Wide angle shot of a wedding at The Foothills Event Center

Photo by Alex Arnold Photography

Choosing the right event venue is one of the most important aspects to planning a memorable gathering. Your event venue plays a big role in your event’s success, so careful consideration should be made when weighing your options. Here are 10 items that you’ll want to consider as you look for the right event venue:

1. Event staff are knowledgeable and accommodating

Staff can take a lot of the burden of event planning off your shoulders if they’re efficient, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. It may be a good idea to check Yelp for reviews and ask the event venue for references.

2. Venue will fit your guest count

It is not always easy to have a guest count two weeks into the planning process of your next event. However, you won’t be able to confidently pick a venue if you don’t have an idea of what size wedding or event you are going to have.
You don’t need to have a firm headcount to look at venues, but one of the first questions the venue will ask is how many guests you’ll be hosting. Having a rough idea of your event’s size — whether it be 60, 125 or 300 guests — will allow you to eliminate certain venues from your list. And since almost event venue lists their facility size online, you won’t even need to go look at them in person!

3. Offers the look & style you desire

A contemporary building, a romantic vineyard, an urban industrial loft, an elegant barn, all of these spaces sound appealing when planning a wedding or event. But it is not easy to plan a style-specific event at all venues.
Taking into account what style of event you want will help you choose the venues you need to visit. Deciding on your event’s style and selecting a venue that suits this style early on may allow you to save on decorations and décor. Look for venues with transformable space that can be made to fit your vision.

4. Parking

If the venue you’re looking at doesn’t have a parking lot for your guests, check if there are parking lots nearby which they can use. The Foothills Event Center has a large parking lot, offering safely-lit off-street parking for 140 cars.

5. Accessibility for ALL guests

You’ll need to make sure that your guests with special needs can access the building and its amenities. Start by looking at your guest list and determining what their needs are. If you do have handicapped guests, make sure to ask the venue if they have ADA-compliant parking and accessibility.

6. Services and amenities available

Besides the appearance of the venue, it’s also important ask about the services and amenities that they offer. You do that by asking these questions:

  • Does the venue have a kitchen? Can it provide catering to your event? If so, the venue may waive the facility fee and only charge a down payment along with the cost of food for each guest. If the venue does not have a kitchen, they may partner with a food provider that you’re required to use. Or, they may be fine with you bringing in your own vendors and caterers.
    Many venues have an exclusive partnership with a food vendor, which is great if they have partnered with a fantastic vendor. If the vendor is not great, it will create a negative experience for your guests. So it’s best to select a venue that allows you to bring in an outside food vendor if you can’t book a venue that serves food your attendees will enjoy.

  • Does it have tables, chairs and linens you can use? Does the venue offer rentals of décor and linens, or will those things have to come from separate vendors as well? Sometimes the one-stop-shop approach can save you time, money, and stress when it comes to putting together your wedding day.

  • Does it have a crew to help you setup before and clean up after? If the venue doesn’t provide these services, you’ll need to hire outside help.

  • Does it have AV capabilities? Some venues will require you to bring in audio-visual equipment yourself, and others have a built-in audio-visual equipment for you to use.

7. Overnight accommodations close by

If you have out-of-town guests who will want to stay overnight, make sure to find out if there are enough hotels and motels to accommodate them all. It can be major issue if you book the venue and then find out that there’s no adequate lodging nearby.
We recommend calling hotels in the area to find out if they will provide a block of rooms and a special rate for your attendees. Most hotels are happy to provide this. Then, let your guests know of this option and their deadline for booking a room to get the special discounted rate.

8. Internet connectivity

Make sure to ask about the venue’s Wi-Fi access and cell phone service (unless of course you’re holding a retreat to unplug and unwind). Some properties may not even offer Wi-Fi or get great reception.

9. Reputation

Ask around about the venues you’re thinking about. You might ask vendors or event planners what their experiences with the venue have been like. Also, look at online reviews on sites like Facebook, Wedding Wire, Trip Advisor, and Yelp to round out your estimate of a venue’s reputation and track record.

10. Acoustics

Acoustics are particularly important at any event with key attractions like notable speakers or live performances. You don’t want your experience to be so loud that your guests lose their hearing and voice, or that the sound is so diluted or warped that they miss one of the highlights of the evening.

Call or text us today at 530-271-1000 to schedule your complimentary consultation and tour of The Foothills Event Center.

Mardie Caldwell

Written by Mardie Caldwell

Mardie has been a successful and inspiring entrepreneur since 1981. The Foothills Event Center was created out of Mardie’s desire to enrich the community and provide a place to come together for celebrating, learning, sharing, and enjoying our rich Gold Country heritage. Rooted in her love of Nevada County, Mardie’s strong vision and desire to serve the community yielded the opportunity to revitalize the former Weaver property into a gathering place that we all can enjoy.

Her innovation and commitment to environmental responsibility contribute positively to our community and surroundings. With The Foothills Events Center, Mardie is creating the best experience for our clients and their guests, creating memories for generations.