February 8, 2017

One Step at a Time: Venue Site Visits with Clients

Arguably the most exciting part of an event is what we like to call the “brainstorming” portion of the planning process.

You’ve selected a venue, and now you are dreaming of ways to take your event concept full circle with decor, layout and agenda all contributing to the goals of your clients event. All you need is their giant stamp of approval. Easy right? Well, not always. Check out our tips below for the very first time you bring your client to their event space:


Bringing your client along for your first site visit is a huuuge no no. For one, there may be unforeseen issues that make the venue a complete deal breaker. Factors such as, bad location, the building falling apart, or super unprofessional staff. Hoping that those all pass the test, walking through the site visit with the venue manager is extremely helpful to hash out all of your event planner questions that aren’t important to the client in this stage of the process.


Venue site visits can be overwhelming, and vendors joining this site visit may actually make this a  counterproductive meeting. Although the vendors are a huge part of your event, they don’t belong at your client’s first walkthrough of the space. Take them with you during your first site visit by yourself and talk out initial plans. If it is important to have a vendor meet with the client, this can be done further down the road when so much information isn’t all being processed at once.


It’s safe to say that a large majority of our clients are visual learners. As event planners, of course we can picture how a wooden 66” round will blend seamlessly with a gold rimmed charger and a cream peony centerpiece, but say that to a client? They’ll be saying “huh” before you’ve even made it through the lobby. Inspiration boards of past events are great, but we always step it up a notch by digitally mocking up exactly what we have in mind for the client’s event. Whether it’s their logo projected on a wall, or their signature product displayed on custom tabletops, this will change your client’s perspective from picturing any event to visualizing THEIR event.


Ever watch Say Yes to the Dress? Although East of Ellie never dabbles in the wedding side of events, we’ve seen an episode or five. The store’s number one rule is to NEVER show a bride a dress that is out of their price range. 90% of the time they will absolutely fall in love, and then they can’t have it. Assuming you’ve passed level one of this rule being that the venue is in budget, we’re really talking about potentially expensive ideas to enhance the events experience. Don’t mention aerial performers later to find out all in it’s going to cost you 10k because of unforeseen insurance and ceiling support. Your client will be pretty disappointed when they tell you they was so obsessed with our idea, they enrolled into a year membership at an aerial yoga studio. Ouch.

That feeling you get when you’re client gives you the green light and you’re ready to roll with your vendors is one of the best an event planner can get, expedite the process with these tips! What are the craziest event ideas you’ve convinced your client to go for? Check out our clients custom branded sushi chef jackets, 30+ft tall window cling, floating halo light chandeliers and more in our gallery. We can’t wait to show you what’s next! Stay tuned…