Jun 11, 2021

What You Should Know About Venues

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hen the ice runs out, the party's over. I think I came up with that, but Brenda will say I stole it from her. It's just another way of saying that when the alcohol's gone, adios. Nobody likes warm drinks.

So how much ice does a 250-guest event serving glacially cold cold beer and mixed drinks require? You shouldn't have to know such nonsense as a pretext for holding an event, but let's just say it's 750 pounds. That happens to be what we have onsite at Clementine at the start of every event. Coincidence? No matter, but purchasing 750 lbs of ice, if that's what you truly need, and hauling it to Clementine could cost over $1000. Of course, you'd have to realize you needed it in the first place. And you'd have to work out the logistics with a vendor in the ice hauling business.

This is no big deal if ice was on your radar all along, but it's usually well beneath the surface. I can't recall a bride telling me she dreamed about the ice at her wedding. Ice isn't even on my mind, usually. But recently, new client Bret Tuck of Edley's and Brown's Diner and the creator of the best sandwich maybe in the world - the Tuck Special, told me that he knew by including ice we had included most everything. If only all of our clients owned restaurants.

Venues constantly are asked the question "what's included?". What we don't get asked is what we don't offer that your wedding or event absolutely needs.

Sadly, ice is just a drop in the bucket. Some of the biggest items missing at venues are sound systems, decorative lighting, video projection, stages, and bar packages. I'm hard pressed to think of an event that doesn't need music or good lighting or benefit from BYOB. Like warm drinks, quiet, poorly-lit spaces are party enders. And then there's liability insurance, parking, security, venue manager - even taxes, gratuities and card fees - all of which get little attention from clients and venues that are happy to duck these line items. Selecting a venue ultimately becomes a matter of trust.

The painful outcome of not considering one of these nuggets is obviously the cost. A few of these together could even exceed the rental cost of the venue itself. The other costs are hassle of finding, contracting, and coordinating with these surprise vendors. And last, there is the setup and take down time associated with these extra vendors.

These are all things we include at our venues here at Dragon Park. We don't have any add-ons of any kind. If all events need the same darned something, we think it should be provided and include the cost in the rental fee. So that's what we do.

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