Steps to Selecting A Venue

Is it any wonder that on-line shopping is as popular as it is? In addition to the convenience, there is the other benefit of finding something you think you want, delving into a few reviews, either clicking to buy, or sending that product to the dustbin of history. All of this is accomplished without ever speaking to a person – without ever sharing what you really feel about the product, without ever having an awkward moment when you know you will never buy “the thing” but you simply can’t bring yourself to share this with the seller.

As part of the purchase process, shoppers are often confronted with hosts, agents or sales people whose job it is to help them better understand a particular site – be it an apartment, home or, in the case of this article, a prospective venue for your upcoming wedding.

Once you have done your initial research, which is typically done on-line, it’s time to book appointments to visit the sites in person. Getting that done and getting to the sites involve quite a commitment on your part, as well as that of the host who is meeting you to show you the property.

After having toured literally hundreds of clients through sites, as well as being clients on our own at some point in the past, we believe we have some suggestions that might make the entire process easier for all parties concerned.

First, there will be more than one site that will work for you – there just is, so don’t worry that you need to find “the one.” In reality, you will end up finding the ones.

Second, the more work you can do up front, the better. Google Maps is a great tool to see the site, gain a perspective of where it is in relation to roads, hotels or towns that may be important to you.

Next, the site should have various tools that can help you determine if it is a potential fit. These tools might consist of photos, Pinterest boards, 360-degree panoramas and diagrams that enable you to feel the site from the comfort of your own computer.

Say what you will but, in many cases, you can judge a book by its proverbial cover. First impressions are lasting and, more often than not, they are correct. Unless a property “speaks to you,” no amount of cajoling nor information is going to change how you feel about it.

For that reason, we suggest that when you take a tour to let the host know you want to take a quick loop around the site, say 10 to 15 minutes, mirroring the flow of a typical event so that you will see what your guests will see.

If that first look resonates, then there is ample time to better understand the site specifics, the costs, any logistical components, or simply to walk it again to see more of the property.

All well and good, now that brings us to the fact you are doing this with a person, not your mouse. So how, then, do hosts really prefer you let them know you really are ready to “click away” from their site?

Just tell them…tell them:

“Thank you, Diane (assuming her name is Diane), but in taking a quick look around, this site is not speaking to us. I would prefer not taking any more of your time.”

“Thank you, Diane, I would like to pause our tour for a minute. We appreciate your time but, while I may not be able to articulate why, seeing it in person makes me sure this is not what we had envisioned.”

There are endless ways to say this, but its courteous and merciful and considerate to save the host their time, not to mention you saving yours. Most hosts realize that some sites work for some couples and some for others – that is one of the reasons that all sites aren’t identical. No one takes it personally, in fact we appreciate saving us from going on and on if our site is not for you. It’s about you, and it would be highly unlikely any host barred you from leaving their site, demanding that you listen to all the reasons you are making a huge mistake for not renting their location.

Follow these steps and you will find your site tour process will be much easier, you will have fewer people following up with you when they know they are not in contention, and you can actually focus on the contenders better with less distraction. If you are like the typical couple and you visit 12-20 sites, and 10-18 of them are really not for you, you will be saving yourselves about 5 – 9 hours of site tour time by cutting your tours short if the site isn’t your site. When in wine country, we all know what to do with those found hours, and we bet you do too.

About the Author — Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s largest event management company providing site selection services to multiple locations throughout Wine Country. Milestone simplifies the venue selection process by providing clarity, predictability and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranches, and other locations for their private events. After the venue selection process is complete, Milestone is also available should the client select to help produce their event in a stress reduced and highly professional manner.
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