things that will truly save you during any site inspection is your gut. You have to listen to what your heart tells you!
Let’s say that a certain venue has all the specific features that you want, but it doesn’t have that overall vibe you’re looking for. You shouldn’t settle, and you should take into consideration how a place makes you feel because that feeling will extend to your guests.
#2 – I: Inquire
When you go on a site visit, you’ll likely be meeting with a group of people or a team. You’ll also likely be in contact with the people you will be renting from.
Now is the time to ask all the questions that might be irking you. Even the smallest inquiry should be voiced!
However, be smart about the questions you ask and the time you ask them. Be sure that whatever you ask isn’t already answered on any materials you may have.
#3 – T: Teamwork
Take time to connect with other event planners before conducting your site inspection. In most cases, your visit will involve a group of people, anyway.
Talk to as many other planners as you can, especially if they’re already involved in your specific event, conference, or meeting. Then, after the inspection, you can exchange ideas and points of view before moving forward.
This type of teamwork is essential in ensuring you pick the right venue!
#4 – E: Expectations
Preparation and planning are key when it comes to planning an event. I doubt I can say that enough!
So, before arriving at your site inspection, come prepared. That’s what site inspection checklists are for, and they’ll surely save you in the end.
What you should consider before heading to any site inspections
I think I need to say it again. Before heading to your site, get prepared. You can’t ever over-prepare!
To start with, you need to always bring your own unique site inspection checklist. This helps you ensure that the venue you’re looking at checks off all your boxes (literally.)
However, that’s not all that you should focus on. Here are a few more things you should do before setting a date to check out the site.
- Check in with your team, and be sure that everyone is on the same page. Take into consideration any recommendations or requests they might have.
- Pack plenty of tools that you might need, including the basics, like a camera with a backup battery and plenty of free storage space.
- Research the surrounding area as well as the specifics of the venue itself. Read any available resources like online virtual floorplans or brochures to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.
- Prepare some business cards to give out to the sales rep of the venue when you show up to help network.
- Keep in mind the things you really need to see at the venue. If you’re not interested in the pool area, it might be worthwhile to gloss over this during the visit.
Now, let’s get into what your site inspection checklist should have on it.
Everything you should include on your site inspection checklist
So, without further ado, let me give you a comprehensive breakdown of a well-rounded site inspection checklist.
Keep in mind that this can vary from event to event. Each event is unique, and you should pay attention to your specific needs. If you are interested in something that’s not on this list, add it in!
- The date and time of the site inspection appointment
- The name, address, and contact information for the venue
- The availability of the venue
- General safety info, including fire protection guidelines
- Nearest airport and general directions
- Nearest hotels and general directions, price breakdown, and amenities
- Parking areas and applicable fees
- Directional signageFood and beverage
- Availability and cost for things like
- Breakfast, whether it’s continental or full
- Lunch and dinner
- Coffee and other beverages
- Service charges, tax rates, and special packages
- Be sure to also inquire about the general quality and selection of the food and beverages themselves
Audio and visual
- What equipment is provided in-house, including the quality and availability
- Rental rates and labor rates
- Consider if union rules are applicable and with what requirements
- Space availability
- Charges for rental rooms or set-up
- Soundproofing, decor, and general cleanliness
- Sound system and presentation equipment
Any extra details
Don’t hesitate to add in any other details you might want to consider. There’s so much that can go into this!
Hosting a great event doesn’t need to be a challenge or an uphill battle. With a great site inspection checklist in your back pocket, you’ll be able to pick out the perfect venue and establish the basis for a killer function!
Keep Reading: 9 Corporate Event Themes Your Team Will Love
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.