photo by Jose Villa
If You Own a Venue, Here Are 9 Ways to Make Your Venue Tours Awesome
What kind of lasting impression does your first impression give? Does your wedding location or event venue look its best when a prospective client walks through? We asked experts across the globe, wedding and party planners who tour...
photo by Jose Villa
What kind of lasting impression does your first impression give? Does your wedding location or event venue look its best when a prospective client walks through? We asked experts across the globe, wedding and party planners who tour venues on the daily, what sells them and their clients most. To seal the deal for your next fete, be sure to include these key ideas to hosting a successful venue tour.

Whether hosting a hotel tour or a blank space site visit, giving your guests a great experience helps them to believe their guests will have one too. So show off your event venues with gusto, know what makes you special and help them see it in their extra special day.

Reporter: Harmony Walton
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Welcome Clients Right

Photo by Allan Zepeda
"From the moment your guests get out of the car and are greeted by either a valet driver or doorman, they should feel welcome. The tour should be done as if the guests were entering their actual event and understand the flow of the evening. At some point it is always nice to have a room set aside with a table, if space allows, showcasing your standard dinner set up and a beautiful floral display (no dried flowers please!). Perhaps this is an area you have some snacks or butler passed champagne to really set the tone. This area may also have a TV with video loops of previous events you have done so they really get a full understanding of different ways to use the space. I think showing them sleeping rooms (if available) is important as well. And never plan a site inspection at the tail end of an event or the morning after when the space is in breakdown mode - a mistake that is often made!" - Leslie Mastin, Leslie Mastin Events
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Serve Champagne

"CHAMPAGNE. Honestly, it really leaves a lasting impression. Makes everyone feel super doted on and special. Also, any kind of visual walk through with ideas for their specific party so that the clients can really visualize themselves there work wonders. For example, if there is a beautiful spot that works for photos, paint that visual picture for them so they can emotionally attach to the space. You know, manipulate that sh*t. Works every time." - Jesi Haack, Jesi Haack Design and Slaack Productions
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Set the Mood

"Lighting and ambiance are so important, even if the site inspection is during the day. If you go into a room that is dark with the windows closed, it is a totally different experience than when all the windows are open and the lights are dimmed but happy. Candles and scents are a great addition too, when the setting calls for it." - Alejandra Poupel, Alejandra Poupel Events
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When in Doubt, Serve Sweets

Photo by Scott Clark
"Get to know a little bit about the clients before they visit and greet them with a welcome beverage to enjoy that may be personal to them. You can always ask their planner in advance – do they love wine, a specific cocktail or sweets? Be thoughtful to the time of day for their visit as well. If it’s a morning tour – perhaps a cappuccino or iced coffee. If it’s an evening tour – offer them wine that is specific to the area or a signature cocktail that the property is known for. When in doubt, chocolate or mini desserts always go a long way! Enjoying a drink together is a great way to break the ice and get to know one another before diving into a formal tour." - Angela Margolis and Erin Sprinkel, Sterling Social
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Know Your Numbers

Photo by Krista Mason
"Answers and guidelines are the key to a successful venue tour. Making sure to be clear on what can/cannot be done in the space and having measurements and blank diagrams is so helpful to clients and their vendor teams. This will help them plan and design accordingly and avoid any last minute changes or fees." - Gianna SanFilippo, Chic Celebrations
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Sell What Sets You Apart

"As a planner and venue consultant, I encourage people to focus on what makes the venue special. I work with a wonderful property called Knapp Ranch where their focus in on the architectural, artistic and sustainable factors of the venue. So when guests arrive, they get a curated walk around the property that includes details about the venue design, a stroll through the outdoor sculptures and education about how they aim for net zero waste. A successful partnership between a client and a venue always includes trust in those who are working together and mutual respect in each other’s investments and core values." - Emily Campbell, Bella Design & Planning and Knapp Ranch
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Be Open to New Ideas

"If a venue works with an exclusive list of preferred vendors, most luxury clients will feel trapped. When in a site inspection, if a host finds out there are mandatory vendors to work with, they feel the venue is getting a commission and not thinking of the quality of the event or tailor made personal touches. Be careful to say, "We have our preferred vendors but we are open to your suggestions upon our approval." Clients love when they feel the venue is open to new ideas and even like challenges. When someone leads with, "NO we can’t do this," or, "NO we can’t do that," they feel limited so their vision will be limited, especially with higher budget events. Say YES! Show your flexibility and creativity when working with potential clients." - Alejandra Poupel, Alejandra Poupel Events
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Get Personal

"When showing your property to a prospective client, I recommend trying to “paint the picture” of their wedding day so they can clearly picture their own wedding in the space. Start by asking questions about their vision and what they love and then as you are moving through the space, talk about unique/fun ways that other couples have designed the space. When I’m walking through a venue with a couple for the first time, I love to brainstorm with them and I try and come up with fun design ideas on the spot (where they can put their cake, where to put a lounge, etc.) so they can really picture their own day in the space. It takes a little more time in the tour, but if I can get a client to truly “see” their wedding in the space, they are much more likely to book!" - Tyler Speier, Tyler Speier Events
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Turn Up the Energy

Photo by Amy Zaroff
"Remember that even though you see this property every day, your prospects may have never seen it. Your enthusiasm and excitement for and about the space, and all of the possibilities within it are what sells. The more excited you are, the more likely the prospect will be too. Many clients we have worked with were sold based on the “wow” factor they felt from the staff - sometimes even more than the space itself. Energy is contagious. Be sure your positive energy is seen and felt." - Amy Zaroff, Amy Zaroff Events + Design

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