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Category Archive: Venues

New Year, New Venue

While your basic hotel conference room can work great as an event venue, there’s no need to use it as a fallback option — Orlando is home to a wide variety of unique event venues! Take a look at a few of our favorite options that are sure to impress and wow your guests.

The Acre Orlando
In the words of Orlando Weekly, the Acre Orlando is “the best event space you never knew existed.” If you’re looking for a venue with rustic charm, natural light, tropical gardens, and tin-roofed charm, the Acre Orlando could be a great choice for your Orlando corporate event, grand celebration, wedding, or bridal/baby shower.

Leu Gardens
Located minutes from downtown Orlando, Leu Gardens is a semi-tropical, botanical oasis. It’s home to nearly 50 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, lakes, and trails, all sheltered by 200-year-old oaks and seas of camellias. They host weddings, receptions, and private events.

The Orlando Science Center
Did you know that the Orlando Science Center offers 200,000 square feet of exhibits turned event space? Whether you want a backdrop featuring a modern skyline or prehistoric dinosaurs, it’s easy to transform this space into your dream venue. Make sure to check out their meetings and events guide!

Hub 925
This urban loft specializes in weddings, receptions, meetings, and private and corporate events. If you’re hoping for an “industrial chic” feel, this is the venue for you. They have excellent customer service, and you can even take a virtual interactive tour of the space before going in for a meeting.

Mathers Social Gathering
Located in the heart of downtown, Mathers is an antique-filled, parlor-style cocktail lounge. They describe themselves as “a stylish, dark wood, exposed-brick filled hideaway housed on the third floor of a vintage furniture store from the late 1800s.” They can accommodate 100 people seated and 200 people standing.

The Balcony Orlando
Are you hoping for a rooftop event? This elegant venue hovers 11 stories over the heart of downtown Orlando. Featuring over 10,000 square feet of outdoor space and 3,000 square feet of indoor space, guests can enjoy sweeping skyline views under quaint market lighting.

Gallery J Venue
Self-described as “a world of secrets hidden within an office warehouse complex and re-purposed art studio,” Gallery J prides themselves on being “Orlando’s most creative event venue.” Hoping for a vintage Hollywood feel? A “Chicago meets Philly vibe?” An evening in Paris or Mardi Gras in New Orleans? All possible at Gallery J!

SNAP! Space
This indoor-outdoor, upscale, warehouse art gallery was named by BizBash as one of the top 5 venues in Orlando. However, keep in mind that they will not host weddings, promoted events, or ticketed functions.

The Pointe Orlando
If you’re planning an exceptionally large event, The Pointe Orlando might be what you’re looking for — they can host up to 10,000 guests! This venue is a great option for block-style parties or for events where guests are hoping to eat and party late into the night.

Whether you’re planning an Orlando corporate event, a wedding, or even an awards ceremony, there’s an Orlando venue for you. Contact us to find out how we can help you take your event to the next level!

 

Winning Negotiation Strategies

Finding the perfect venue is critical, but it can be a challenge — and a major expense. It’s important to approach venues with the mindset that everything is negotiable as long as you know what you’re doing; after all, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

Don’t Share Your Budget Right Away
Rather than divulging your budget, say, “We’re still working on our budget, so just give me your standard rates for now.” The venue will likely share their top pricing, and you can negotiate from there. (This changes if you’ve used the venue before; if you have a good relationship, sharing your budget at the beginning could help you get more for your money.)

Be Flexible
A venue’s goal is to be booked all the time. If you have a few dates you’re willing to consider, you may get discounted pricing for a day they’re having difficulty filling. However, if all of your dates are around the same time and the venue is fairly full, there’s a chance they won’t be as flexible with pricing! Do some research and find out when the “off season” is to save money.

Don’t Overestimate Attendees
If you’re working with a hotel and you give them your dream attendance number — rather than a more practical one — you’re locking yourself into a higher minimum pay for food, beverage, and reserved rooms, meaning there’s a chance you’ll have to pay a penalty if you don’t meet those minimums.

Prove Your Value
If you’ve held similar events in the past, it can be helpful to show the venue that you’re known for meeting your food, beverage, and guest minimums. They need to see that you’re a reliable source of revenue. If so, they’re more likely to negotiate with you.

Maximize Your Comped Ratio
Many hotels offer a standard deal where they comp one room’s fee for every 50 booked. Depending on the overall spend of your event, you can try and negotiate this for an even better deal.

Don’t Be Fooled
“We have another interested party for this same day and time, so I’d act fast if I were you.” “This pricing is only available for the next 24 hours!” These statements may or may not be true, but you have no way of knowing for sure, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to make a hasty decision based on a predictable sales tactic. At the end of the day, if a venue wants your business, they’ll work with you — and if they don’t, that’s one less candidate for you to worry about.

Free Meeting Spaces
If you’re meeting your minimum spend, the venue is likely willing to work with you! Ask if they can provide a complimentary meeting space or hospitality room.

Required Vendors
If your venue refuses to let you use an outside vendor, get quotes from outside vendors to negotiate with the venue on the prices of their approved vendors. A venue would rather work with their vendor to lower the price than lose your business!

For tips on tricks on negotiations, publicizing your event, writing a winning proposal, and more, check out our blog! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Orlando event planning experts at Fun Planners at 407-955-4949.

Plan in Advance to Enjoy Your Own Event

We’ve all been guilty of waiting until the last minute to plan an event, and the stress of scrambling in a time crunch can cause unnecessary panic. When you organize your event in advance and get help from a skilled team, last-minute planning disasters will be a thing of the past.

If You Need A Venue, Caterer and Entertainment
Finding the right venue, cuisine, and entertainment can be overwhelming as the date of your event draws closer. The sooner you find a venue, the better! If your event is six months out, start venue hunting right away. Remember that October, November, and March are peak wedding months in Florida, so for those events in particular, availability can be limited if you don’t plan ahead.  

You’ll be ready to move on to catering within two to three weeks. Take someone with you when choosing a venue to make the decision easier and faster, and delegate that responsibility to them while you move on to researching entertainment. Your goal should be to have booked your entertainment and catering four or five months before the event. Then, you can use the remaining months to focus on details like decorations and party favors.

If You Need A Venue and Catering
If you’re planning a conference or similar event and won’t be needing a band or performers, give yourself five months to get fully organized. You’ll need to decide on the venue by the three month mark, and then you have a week or so to choose the caterer. All-inclusive venues that provide food for guests in-house can be an efficient, one-stop-shop approach to event planning that help to lighten your team’s workload.

If You Only Need Catering
Backyard bashes and family reunions make location a non-issue, but booking the caterer far in advance will allow you more time to complete all your other checklist items. Feedback on cuisine from your team takes some of the responsibility off your back. Your planning process may be short, but to avoid the chaos of finding a caterer just weeks before your event, be sure to choose one three months ahead of time.

Looking to make your Orlando event planning strategy quick and painless? We can help you make your event a success and avoid last-minute stress before the big day. Contact us today at 407-955-4949 to find out how!

Inside or Outside? Event Venue Pros and Cons

Planning an event in Orlando can be difficult, especially when it comes to picking a venue. Florida weather can be temperamental, but Orlando also has some of the best outdoor venues to be found. Although the perfect venue depends on your event, here are some things to consider when deciding whether you want an indoor or outdoor venue.

OUTDOOR PROS
Atmosphere
When the weather is good, guests will enjoy being outside for festivities. Outdoor venues provide a great ambiance and beautiful, natural views, and there’s less need to worry about decoration.

Budget
Outdoor venues will generally be less expensive than indoor options, and may even be free to use! If you’re planning an event during a good weather season, this is a huge financial boon.

Space
With an outdoor venue, you don’t have to worry about running out of space or guests feeling cramped. More people can come to your event, and you’ll have more room for activities and themed decor!

OUTDOOR CONS
Weather
Weather can change in a snap, and if your event is planned in a rainy season, you might want to avoid an outdoor venue. Rain can ruin an event, and if it’s too hot, guests likely won’t appreciate being outside. You also run the risk of losing decorations and signs to the wind.

Facilities
It’s important to have easily available bathrooms at your event, and with an outdoor venue that can be tricky. If the facilities are too far away, it could prove a big hassle.

Insects/Pests
Having an outdoor event has the added challenge of dealing with pests like mosquitos, wasps, and ants. Food can quickly attract flies and other unwanted diners.

INDOOR PROS
Weather
With an indoor event, you have complete control over the weather and temperature! Even if the weather outside is harsh, an event can easily be enjoyed from inside.

Power Supply
You don’t have to worry about where or how you’re going to power any electrical devices because indoor venues typically come equipped with power. They also offer controlled lighting, so your event can continue well into the night.

Flexible Decor
Barring fire hazards, there’s no limit to your idea of the perfect decorations for your event. No weather will interfere with your setup, and you can let your vision run wild.

INDOOR CONS
Space
With an indoor venue, you run the risk of running out of space! Indoor venues tend to get cramped fast, and that can slow down an event like nothing else.

Budget
Indoor venues can be expensive and hard to book at the right times. If you’re planning to have a long event or are scheduling on a short notice, this might not be the best option.

Winter
It can be almost impossible to find an indoor venue in the winter because the weather will force indoor venues to be in high demand. If you’re planning a winter event, be sure to book your venue well in advance of the season.

Venues can make or break an event! Our experts can help you with any Orlando event planning needs, from the best venue to the best entertainment. To learn more about how to plan a perfect event, check out our blog!