Vennstance

How to Choose a Venue Based on the Timing of Your Event!

October 29th, 2019
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As the old adage goes, timing is everything. We say it only because it’s true. Think about it – marriage proposals, beating rush hour, and catching the evening news. They all depend on timing, and choosing a venue is no different.

It doesn’t matter what kind of event you’re trying to host, whether it’s a birthday party, a reunion with friends, or a brainstorming session, getting the right venue is only one side of the coin. Venue and time of day are inseparable variables when it comes to event planning.  

Unfortunately, this isn’t always intuitive when we’re approaching the planning process. We focus so much on our event itinerary and grabbing a place that aesthetically meets our vision that we forget throwing all this together during the wrong time of the day can bring it all crashing down.

In the spirit of mastering all three domains, event, venue, and timing, we’re going to walk through the three main chunks of our day and what kind of venues go well with each one. So regardless of if you’re planning a morning board meeting or an evening screening of the latest documentary, here is how to choose a venue based on the time of your event.

Morning

Mornings are the ultimate litmus test, I love them. It’s mildly fascinating how at almost any morning event there’s naturally the morning people you’ll find socializing by the fruit table, while the non-morning people cradle their coffee in separate corners hoping no one asks them to be too friendly too soon.

Still though, whether you’re about mornings or not, odds are at some point you’re going to have to either attend or plan some sort of morning event. Most morning events revolve around business, like team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and briefings, but it’s also common to do some social events in the morning as well.  

There are two keys to keep in mind when considering a venue for a morning event: 1) Make it central, and 2) Make it cozy.

The first key is making sure your venue is central in terms of transportation. Make it somewhere as convenient as possible for the majority of possible attendees to get to. If you’re in an urban setting, make it near public transit and preferably en route to people’s workplaces. If they’re heading that direction anyways and don’t have to work to hard to get there, they’re more than likely to attend your event.

The second key is leveraging mornings to opt for a cozy venue. Mornings usually mean pleasant weather, so opt for something outdoors and stimulating. Go for gardens, park plazas, or a café with outdoor seating. The last thing people want in the morning is to be bombarded by artificial lighting and the dull hum of your traditional office or retail spaces.

Morning time is the hardest time of day to convince people to be somewhere they don’t have to be, so don’t be afraid to get creative with venues for a morning event. Doing your Pop-Up shop in the town plaza or hosting a meeting in an outdoor café is a good direction to go in.

Another great option for hosting a meeting or event in natural morning light would be at a space overlooking a world renowned cricket ground.

Afternoon

While mornings might be the hardest time of the day to get people to an event, the afternoon is one of the trickiest times to get people whole heartedly engaged in an event. The afternoon falls right after lunch, just in time for everyone’s first round of coffee to wear off and that post-lunch digestion slump to hit.

You’ve got the odds against you a bit in the afternoon, so being intentional with your venue type is a must. In the afternoon, don’t be afraid to shake things up to get people jolted, awake, and ready to engage.

If you’re trying to do some sort of brainstorming session and you need people as focused as possible, go for a place with stimulating background noise. Renting out a space at a museum is also a great option for larger business meetings in the afternoon that are outside the office but still in a professional atmosphere.

Weddings are a different beat entirely. If you’re planning a wedding in the afternoon, you’ll have to battle the elements. Go for something either indoors or with plenty of shade to keep guests (and the bride!) comfortable!

In the end, if you’re doing an event in the afternoon be ready to combat the elements a bit more than you would in the morning, be hit heat or the post lunch slump.

 

Evening

The evening can be a great time to host an event, and you can tailor the venue based on what part of the week you’re hosting it in.  Earlier and mid-week will warrant a more relaxed atmosphere from your venue, whereas hosting something Thursday or Friday may mean going for a venue that will help kick off the weekend with a bang.

For instance, evening time on a Wednesday might be a great time to rent a place like The Vault, take advantage of ambient light, and host your book launch in an intimate setting. But if you’re wanting to launch a new fashion line complete with a DJ and bar, shoot for a Friday night and a space like a rooftop terrace.

Doing business in the evening is a bit unconventional, but might not be out of the question, especially when you consider that some studies show people can actually be more creative in the evenings. If you do end up needing to do a business meeting in the evening, ditch the traditional office space and rent a venue with plenty of ambiance and white noise to get people to unwind but still be focused.

The bottom line is, you want to give the time of day you’re hosting an event serious thought when it comes to selecting a venue. Not all venues are created equal, and it fluctuates even more so throughout the day. The good news is, whether you’re wanting to do a morning board meeting or kick off a conference in the evening, you have a whole slew of options to fit your needs.

Sources:

The Entrepreneur

The Washington Post

AndrewJenson.com

 

Three Outings That Don't Revolve Around Food!

September 17th, 2019
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Do you ever get tired of eating? Who am I kidding? Of course not! Humans love food, and it seems like we’re only making more creative and delicious food as time passes, which, in the end, is exciting for our taste buds but dangerous for our waist lines!

Still though, loving food doesn’t mean we have to center every outing around it, and as fun as another post work get together around happy hour and appetizers might sound, here are 3 ways to shake things up a bit with outings that don’t center around food!

A Night at the Museum

Museums and art galleries are perhaps one of the most under rated venues for connecting with people. Granted, you might not want to have a family reunion at an art gallery, so if you’re cool with moving as less of a herd, it’s a great choice for groups of 5 or less.

Most galleries and museums can cost you far less than a fancy steak dinner, and even if you’re in a group that isn’t keen on art, hope isn’t lost for making an art gallery a good time. A simple way to make a gallery or exhibition tour as fun as possible for all parties involved is to throw in some sort of side mission only your group is engaged in, like a scavenger hunt.

If people are really digging it, you can make the search more meaningful. Ask the people you’re with to track down pieces  that identify certain emotions like joy or sadness. Afterwards, come together at the end to debrief over a cup of coffee in the gallery’s café and share what pieces you found. This could be a great twist on the outing if you’re looking to do something more along the lines of ice breaking and getting to know each other more.

To throw a twist on a museum visit, opt for a huge museum, like one of those that’d take half a day to thoroughly explore. However, instead of dedicating an entire day to it, split your group up into teams and assign each team a certain section of the museum. Make it their mission to learn everything they can about exhibit within a certain amount of time. When the time is up, each team has to give it their best shot to educate everyone else in the group on what they learned.

These are just scratching the surface for how you can utilize museums and galleries. They’re also great for options for private parties, music performances, and a host of other activities that don’t involve gorging ourselves.

Get Some Screen Time

If you’re looking for an outing that doesn’t revolve around food and you really want to throw your employees, friends, or that new date for a loop, take them to a screening! Now, when we say screening, we mean something with a little more depth than a squeaky chair and the overpriced popcorn you’d find at your local cinema. We mean the smaller more intimate screenings for indie films and documentaries you’d likely find hosted at less conventional venues like a café or park.

When you opt for a film that’s less on the beaten path as your major releases, you’ll discover a whole new world of art in film. Indie film directors usually channel their passion and calling for film to a greater cause, as opposed to just trying to please the box office and make a fortune. This means an indie film screening might have a bit more subtly and depth than your average movie.  

This combines with the fact that a film screening can be an incredibly versatile outing that doesn’t revolve around food. Whether you’re into comedy, social justice, or drama, you’re likely to find a screening suitable to just about any fancy.

Sure, many screenings might include a bar or café drinks, but everyone’s focus is the screen in front of them, not what’s going into their mouths.

I personally enjoy that most screenings are usually accompanied by some sort of panel or Q & A with the director afterwards. This usually happens if it was a film over a certain social issue important to the director. This gives you a chance to engage with the deeper side of a production instead of just showing up to be entertained.

If you really want to take control of things, why not host a screening? That doesn’t mean you have to make a film. Simply grab a new documentary you think everyone should see, or just opt for a nostalgic classic a group of friends would really relish revisiting, have everyone pitch in to rent a vintage a cinema room for a few hours, and have fun in a really unique way!

Get the Board Out

The final of our 3 outings that don’t revolve around food might take you by surprise at first, but we’re going to make a solid pitch for board games. As someone who didn’t grow up in a home that played a lot of board games, my mind was blown when I got to University and it seemed like everyone not only played Settlers of Catan, but put a lot of stake in it as a source for street cred as well.

Maybe my university was just a little weird, but that far from negates the fact that board games are a great outing that doesn’t have to revolve around food. The crazy thing is, not everyone realizes board games can be an outing!

Sure, they used to be a private affair held around a living room coffee table, but more and more board game cafes and bars are popping up. These places usually have walls filled with board games with everything from Ticket to Ride to Scrabble, and they usually feature pretty laid-back vibes for a low key way you and a group of friends can relax, laugh, and decompress after a long week.

Like we said, a lot of these places are catered out of bars or cafes, so there might be an inclination to at least drink something, but the focus will be more on dominating your opponent than what you’re eating or drinking.

If you’re finding the idea of going out to play board games with the masses less appealing than keeping it a private affair, you could always rent a somewhere fitting, like a library themed private venue, and host your own board game night or tournament.

The point is, as a great as food is, sometimes a little bit of creativity into our outings can go a long way. Hitting up a gallery, screening, or board game pub are just a few ways to go about shaking things up a bit.

Wedding Makeup Fact: SPF on your Special Day

August 07th, 2019
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We've all heard how important SPF is! 

Sunscreen can always be used before applying makeup, but it doesn't hurt to have some extra SPF in your foundation as well.

A little known tip for your wedding day is that foundations with SPF tend to have a higher occurrence of flashback, however if you avoid direct flash and stick to natural light as often as possible you will be just fine! 

So make sure you let the light in on your special day!

Speaking of, if you're still in search for a fabulous wedding venue, you can check out our spaces at https://www.vennstance.com/search?space_name=Weddings

Reference: 

https://www.makeup.com/makeup-foundations-with-spf

New Year Fact: The origin of the name January

August 07th, 2019
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The month January is named after Janus, a god in Roman mythology. Janus was the god of two faces, one looking to the future and one looking to the past, the god of beginnings, transitions, gates, time, duality and passages!

We love this fact because we believe the only way you can find the best path forward is to learn and grow from your journey so far. Planning events and finding venues becomes easier as you learn from your experiences.

We look forward to helping you on this journey and to working with you for all your important milestones and events for 2019 and beyond!

Fact Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus

Questions To Ask Before Hiring a Wedding Venue

August 07th, 2019
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It turns out popping the question wasn’t the only crucial question mark involved in the wedding process. In fact, you’ll find that after proposing, or being proposed to, you’ll have to wrestle through a lot more questions before you finally walk the aisle and say ‘I do’! Some of the most critical of these, besides bridesmaids’ dress color, what kind of drinks to serve, and what first song to dance to, are the questions you should ask your wedding venue BEFORE you sign off on hiring it. In your excitement, don't forget to ask these important questions as they may come back to haunt you on the big day! Here are just a few to keep in mind.

1) Is there a backup plan for weather?

Ok, so this first one only really applies if you’re planning an outdoor ceremony or reception, but most people at least consider doing some portion of their wedding day outside so definitely keep this one in your pocket to ask. It’s a good idea to know if the venue has last minute tents they can throw up, or a second space they can hastily move to in case the weather turns on you.

2) Do you have any other events booked on our day?

This is a big question that often goes unasked. You need to know if the venue is anticipating any other big events right before or after yours. This will impact how much wiggle room you have for set up beforehand or for lingering and mingling afterwards. No one wants a rocking reception to be cut short because the venue failed to mention they were hosting late night bingo right after your wedding!

3) Alcohol?

Most people like to provide some adult friendly beverages on their wedding day. Make sure to ask for some particulars about how the venue is going to handle this. Certain boroughs and counties have regulations for when and to what capacity alcohol can be served. Don’t assume that just because there is a bar on location that it can stay open for the entirety of the event.

4) How hard can we jam out?

Like alcohol, you will also find sometimes, depending on location, venues have to abide by certain noise regulations. If they’ll have to turn things down after a certain hour, you need to be aware. Nothing can kill a dancefloor faster than a sudden drop in volume.

These are just a few of the questions people often overlook in their excitement, but in reality the list could go on for ages. Ask about bathrooms, food samples, lodging discounts, and everything in between. Wedding days seldom go perfectly, but asking some key questions beforehand will just further equip you to be ready to go with the flow. After all, this is a big day, and you should approach it with as much preparedness and excitement as possible!

You can check out our wedding venues here: https://www.vennstance.com/search?space_name=Weddings

Sources:

https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/411217/questions-to-ask-wedding-venue

https://www.herecomestheguide.com/wedding-party-ideas/detail/questions-to-ask-your-wedding-venue

Event Photography Fact: Thank God for Technology!

August 07th, 2019
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We are so lucky to have technology! Over the years, many theories have popped up as to why people looked uncomfortable or unhappy in photographs back in the day! It was said that people wanted to hide their crooked teeth or that they thought smiling was silly..We now know it's because a single shot took many hours because of insanely long exposure times! 

Fact Reference: 

https://www.pastbook.com/txt/10-fun-photography-facts/

Baby Shower Tip: Have a Craving Table Ready!

August 07th, 2019
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When planning a baby shower for a loved one, make sure to have a pregnancy craving table ready, stocked with all of the guest of honour's favourite treats! The mum to be will thank you! 

Event Planning Tip: Reserve the Last Few Rows to Fill Up The Front Seats!

August 07th, 2019
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Whether it's a private viewing booked at a cinema, a conference, seminar, lecture or awards ceremony, it's always best to reserve the last few rows so that people are inclined to fill up the front seats faster! 

 

 

Corporate Event Planning Tip: Make Sure Your Office Away Day is Different and Fun!

August 07th, 2019
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Commuting into the same office and adhering to the same dress code everyday can become tedious, even at the best of workplaces! For that reason, we recommend you try something new and creative for your Corporate Retreat or Team Building Day. 

An example of a fun and interactive corporate activity is the Medieval Banquet at the Ivory Vaults. Your employees can expect to enjoy: 

- a 4 Course Banquet with unlimited drinks 

- Full Medieval Show with over two hours' of entertainment 

- Fighting knights, acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, hand balancers and more! 

- Medieval costumes available for purchase or hire! 

We guarantee this experience will be memorable and leave your employees feeling refreshed and recharged! 

Best Practices for Managing Check In at Your Event

August 07th, 2019
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Hosting a great event at a rocking venue can be an exhilarating experience. Interlaced with all the glitz and glam of a successful event are tons of finite details that you want to be sure you don’t overlook in the process. One of these details you’ll definitely want to make sure you hone in on and do well is the check in process. A thorough and well managed check in process is a must for any event, especially when it comes to being able to adequately track and stay connected with whoever attends your event. Below you’ll find some of our best practices to keep in mind for managing check in at your event!

Go Digital

The first piece of advice we have for you shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise: go digital! It’s the 21st century; a printed spread sheet with people laboriously scribbling down their illegible contact information is no longer strategic nor preferable. Grab a few tablets, or even lend some smart phones to your check in table. These devices paired up with a great check-in app, or even just a Google Form, can do wonders for making sure your check in is quick and efficient.

Keep Space In Mind

You want your check in process to flow well. People should be able to show up to your event excited, and follow that excitement right to the main attraction, whether it’s a conference or wedding! Look at your venue from the guests’ perspective. Where will they be entering, and where will they want to get to immediately after? Position your check in station strategically along this path, make sure there are plenty of indicators (people or signs) to direct people to the check in, and see to it that it’s run effectively to prevent bottle necks and traffic jams as much as possible.

Set the Tone

A check in should be more about just grabbing some personal information, slapping a name tag on someone, and sending them on their way. A check in station can be a huge catalyst for bringing the hype for your event and getting people on board for the experience. If you’re hosting a conference, provide some swag and gear for participants when they check in, make sure the check in staff are intentionally engaging with enthusiasm, and brand everything! If someone came to your event not ready, let your check in station be the first step in changing their mindset!

Follow Up

Finally, be sure to actually use your check in data! A simple ‘thank you’ email a day or two after the event is the bare minimum but be sure to engage with your attendees outside the confines of the event itself. Send an electronic photo album of the event or a highlight video to remind your attendees just how much they enjoyed it.

Whether you’re hosting a conference, a retreat, a wedding, or a bar mitzvah, a check in can be a huge catalyst for handling logistics, setting the tone, and interacting with the people who attended your event. Use it well!