Choosing the right event venue can make or break your event. One of the first things you want to do is eliminate possible problematic and even horrible venues. Watch for red flags that immediately alert you to issues you might encounter. There are others tells that might be too subtle for you to catch.

Signs of Trouble

While referrals are often the best way to determine a venue’s reputation, you won’t always be able to luck up on such firsthand experience. In most cases, you’re going to rely on your own ability to assess a venue.

Comparing Reviews for an Event Venue

Some of the obvious signs of a troublesome venue include such things as bad online reviews. As part of your due diligence, you should scour the Internet for any and all reviews. If you come across a venue that has great reviews and only one or a handful of negative ones, be sure you read the negative reviews so you can weigh them against the positive ones.

Sometimes people post negative reviews as a revenge tactic or posters could be trolls paid by unprofessional competitors. Compare negative reviews with the positive ones to determine the legitimacy of complaints.

Check Review Dates

Compare the dates of reviews, and make a determination whether or not a problem is fixed. For example, a negative review given a year ago about service may no longer be valid. If a current reviews rave about the service, then should be a good indicator that the problem has been remedied.

  • Look for consistency in key points, such as service, food quality, etc.
  • Independent reviews carry more weight than those testimonials posted on the website.

Social Media Interaction with Customer Complaints

Check social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc for any complaints and judge how Customer Service (CS) responded.

  • What was Customer Service’s response time?
  • How did CS react to criticism?
  • Was there follow-up online?
  • Did the customer complaining post satisfaction over the response?
  • Ascertain the popularity of the venue through social media, likes, followers, etc.

Other Warning Signs

There are more subtle forms of warning signs that a potential event venue might not be the best choice. Some of these include:

  • Venue coordinator doesn’t return your phone call(s).
  • Venue is hard to pin down exact costs, timetables and other important preliminary information.
  • You make repeated requests for information or clarification of information from potential event venue.
  • Venue isn’t flexible and cannot accommodate your event needs.
  • Owner/coordinator acts unprofessional, gossips, complains about company or workers.
  • Venue employees don’t smile or morale seems low.
  • Facility is unkempt and in need of better housekeeping.
  • Facility shows signs of wear and hasn’t been updated for some time.
  • Unmanicured venue grounds.
  • Restrooms aren’t clean.
  • Venue windows are dirty.
  • Venue seems cramped.
  • Location of venue is too far for easy access from major highways.
  • No major airports serving area or hotel accommodations for out-of-town attendees.
  • No convenient local interests or entertainment for attendees’ free time.
  • Limited menus, facility and parking for attendees.
  • Venue location has high-noise level.
  • Owner/coordinator appears unorganized and harried.
  • Owner/coordinator cannot supply you with at least three past clients for you to chat with.
  • Trash and debris surround the trash bins.
  • Unreasonable down payment demands and other signs of financial problems.

Choosing the Right Event Venue

While you can’t anticipate all the things that can go wrong with an event venue, you can lessen the negative impact by paying close attention to the smallest red flags that may crop up during your assessment of the venue. Make a check list for each venue and be sure to ask questions until you’re satisfied you’ve found the right venue for your event.