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Jun 27, 2021
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All-Inclusive vs Venue-Only

Post by 
Dan
W

hen they visit, a few prospective clients ask leading questions that aim to put us into one of two camps: the infamous All-Inclusive or Venue-Only venues. The questions usually go something like "Are tables and chairs included?" or "Do you have packages that include food?" We know immediately what they're really asking.

After we tell them that no, we do not provide chairs or dining packages, they often look disappointed. They have fallen victim to the myth of the superiority of the All-Inclusive venue. This seems to be rooted in the belief that All-Inclusive venues provide an easier environment in which to plan an event. The opposite, of course, is that Venue-Only places are harder.

But since these venue shoppers are usually learning from scratch, we don't take offense. This is what we tell them.

We're Neither, On Purpose

All-Inclusive venues (aka hotels, country clubs and some farms) are not truly all-inclusive! You will likely still need to provide your own band/DJ, florist, photographer, coordinator, transportation, parking, etc. You also almost certainly will need to supply expensive and often complicated audio, video, and lighting necessary to set and sustain the mood. So at best, they're partially inclusive.

And, by taking away your ability to use other food and beverage and other vendors, the cost usually soars while your choices are restricted (such as bar costs).

Venue-Only venues, similarly, usually offer something more than a roof - not always, but usually. Venue-Only venues usually tout their freedom and cost advantages. These are often true. Sometimes, this version of freedom is closer to anarchy. And when adding all of the necessary items back into the budget that these venues don't include, the cost also escalates quickly.

So again, where do Dragon Park's venues fall in this spectrum?

We've got a combination of both.

Our venues include audio, video, lighting, host liability insurance, venue manager, and many other things typically not included at the All-Inclusives. At Clementine, we include ice, built-in bar, three fully-furnished dressing rooms, etc., but we remain largely open vendor, and importantly, BYOB. Most of the complicated and unfun (but critical) components of an event are already addressed in our spaces, while the furniture, food, bar and music - the most defining components of any event - are what our hosts get to focus on.

I don't have a name for what we are yet, so I tell the whole story.