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Red Flags to Look for When Choosing a Venue for Your Event

One of the first things that guests will take note of when deciding to attend your live event is the venue you choose. The venue can be a huge selling point when it comes down to deciding how to respond to an RSVP. The venue is what's housing your event and, therefore, curates the overall tone of your event, so you want to ensure you get it right and pay attention to any red flags in the vetting process. Here is a list of red flags to pay attention to when choosing a venue for your next live event.

Unfriendly/unhelpful staff

The first red flag is an unfriendly/unhelpful staff. Staff should be more than willing to answer questions, make clarifications, and meet you in the middle when you’re doing a site survey of the venue. Customer service is one of the most important aspects of running a business: happy clients equal a happy business. You are their clients; by proxy, your guests are also their clients. A rude or unhelp staff is a clear indicator that the venue will leave your guests with the wrong impression of your company.

Accessibility issues

All your guests should be afforded accessible access in, around, and out of the venue. Accessibility is so important to ensure your guests have a positive experience. The venue should be up to code for accessibility and have adequate and accessible parking and restrooms. A venue that is not easy to access for those who are differently abled, is a venue that should be avoided. This also includes:

  • Fire safety codes

  • Wheelchair accessibility

  • Evacuation routes

Communication issues

When communication is a point of contention between the venue staff and event hosts and their production team. It may be time to scout another venue. Venue management should be accommodating, honest about their capabilities and offerings up front, easy to communicate with, and transparent. Transparency includes:

  • What is/isn't included in the price

  • Fine print regarding deposits and refunds

  • Codes/ordinances (especially for noise!)

  • Event room accessibility and maximum capacity

  • Equipment Load-in/load-out procedures, including hours of dock operation and limitations, etc.

  • Liquor permits/licensing

Out-of-date technology

Fast, reliable Wi-Fi is key to any event running smoothly. Modern technology relies heavily on Wi-Fi. Ensuring your venue can be trusted to provide reliable Wi-Fi is a crucial step. If the venue doesn't allow your production team to test their Wi-Fi or use outside equipment to enhance their current Wi-Fi, it’s best to avoid working with them. The same goes for testing A/V capabilities. There is a clear red flag if the venue does not provide full transparency regarding its technological capabilities.


Not all venues will look the same in person when compared to online advertisements. Minor differences are expected; however, if during your site visit you see overflowing trash, stacked up dirty dishes in common areas, or a general feeling of unkemptness, that’s a big red flag and potential safety concern. The venue should be fresh, clean, and hazard-free. A venue should pride itself on how customers will experience its product/service, and a dirty venue is a poor reflection of its standards. Conclusion

You want everything to run smoothly for your next live event, and a significant first step is vetting venues until you find one without any red flags. There are countless red flags to look out for, but we compiled a list of the most common ones to look out for and ultimately avoid.

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