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2040 84th Avenue SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Phone: 206.275.7609
Fax: 206.275.7868
Email: miparks@mercergov.. . .
Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
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How to Pick Your Corporate Venue

By Bre Caldwell

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

Whether you are applying this statement to quantum mechanics, as physicist Neils Bohr did, or to organizing a large revenue-boosting corporate event, it’s a fact. You have two choices: Hide, or plan.

Planning a corporate event involves many factors, some of which are completely out of an event planner’s control. The key to a successful event is preparedness, and the best place to start is with event venues. Read further for advice on landing your organization outstanding event venues that lead to rewarding events.

Determine your budget. A well-planned budget is essential to a fluid, low-stress event planning experience. Be sure to note the following projected costs:

  • Event venues, deposit, and all amenities associated with it
  • Catering (food and beverage)
  • Transportation
  • Décor
  • Entertainment
  • Equipment
  • Marketing
  • Promotional takeaways/gifts
  • Contingency fund (could be as much as 20%)

Record and compare actual costs as you move forward with planning. The contingency fund will be your fall-back in case you are not 100% on the mark regarding actual costs.

Take venue location into consideration. Where are the majority of your guests traveling from? Make it easy for them. Ideally, your corporate event venue should be close to a major thoroughfare, airport and/or within an area that provides easy transportation services and hotel accommodations. If your corporate event venue is more along the lines of a travel destination, research your transportation options so your guests do not have to.

Create a comprehensive check list. Confirm that your corporate event venue allows for all your entertainment and dining necessities. Nothing is worse than landing your entertainment and signing with your caterer, only to find that your venue doesn’t have the proper acoustics and requires you to go through a specific food service.

When touring potential venues, you should arrive armed with all the requirements your entertainment will insist on, whether it is dual projector screens, surround sound, flood lights or square footage. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you need smaller meeting rooms or a conference room for break-out sessions?
  • What type of media will you need?
  • Can guests move freely throughout the venue?
  • Is the location quiet?

Safely estimate capacity. Is your corporate event strictly guest list only? Or open to the public? Estimate on the side of caution, assuming more rather than less attendees. Look at parking capacity. Request information regarding the corporate event venue’s flexibility to adjust set-ups depending on the amount of people who show up. If possible, request RSVPs from your guests.

Review your availability. Before you take the time to meet with a vendor, determine several dates in which you could hold your corporate event. Note that weekend dates oftentimes require further advance booking than weekdays. How flexible can you be in planning? Is the venue worth moving your date? The further out you plan your corporate event, the more likely you will be to get your first pick. Be sure to inquire about the cancellation policy.

Do your research. Review customer ratings online and pay particular attention to hospitality. Will the staff add to your guests’ experience in a positive way? It is essential that the venue you choose for your corporate event provides the ambience that reflects the attitude of your company.

The Mercer Island Community & Event Center is an ideal venue for large or small corporate events, business meetings and banquets in the Seattle area. This award-winning facility is Modern. Central. Superb.

For more information or a personal tour, please contact:

Rachel Gilbert
Reservation Specialist
Phone: (206) 275-7840

Mercer Island Community & Event Center
8236 SE 24th Street
Mercer Island, WA 98040



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