Event Planning FAQs
How to select a venue for an event?
When planning an event, your choice of venue can make or break the experience. The date, catering options, and recreational activities for attendees are all dependent upon your desired destination. Here are some things to keep in mind while selecting the most suitable venue for your event:
- Budget: Every decision will be based on how much money you have at hand to spend on the event. Consider selecting a venue that takes care of the catering and event set-up/break-down to eliminate additional expenses associated with hiring other vendors.
- Capacity: Develop your guest list, being sure to include even those who you believe will be unable to attend. By planning around your maximum number of attendees, you’ll avoid the possibility of a last-minute shortage of space.
- Proximity: Are you hosting a formal corporate event or a wedding reception, a milestone birthday, or a class reunion? Each event requires a different set-up and considerations. For a small local gathering, consider a venue that is centrally located and easy to reach for the invitees. For an out-of-town event, the location should be somewhere close to the hotel where your guests will be staying or to the airport.
- Services: Are there specific services and amenities that your guests simply can’t live without? Does the venue offer the cuisine they prefer? Can they provide specialty beverages, such as local craft beers? Do they have audio-visual equipment? Can they provide the centerpieces? Does the event venue have adequate parking and valet services? Of course, any quality venue will provide complimentary WiFi access throughout your stay. Make sure to create a comprehensive list of these requirements early in the planning process.
- Accessibility: Everyone, including guests with special needs, should be able to access the venue and its amenities easily. Once your guest list has been finalized, be sure to address any special needs with your guests by requesting they inform you of any allergies and accommodation requests well in advance of the event.
- Security: Ensuring the safety and security of your guests is of the utmost importance. Be sure that the venue you select is compliant with local codes, can accommodate guests with physical disabilities, and has adequate security measures, including closed-circuit cameras.
How do I choose the right venue for a corporate event?
Choosing the right venue for your corporate event is just as important as planning the session schedule and keynote speakers. The proper venue will create a positive experience for all attendees and reflect your deeply rooted brand values, enhancing the overall benefits of the off-site meeting. Consider these tips to choose the perfect venue:
- Plan the event: Consider what you will include in the day’s program: what will make or break the event? What can your meeting do without? Once you’ve outlined your event needs, you can determine which venues fulfill these requirements. Reach out to them to set up a site tour, request pricing and event packages, and other details such as site fees, food & beverage minimums, and applicable taxes.
- Look at the Layout: You’ve already determined your “deal-breakers,” now it’s time to systematically decide which venue best suits your needs. Does the venue at hand have a ballroom space with a drop-down projector and screen to accommodate presentations? How about informal networking spaces? What is the capacity limit? If you’re hosting a spring or summer event, is there outdoor space that can accommodate meeting break-out sessions? Love the venue but don’t see everything you need? Be sure to ask. The venue may offer a problem-solving solution, such as a local vendor contact list, that provides the resources you require.
- Accessibility and Parking: Consider how event invitees will be reaching the venue. Make sure the location is either well connected to local transportation systems such as an airport or train station or provides convenient access to major highways. Does the venue have adequate parking to accommodate your guests? Is valet parking available?
- Services and Amenities: When planning an off-site meeting, coordinating with countless vendors can make the process stressful. Select an event venue that offers more than meeting space, such as audio-visual equipment, notepads & pens, IT support, event set-up, and break-down, catering services, and complimentary centerpieces to streamline the details.
How to plan a beach wedding?
Destination weddings are always on-trend, with beaches undoubtedly topping the list of the most popular destination wedding venues. With stunning views and an elegant, laid-back vibe, a beach offers the perfect backdrop to say “I do!” As you begin planning your beach wedding, consider these details:
- Waterfront Ceremony: Whether beach or bay, a waterfront view is a spectacular setting for your wedding ceremony. Beach weddings typically require special permits for use, obtained through the local government, as well as the rental of chairs, an altar, and any other standard set-up items, such as a tent in case of inclement weather. Consider a waterfront hotel that can host your ceremony & reception, and provide guidance on the local requirements for hosting a beach wedding.
- Reception Style & Food: Will you serve a formal plated-dinner, or would you prefer your guests mix-and-mingle among chef attended stations and displays? Do you want to offer an open bar? Is your guest list a mile-long or only your closest friends & family? Booking a venue that can execute any style of event gives you the flexibility to change your mind along the planning process, make additions, and truly customize the day to your tastes.
- Accessibility & Allergies: Are there guests on your list with physical handicaps? What about food allergies? Make sure that the venue you select can accommodate the most common food allergies and meets all ADA requirements. Don’t be afraid to ask how they will handle specific scenarios as they relate to your family & friends, such as Aunt Sally, who’s allergic to dairy and gluten and Uncle Tom, who just had his hip replaced and can’t climb stairs.
- Tide & Weather: When hosting an outdoor event, it is always smart to have a Plan B. Find a venue that offers tried & true solutions in case of inclement weather. Pro Tip: be sure to check tide charts before planning the placement of your beach ceremony!
Where should I look to plan an event on the Jersey Shore?
If you are looking for a beach venue on the Jersey Shore, there are some fantastic seaside resorts and hotels in the area. The Reeds at Shelter Haven, located in Stone Harbor, New Jersey, has been ranked as New Jersey’s Best Hotel for two consecutive years by Conde Nast Traveler and offers an array of spectacular indoor-outdoor event spaces. Whether you are hosting an intimate gathering with the family on a sun deck, conducting a corporate event in one of the luxurious hospitality suites, or hosting a large gala in the ballroom, each unique space is designed to suit the needs of 10 to 220 guests.