Know What to Ask! Questions for Event Venues, Sponsors and Suppliers
Set expectations and get clarity by preparing your questions for event venues, sponsors and suppliers. We spoke with planners and agency pros to find out the questions you should be asking–beyond what you might expect.
Ask the venue
Don’t sign a contract with a venue until you’ve searched every closet for a skeleton! Download our free event venue question checklist, which outlines the primary topics you should cover to protect yourself and head off any surprises at the pass.
Richard O’Malley of the O’Malley Project, an international events agency, suggests you double down on questions about the wifi at the venue.
“The question that will REALLY affect your bottom line is about bandwidth,” says Richard.
“How many people can use the wifi all at once? How many devices can access it–not people?” To keep costs in check, Richard says, don’t agree to be charged for bandwidth used or ‘double dips’ when users have multiple devices. “Pay the one flat fee!”
There are plenty of ways to distribute the cost of wifi at events–we wrote an article about it. Educate yourself now so you’ll know what questions to ask your event venue.
Ask your sponsors
A quick survey at the beginning of your engagement with a sponsor will help set expectations and strengthen the relationship over time.
Lashawn Wallace from Power Events NYC suggests these questions for your sponsors:
- What are you looking to accomplish at this event? What are your goals?
- What action do you expect from the attendees?
- How would you like your brand to be portrayed at the event?
- How will you assist in marketing the event to your network, and what is the size of your audience?
Sponsor relationships are partnerships with mutual benefit, and you’ll be happiest if you keep the balance even. There’s never been a better time to closely manage everyone’s expectations by being forthright and asking plenty of questions.
We wrote the book on building lasting relationships with sponsors through open communication, expectation-setting and compelling sponsor packages. Pick up our free event sponsors ebook to learn more!
Ask your suppliers
Lashawn shares this list of critical questions to ask vendors–to protect yourself, know how to educate your attendees, and prepare for contingencies.
- How long have you been in business?
- What are your cancellation and payment policies?
- What kind of insurance do you have
- Does the price include in assistance with setup/installation or is it just delivery?
- Who do I contact in case of an emergency after business hours?
- Who will be my contact on site?
- Do you have back-up equipment in the event something happens?
- What information do you need from me?
- Asking your venue, sponsors and suppliers more questions early on and throughout the relationship will pay off. You can’t expect them to volunteer all the information you’ll need, and when the doors open you’ll feel safer with a record of your concerns.
If you’re researching several venues you might create a web survey with a tool like Surveymonkey. This way you can easily compare responses, make sure you don’t forget anything and keep everything organized.
Want more? Help yourself out and join thousands of planners like you by downloading Guidebook’s free 70-page ebook of professional event planning tips. You’ll find questions for event venues and sponsors, tips for building lasting relationships with vendors and partners, real-life stories from planners, step-by step marketing plans and more.