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Heather Jones

Winter is Coming: Four Tips to Move Special Events Indoors

Make your indoor events functional and fun with these four tips from venue expert Heather Jones.

As the weather gets crisper and temperatures start to drop, the seasonal change to fall and winter brings in an influx of indoor events. While outdoor events can be a blank canvas, sometimes indoor events need a little extra love to truly personalize the experience.

With custom touches and careful preparation, an indoor event can be an unforgettable memory for all. Read on for ways to create a winning event for your client, no matter the space.

1. Consider the must-haves.
This will depend heavily on the venue, but there are some things you need to have at an indoor event regardless. 

When it’s cold out, you need to have a coat check area. Is there a place to store umbrellas? Even indoors, do you need to add heaters for certain areas? Think about how you can keep the guests comfortable during their visit to the venue.

2. Look at your event from all angles.
When mapping out the space, put yourselves in the shoes of both guests and servers. Is there enough space for people to mingle easily? Are the restrooms easily accessible? How about the service entry? As a guest, would you be in awe as you enter the space?

In most spaces, it makes sense to place the bars and popular food items away from the entrance but in an area easily accessible for guests. However, these stations also need to be in a place that allows for the service team to quickly restock as needed. Work through the logistics from both perspectives to ensure everybody’s comfort.

3. Collaborate on the floor plan.
Once you have a layout of the space, work with your vendor partners to understand what they will be bringing in and what they’ll need for setup. Don’t make assumptions, as that’s an easy way to set the scene for a day-of crisis. 

Ask your partners for their insight on questions such as: Does this layout work? Is there a better solution? Is there anything missing? Always leave a little wiggle room in your diagram—more often than not, you’ll find that you need more space than you thought.

4. Add extra atmosphere to the venue with custom touches.
Learning more about your clients’ interests can lead you in the right direction towards special touches that make their event speak to who they are. Did the wedding couple meet at a carnival? Bring in a popcorn machine or cotton candy maker. Are they obsessed with coffee? Put together a coffee station with personalized cup sleeves. Personal touches don’t need to be grand; they just need to make the client feel special and appreciated.

With a bit of effort, indoor events can be truly spectacular for everyone involved. Simply be mindful of the venue’s parameters and prioritize the guest experience and you can’t go wrong.

Heather Jones is the catering sales director for Wente Vineyards, a family-owned property that is home to a winery and vineyards, a golf course, restaurant, and unique facilities for hosting weddings and special events.

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