Corporate Events: 3 Reasons Why a Site Visit is Mandatory

A few of weeks ago I completed a whirlwind site visit – 12 hotels and 6 venues all in one day.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

You may have a client that says – no, it’s OK, we don’t need to do a site visit. Or there’s no budget or time to fly out and take a look at the venue or hotel. You need to stop them right there. A site visit needs to be mandatory.

If a client is going to be spending tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or more, spending a couple of thousands to fly the team to look at the potential site for the event is a must and could be the deciding factor if the event is a hit or a flop.

Site Visit

1. Photos can be Really Deceiving

A photographer’s job is to make a venue look inviting and lust worthy. The point with seeing the photos is you want to be there. However, there are all sorts of lenses that can make a venue look really big and once you get there, it’s nothing like the photos.

Been there – done that. We thought we were sold on a venue and then we got there and it’s nothing like we imagined.

2. You Need to See the Space When it will be Used

True story…I just did a site visit and fell absolutely IN LOVE with the venue…during the day. I loved the décor, the vibe, the view – everything. We were sold. This was going to be the place for the reception and we all thought it was perfect. (See photo above)

We decided to head to the venue at night to see what it was like when the sun was down, the music was playing and the overall vibe. We were completely disappointed. The décor, you couldn’t see because it was so dark in the space. The vibe, it was an after work crowd and the space felt surprisingly smaller and a little claustrophobic. The view, we couldn’t see a thing. Because of the location, there weren’t a lot of lights on the building.  We wouldn’t have known that if we didn’t see the space at night.

3. You Need to See the Surroundings

When you look at photos of venues, you aren’t seeing the surroundings. Is the entrance professional? Are there lots of banners or random branding hanging? Tons of construction? Can you envision your guests arrival?

Bottom line, this is an area that you need to push back with your clients. They are about to fork out a ton of money for an event and it needs to be perfect in every way. It might even be a good idea to add a clause into your contract.

I’m not going to lie, site visits can be tedious and time consuming, but worth every minute because you can now plan your event with confidence.


Did you know that we just released an App in the App Store?  It’s called Capacity by ROAR and if your a event planner, you need this in your life.  Check it out.

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Caryl Lyons

Managing Partner
With a love for design, her signature style infuses everyday life into events. Her philosophy is to create an experience with food, color, music and interior design. You won't see just a pen and pad at one of her events.
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