Jun 27, 2021

All-Inclusive vs Venue-Only

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t usually starts with something like "Are tables and chairs included?", "Tell us aboutyour packages." or "What are you food and beverage minimums?".

These questions aim to put a venue into one of two camps: the All-Inclusive or the Venue-Only. The truth is neither really exists.

Since most venue shoppers are often starting from scratch, it's easy to find comfort in these labels. And "all-inclusive" sounds great! That label was created by the hotels, county clubs, and other venues that make up the all-inclusive category.

"All-Inclusive" Venues

All-inclusive venues have two shortcomings. First, they typically provide only the food and beverage. And then at an inflated cost and very limited choice.

Second, all-Inclusive venues 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, complicated, and difficult to set-up/remove audio, video, and lighting necessary to set and sustain the mood.

"Venue-Only" Venues

Venue-only venues usually offer something more than a shell of a building, and almost always offer superior selection and cost advantages. But its true what the all-inclusive venues say, most venue-only venues offer little.

We're Neither

Where do Dragon Park's venues fall? We've a combination of both.

Our venues include audio, video, lighting, host liability insurance, venue manager, and many other things typically not included event 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 the opportunity to focus on and make their own.

How to Determine Venue Cost

So how do you determine the true cost of a venue? Unfortunately, you'll have to add the many costs - venue rental, bar, audio, video, lighting, security, parking, insurance, venue manager etc. - to get to a precise number. But a rule of thumb to use is that the cost of a managed bar (not BYOB) plus audio, video, lighting, parking, insurance, venue manager can easily double or triple the cost of a venue's rental fee. That's a scary proposition in an industry known for added costs.