Best Tips for Opening a Venue and Event Space
So, you want to open a venue and event space. You want to provide a place where people can gather and celebrate milestones. While the events industry looks a little different now than it did before, there’s still a lot of value in opening a venue. When done right, you’ll open a place that celebrates the biggest achievements and moments in your customers’ lives.
Like any business, there are important steps to take when establishing a venue. You have to think about the pre-planning you have to do, what to do once you get the space, and how to promote it once you finally open it. If you have the right strategies in place and plan your steps carefully, establishing a venue can be incredibly rewarding and profitable for you. Here are some of the best tips for opening a venue and event space.
Figure Out What Your Venue Is For
When opening a venue, you must have a clear idea of what the venue will be used for. Will it be a venue that hosts live music every night? Will it primarily be used for wedding party rentals or large conferences? Or, will you want to make it a restaurant that doubles as an event space? There are more than 1 million restaurants in the United States alone, but having your space double as an event venue could make it stand out.
The reason you need to figure out what your venue is for is that it’ll help you plan everything about your space. Once you have a vision for it, you can plan the logistics of getting it up and running. If you don’t have a vision for it, you could waste valuable time and money trying to figure it out as you go.
Think of what you want your venue to do and be about. Do you want it to be a place where people celebrate cherished memories? How about a place where people can blow off some steam for the night? Figure out the purpose for opening your venue and the rest will follow suit.
Come Up With a Business Plan
Once you figure out the purpose of your venue and event space, it’s time to come up with a business plan. A business plan is incredibly important to have for opening a venue. A business plan is essentially the blueprint for your business. It’ll outline the goals you wish to achieve for your business and the strategies you’ll use to achieve them. You’ll use this plan to map out all aspects of your business, from the marketing plans to the details about your finances.
A business plan should include a summary of what your business is, an analysis of what the market looks like, the operations logistics, and other key information about your business. Details like what your project your growth to look like in a year and whether you plan to use certain materials (like heat treated pallets) for your shipments should be included. The more comprehensive your business plan is, the clearer your business’ vision will be.
If you’re looking for funding, a business plan may be required in order to receive money. If you’re looking for investors, they may require you to provide a business plan to evaluate your venue’s potential to make them money. The more in-depth you are with your plan, the more questions you’ll answer for potential investors down the road.
Find the Right Space
One of the most important parts of opening a venue is finding the right space for it. The size and location of your venue directly tie to its overall success, so you want to make sure both these aspects work in your venue’s favor. If you want to host a wedding venue, a smaller location may not be ideal, as that means clients may have to invite fewer people to accommodate the space. However, if your venue is too large, clients with smaller events planned may be discouraged from having their event there. That’s why you want to find the space that’s just the right size for hosting your ideal events.
Location is also important when opening your venue. If the location is hard to find, you risk clients not wanting to deal with the hassle of finding it for a showing or having to explain the directions to their guests. You also want to make sure it’s in a good area. If you set up your venue in a run-down space, you may need to spend extra money on remodeling services or a pest control service to get rid of unwanted critters. The right venue space will be the right size and be in a location that’s easy to get to.
Spruce Up the Place
Once you get the perfect location for your venue and event space, it’s time to give it some TLC. Set aside time and money to make renovations to the venue and truly make it yours. Remember, clients will be hosting their events in your space, so you want to make it look as clean and welcoming as possible.
As you spruce up your space, decide on what kind of style you want your venue to have. Do you want it to be modern chic, or do you want it to have a timeless look? Do you want the walls to be painted in bright colors or neutral colors that can accent any themed event? Knowing the style you want will help you narrow down what materials to get for your TLC project, whether it be exotic stone tile for your flooring needs or custom-made insulated windows to save on energy costs and have a unique aspect of your venue.
Make Sure the Venue Is Safe
A big part of opening a venue is making sure it’s safe for your customers. As you’re getting ready to open the venue, check all the security boxes you can. Make sure there are no cracks in the roof or the foundation of the building that can cause a collapse. If the floors are warped, get them fixed so that no one trips and hurts themselves. If there’s mold or mildew in the building, get it taken care of so no customers or staff fall ill. Taking care of these internal risks right away will help you open your venue sooner and make everyone who walks in safer.
You should also consider implementing security measures to make your venue more secure. You can invest in a security system that can reduce the risk of people breaking in when the venue is closed. You can look into garage door companies that can provide safe parking options if you have a garage where customers park. Once you open, you can also look into hiring security personnel to keep the events safe. Having a safe and secure venue will help make customers and clients feel comfortable during events and give them peace of mind.
Add On Bonus Features For Customers
Another thing you can do to stand out when opening a venue is to offer bonus features that make your customers’ lives easier. An example of this is providing enclosed parking or a set parking area for your customers. Finding a parking space can be a challenge for those attending events at venues, so if you offer customers a place to park, they’ll have an easier time getting to your venue and attending your events. If you want to build a parking lot for your venue, look into asphalt paving companies who can help.
Other bonus features to consider include an optional bar area for events and a special dancefloor that expands to fit larger crowds. If you need help coming up with bonus features for customers, you can do your research online and even get feedback from those in your target audience.
Get the Right Equipment
Another important thing to when opening a venue is getting the right equipment for your venue’s needs. The last thing you want is to be close to opening day and have to delay it because you forgot to order an important piece of equipment. Make sure you have everything you need for your venue to run smoothly, including pos systems, refrigeration systems, and any entertainment equipment you need. Getting a checklist upfront and knowing what to order ahead of time will save you from experiencing hiccups down the line.
Set Up a Website
Setting up a website is an essential task to complete when opening a venue. We live in a digital-first world where a majority of the world’s population expects your business to be found online. If you don’t have an online presence, it’ll be hard for people to find out about your venue.
When you set up a website, be sure to lay out what your venue is, where it’s located, the hours of operation, and the kinds of events you host. You can also set up a page where people can inquire about booking events or upload a video that shows a virtual tour of the venue. When you set up your website, you can also create social media accounts to post pictures, provide updates, and build a relationship with your audience. Having an online presence is essential for any business, and if you display your presence well, you’ll make a positive impression and really connect with your audience.
Consider Providing Catering Services
One tactic you can utilize to set your venue apart from the others is providing catering services. Catering services provide food at event venues and can make your venue more money if you offer the services correctly. Your venue can be all-inclusive and include catering services on top of offering a space to hold events. This strategy can provide another source of income for the venue and save you from having to bring in other catering companies at events.
Keep in mind that there are things you’ll have to invest in to properly offer catering services at your venue. You may need to look into cold storage warehouse management and places to store fruits, vegetables, berry powder, and other foods you’ll want to provide for your customers. You’ll also need to hire people to run the catering services and make sure everything gets cooked and cleaned up. While it may take time and coordination to execute, offering catering services can make your customers’ lives easier while providing an extra income source for your venue.
Work On Booking Your First Event
Opening a venue is something to be incredibly proud of. Once it’s officially open, the next step is to book your first event. Perhaps you want to book an engagement party, a wedding reception, or a graduation party. There are multiple ways to contact people interested in booking these kinds of events. For starters, you could run online advertising that targets people looking for event venues near you. You can also have a pop-up on your website that encourages users to book their events at your venue before you get fully booked.
You can also ask your friends and family if they need a place to host their events. If they don’t, you can ask them if they have friends that need a venue. Word-of-mouth advertising and referrals can do wonders for your business, especially if it’s just starting out. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t book your first event within the first day of opening. It can take time to book an event but once you book that first one, you’ll learn the ropes and get ready to book more.
There are a lot of things to be excited about when opening a venue. You’re creating a space where people will craft lifelong memories celebrating events they’ve looked forward to for some time. When opening your venue, make sure you have everything squared away. Know what your business plan is, get the right space, and work on marketing your space and attracting customers. Once your venue is established, you’ll have events booked in no time.