Catalyst Ranch is Chicago's most creative Meeting and Special Events Space.

How to Choose a Special Events Venue:

The Must-Have Checklist

By Kim Jean

This is how to choose a special events venue. You arm yourself with the must-have special events checklist. What is on the checklist you ask? First, imagine this: The day you planned for is here, everything is perfect, guests are having the time of their lives, they love the venue, plus, the food, drink and music is through-the-roof-good. You couldn’t have asked for anything more, or better. It would seem that the gods, universe and stars aligned to give you perfection.

But, there are times when it comes to picking a place to celebrate that special occasion, you feel like a fish out of water. To overcome that feeling, you do the following: ask a friend, look up suggestions on the internet, read reviews on Yelp, or go with the newest or oldest places with the reputation, and most cost effective for your budget. Many times this checklist serves as a qualifier for your decision, and your celebration scores! Other times, not so much. You’re unhappy, disappointed or outright mad. Your guests are equally unimpressed.

Let’s face it. Things happen. At some point in the pipeline of the planning process, whether it’s a wedding ceremony and reception, birthday party, bar/bat mitzvah, fundraiser or anniversary celebration, you get bogged down, derailed or frustrated.

Why can’t this be easier?

Have no fear, for advice and reassurance is here. Catalyst Ranch has been in the business of special event handholding for many years. We know a few things about this stuff. Remember that reference list above? You can check us off in all the categories. We are that good. We have been known to ease the stress, expense, and make the best suggestions for the odd extra.

So, before you wander into the arena of special event planning, we recommend you have the following on your checklist. Please note: The cost of an event is not only the amount you pay for the venue, food, and or music. It includes time and emotional exertion as well. Our firm recommendation is that in making a choice, all of the following should apply.

The wow factor speaks to the location. This check point makes your senses come alive. The surroundings – atmosphere, décor and design, cause your eyes to light up, your heart gives a happy beat. You can’t stop saying “OMG” because you can’t stop yourself from touching tables, fixtures. The point is, you just know this is the place. You love it and your guests will love it. On top of that, the location is easy to get to by private and public transport, parking is nearby and, and if the venue validates, that’s a bonus.

Green is a business practice. Definitely worth the checklist! Magic words like reusing and recycling, donating leftover food, eco-friendly. Simply ask the venue about their Green policy.

All-inclusive Pricing means no surprises in the bill. Accommodation and service are priced with affordability and satisfaction in mind. It means basic event necessities such as furniture are included. It means policy for catering and security are shared upfront. Everything to make your event hassle-free is included, bottom line.

Professional event specialists who don’t mind holding your hand through the planning process. You should never feel alone or overwhelmed. From your first visit to the wrap-up of your event, the staff operates in the most professional manner that allows you to relax and enjoy hosting and your guests enjoy being a part of your celebration.

Satisfaction is a guarantee. You have questions? They get answered. No problem. At your event, if and when you need assistance, there is staff to smooth things over. They are there to welcome you and say thank you when your celebration is over.

It is that simple to plan, host and enjoy your special event, with your check list handy. And here’s an addendum to the checklist, when you’re in conversation with the special events venue, don’t be afraid or hold back. Ask questions. They should be welcome.

Like the article? Share it via social media, visit the website to learn more about Catalyst Ranch at www.catalystranch.com, or call for an appointment to tour the creative meeting and event space.

Kim Jean is the Special Events & Marketing Assistant Manager at Catalyst Ranch and featured blog writer at Catalyst Ranch. She’s been a published columnist, charity ambassador, podcast creator and business ideas creator. When she’s not at Catalyst, she’s working on her start up business, practicing yoga, cooking, saying awesome things or taking a nap, whenever possible.

About the Author: