50 Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Next Meeting or Event

Lisé Puckorius, CAE
May 26, 2021

Now, more than ever, there are a multitude of crucial details to consider when planning a meeting or event. From COVID-19 safety and compliance requirements to speaker logistics and coordination, preparation is key. Choosing the right venue can be the catalyst for a successful and collaborative meeting.

Before you sign your meeting venue contract, consider these 50 important questions, and download the checklists (links at the bottom of the list):


Goals and Objectives

  1. Are there separate spaces for all the different types of activities to be hosted?

Attendee registration
General sessions
Workshops or breakout sessions
Networking and meal breaks

  1. Can the space accommodate any special room set-ups or large equipment that may be required?
  2. Are there hybrid and virtual options available for attendees not comfortable attending in-person?

COVID-19 Preparedness

  1. Is the facility GBAC Star Facility accredited?
  2. How is social distancing enforced? Do attendees have to wear a mask?
  3. What air circulation and filtration practices are in place?
  4. Is the venue adaptable if government regulations affect occupancy limits due to COVID? How?

Availability and Location

  1. Is the venue available on our desired date(s)?
  2. How far in advance is booking recommended?
  3. How close is the venue to major transportation hubs?
  4. When is the earliest we can start setting up? And how much time is available for breakdown?
  5. Does the venue accept shipments or deliveries prior to the meeting or event?
  6. Can you place a 24-hour hold on the space and is there an extra charge for the hold?


  1. How easy is it for attendees to get around the venue? Are all meeting rooms and spaces located on one floor?
  2. Is on-site parking available?
  3. What other venue amenities are available?
  4. Where and how many outlets are available for attendees to keep devices charged?
  5. What types of sleeping accommodations are nearby?
  6. Can the venue assist in discounted arrangements with other suppliers (i.e. transportation companies, local restaurants, hotels, etc.)?
  7. How many restrooms are available? Are there dedicated restrooms for attendees?
  8. Is there a dedicated area for attendee registration?
  9. What processes are in place for crowd-control?
  10. What kind of signage is provided to help attendees with wayfinding?

Venue Staffing

  1. What is the staff’s experience with planning and organizing meetings and events?
  2. How many and what staff are included in the rental, and who will be present and available during the meeting?
  3. Will venue staff be available to assist with staggered arrivals?

AV and Technology

  1. What AV is included in my meeting room charge?
  2. What HD capabilities does the venue offer?
  3. Does the room rental cost also include technician(s) and labor?
  4. What are the technical backgrounds of your AV staff?
  5. Is pre-recording available?
  6. What internet options and capabilities does the venue offer?
  7. How are Hybrid meetings handled?
  8. Is there an on-site control room or HD broadcast studio?

Food and Beverage

  1. Does your venue offer catering? Can we choose our own vendors, or do you have a list of preferred vendors?
  2. What kinds of food options are offered: Vegan? Gluten-free? Kosher? Halal?
  3. Are there options for individually packaged food and beverage items?
  4. Are boxed meals available for placement at designed seats at each event?
  5. Can we have a food truck on the venue premises?
  6. Are there food and drink minimums and, if so, what are they?

Safety and Security

  1. What kind of security personnel and equipment does the venue provide?
  2. Is security included in the rental fee?
  3. How secure is the facility? Is there 24/7 closed-circuit monitoring?

Payment Policies

  1. What is the cost to rent the venue for our meeting’s date and time?
  2. Is there a cost difference between booking weekdays versus weekends?
  3. What is your policy regarding last minute changes or cancellations due to weather or other unexpected events?
  4. What kind of deposits/payment schedule is required?
  5. What are insurance requirements?
  6. Are there any additional costs like service charges, gratuities, cleaning fees, or overtime charges?
  7. Are there any additional packages offered to save money?


BONUSPlanning a medical meeting?

Don’t forget to add these questions to your list:

  1. Does the venue offer lab space? If so, how much?
  2. How many participants can you host in the lab?
  3. What kind of clinical and surgical equipment is available?
  4. Is the lab clinical and surgical equipment included in the venue rental costs, or do additional fees apply?
  5. How is lab equipment cleaned and sterilized before each session?
  6. Does the venue provide scrubs and shoe covers?
  7. How are equipment and specimens loaded-in/loaded-out (i.e. a dedicated loading dock, freight elevator, etc.)
  8. What is your staff’s experience with medical meetings?


Need a convenient checklist to cover key questions and take notes? Download these for future use:

Corporate and Association Meetings Checklist

Medical Meetings and  Bio-skills Lab Checklist

To learn more about hosting your next meeting or event at the OLC, contact us!

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