COMMITTEES | Venue/Logistics



Scout several spaces and weigh pros and cons before deciding. Do not accept a space only because it's free! Sometimes that backfires.

For example, if you choose a dark church basement because it's free, and then people don't enjoy themselves because the space is uninviting, then you will lose money, and tarnish the reputation for future events. So choose carefully, and scout various options.

Single rooms and big, open spaces that flow nicely are ideal.

An area for the marketplace/tasting and a separate one for the fashion show so you can create a little drama for the show. This makes for a nice differentiation of spaces.

In spaces where there isn’t room for a fashion show, informal modeling has been very successful.

Questions worth asking and items to note as you scout a venue:

Is the space donated?
Is there parking?
Can this space hold 300+ guests comfortably?
Do you have room or a separate space for a fashion show (if applicable)?
Is it chopped up into smaller spaces? (Best spaces are big and open)
Corkage fees – are there any or will the venue waive them?
Is the carpet ugly or dirty?
Will it be a huge money pit for décor? Can you get free/discounted décor?
Does it feel like a generic ballroom? If so, what can you do to change this?
Is it centrally located? Is it in a safe neighborhood?
Is there a risk of the venue going out of business before the event happens? (This may sound paranoid, but it actually happened 3 weeks before an event--TWICE!)
Can you pour red wine?
Is there good lighting? If not, can you afford to rent supplemental lighting?
If it’s a summer event and it’s inside, is there really good AC?
For a summer event that's outside, is there plenty of shade? Can you tent it?  What about umbrellas?
If the event grows in size next year, will this space still work?
If it’s a private residence, is the homeowner comfortable with 450 people descending on their house for three days (includes deliveries before and pick up the day after)?
For private residences: Are guests allowed into the house? What about adequate bathrooms?
Will guests be outside after dark? If so, will you need lighting or heat lamps?
Are there noise ordinances and licensing issues?
Are the licensing issues for the event site?
For other questions specific to wine service, click here.

For hotels or country clubs, be wary of:

Corkage fees or whether they allow donated wine at all
Valet parking fees
Catering costs
No outside food/restaurants
Dress codes (Warn guests/volunteers about wearing jeans during set up or other dress code concerns.)