Site Visit Checklist
A checklist can be a big help to make sure you get all of the information you’ll need to compare the different venues. Create the checklist before you make the first phone call and you can start getting the information you need from the beginning. Of course, be sure to bring the checklist with you when you visit both to make sure you have all the information and to confirm details from the phone call. You’re not looking for the perfect answer to every item on the checklist, it is simply a tool to gather information.
- Is it easy to locate the venue?
- How many cars will fit in the parking lot? Is there street parking in the area?
- Is there a sound system? Is it adequate for an auction (ask your auctioneer this)? Is there an additional charge to use it? Will someone be on hand the night of the event for any sound issues?
- Is there internet access you can use? (You’ll need this to connect your event night check-in stations to your Tofino Auctions/SchoolAuction.net software). Can you access it wirelessly? If not, will they allow you to run an ethernet cable to the place you want to set up check-in?
- Is there access for wheelchairs or people with trouble walking?
- What is the availability and location of loading area? (In other words, will you be carrying auction items up flights of stairs?)
- Can you control access to the main room to make sure all guests are registered?
- Is there enough lighting (especially at the registration and check-out areas)? Can you easily control the lighting in the ballroom? Are there auxillary lighting options to spotlight auction items?
- How many – and what size/style – chairs and tables do they have for you to use?
- If you need more tables can the venue arrange rental?
- Are there storage areas and policies – will you be able to put boxes out of the way during the auction, and can you leave large items overnight for pick up the next day?
- Does the ambiance fit with any theme you have already selected? (for example, if you’re planning a western theme, how will it work in a Victorian mansion)
- Is there a place to hang coats? (Especially important if the event is during cold weather)
- How many restrooms are there? Where are they?
- What are the rules about decorations (taping, stapling, etc.)?
Food and Beverage:
- If you’re considering a cash bar: bartender cost and minimum hours, cashier charges, drink prices
- Costs of tax, service charge and/or gratuities
- Can you lock in the catering price at the time of contract?
- Food guarantee policies, is a guarantee required, and how many meals/desserts will be prepared beyond the guarantee?
- If you are required to choose from a list of preferred caterers, get that list
- Can you use a caterer not on their list?
- If you are restricted to one catering option get a copy of the menu with prices and ask:
- Is all table service equipment included in the cost?
- Will you able to taste the food before you commit?
- Can you bring in donated beverages? If so, is there a corkage fee?
- How many bars will be set up?
- Is the staff friendly and helpful?
- How much time will you have for move-in, set-up, tear-down and move-out – and what is the cost if you need more time?
- Do they have sample floor plans, preferably for a similar size auction?
- Get a copy of the contract and read it before you sign it
- What are your clean up responsibilities?