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Questions to Ask: The Venue Manager


Hiring a venue isn’t as simple as looking, touring and booking, and if you’re not careful you can fall victim to a multitude of hidden costs and clauses. Make sure you ask the right questions to avoid any post-party run-ins with the venue manager:

  1. What is the maximum number of guests that the particular room or venue can accommodate, with and without a dance floor?
  2. What is the basic venue usage fee?
  3. What is included in the venue usage fee, and what isn’t?
  4. If I rent the venue for the aforementioned price, what are the hours that the room will be at my disposal?
  5. What is your overtime fee?
  6. What is your policy on hiring outside catering or using the on-site caterer?
  7. Is there a kitchen available and, if so, is the use thereof included in the venue fee?
  8. Does the venue have a liquor licence?
  9. Is there a fully stocked bar which we can utilise for the event, and if so, what are the additional costs involved? (Hiring, barmen, ice, etc.)
  10. What is your corkage fee?
  11. What is your breakage fee?
  12. Tell me about the staff – how many staff members are included, how much is their overtime fee and what should I know before using them for my event?
  13. Is there any sound and video equipment available and, if so, what will the additional usage fee be?
  14. Do you have a “no noise after x o’clock” policy?
  15. Do you require a security deposit? If so, how much is it and when will it be returned to me?
  16. What do you need from me in order to book the space? I.e. deposit, documentation, etc.
  17. Do you have a setup and cleaning crew? If so, what will the cost be to hire them before and after the event?
  18. By what time should the venue be evacuated, and by what time the next morning should it be clean?
  19. From what time will the vendors and setup crew have access to the event space prior to the actual event? If there’s no event the night before, can we come in then already?
  20. What type of chairs and tables do you have on-site – round, rectangular, cocktail, etc.?
  21. Are there any restrictions in terms of décor and setup? For instance, can we hang decorations from the ceiling or walls?
  22. Will the venue be hosting any other events on the same day? And if so, how will that impact my event?
  23. Do you have samples of linens, chandeliers and all other elements that are included in the venue price, which I can view?
  24. You have experience with venue layout – in your opinion, what is the best way to make the most of this space?
  25. Can you mock-up a diagram of the room based on my preliminary head count?
  26. How do the parking facilities work? How much space is available and is there a security guard on-site?
  27. Do you have pictures of past events that I can have a look at?
  28. Can we have a tour of the facility when it is set up for an event?

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