Opening a New Event Venue: 10 Things to Know

By Caroline Cox | 4 min read

So, you’re opening an event venue. Congrats! You’re certainly not alone — these days, business is booming. Eventgrid reports that about 18 million events and meetings are organized in the U.S. every year, producing $280 billion in spending.

After you’ve found the perfect venue space and decided what audiences you want to target with your new venture, figuring out next steps can be daunting. We’ve got 10 tips that’ll help you feel prepared and set up for success.

1. Choose the right name

One of the most fun parts of launching a venue is coming up with the name. Feel free to get creative with it! While brainstorming, keep in mind things like appealing to your target audience, differentiating yourself from competitors, and not limiting yourself. If you call yourself “The Magnolia Wedding Venue,” for example, you might have a tough time reaching clients who want to throw a corporate event or birthday party to book with you.

Once you’ve narrowed down your ideas, do a quick web search and see if the name is taken. If not, that’s great! If so, decide if you want to add something like the city name to make it stand out, or go with your next choice instead.

2. Create a website and social media accounts

It may seem like you’re jumping the gun, but the sooner you snag your venue’s URL and name across social media platforms, the less likely you are to have someone beat you to it. You don’t have to add a bunch of content. You can easily create a simple site by searching for free templates online (popular options include Wix and WordPress).

Next, go ahead and grab the social media handles on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Once you start getting the space up and running, you can share a few behind-the-scenes photos on these platforms to drum up buzz and anticipation for your opening.

3. Figure out your venue’s specs

People visiting your website will likely be interested in renting your space for an event. So, it’s wise to have as much info about your venue as you’re comfortable sharing. Figure out things like what A/V equipment your space can support, how many chairs and tables can fit, what you can offer in terms of onsite catering (if anything), and the bar setup, and then share that information on your website.

Be sure to include where your space is located, what the parking situation looks like, how many rooms are available to rent, how big they are, and how many guests they can accommodate. You can also throw in a couple fun details about what makes your venue stand out from others in your city.

4. Get professional photos (or take them yourself)

We’ve mentioned before that it’s as important as ever for potential clients to be able to see and get a feel for your venue before they see it in person. High-quality photos (ideally of the interior and exterior) can offer a handful of benefits. It establishes your credibility and gives people an idea of what you’re offering.

Plus, it shows prospects that you’re willing to invest in your space. If there’s no way you can possibly shell out the dough for a pro session, we’ve got tips to help you make sure your photos are the best they can be.

5. Hire a stellar team

You don’t want to be scrambling to conduct interviews and post job listings after you’ve opened your doors. It’s crucial to have a full, trained staff when you hit the ground running, especially in the event that a few end up not working out.

Post openings on job sites and on your venue’s social media pages. You can even hold open office hours and have people just show up to drop off their resume and learn more about your new venture.

Opening a New Event Venue: 10 Things to Know

6. Start slowly with the interior

You’ve likely already made a big investment in your event space. So it makes sense that you can’t necessarily have the place fully decked out before your first soiree takes place. The experts at Fundera report that this is totally normal.

They recommend starting off slow and cutting costs where you can. Have clients rent their own silverware, linens, and cups, or offer cost-effective options (like eco-friendly bamboo plating instead of china).

7. Price competitively

Speaking of money, offering competitive prices is one of the most surefire ways of getting new patrons to book with you. This is especially important in the beginning when you don’t yet have word of mouth or positive reviews to boost your credibility.

Check online or call around to see what other similar venues in your area are quoting for events. You can even offer a special introductory rate if prospects confirm an event by a certain date and agree to post a review afterward.

8. Get the word out

Now that your space is good to go, it’s time to let people know! Chron suggests leveraging outlets such as radio stations, newspapers and community websites, along with fliers, mailings, posters, and social media to attract local audience attention.

You can add a newsletter sign-up form on your website to drum up interest and let people know about upcoming offers. Including your venue in an online marketplace to increase exposure is also an option worth considering.

9. Ask for advice

No matter how prepared you feel, you’re probably going to hit a few roadblocks once you start hosting events. That’s why it’s great to connect with someone with years of event experience to glean tips and advice. Ask a seasoned event pro for coffee or schedule a quick phone call.

It’s a fast-paced industry, but if you keep reaching out, you’re bound to find someone who can offer you valuable insight. Best-case scenario, you form a mentor-mentee relationship with this person, and you can continue to come to them for advice whenever you’re feeling stuck or need a little inspiration.

10. Stay involved in the community

Business success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Engaging in your community is one of the most beneficial things you can do as a venue owner. This means attending networking events, hosting an open house in your space with local vendors, and having a presence at any trade shows and relevant industry events.

These events can also mean valuable face time with other business owners as well as potential clients. Plus, showing support for your community can foster a good reputation in your area — win-win!

Now that you know the ins and outs of opening a new event venue, see how Gather can help your events program succeed!

Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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