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Featured, Tips, Unique Venues

21 Venues that are Kosher, Halal, Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Vegan

January 8, 2016

I was mostly messing around when I checked all of the food options in VenueCenter’s simple but powerful advanced search options. I expected to break the search or just end up with 0 venues. Instead, I found a bunch of venues around the country that serve kosher, halal, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free food.

Food Options

The Venues

1. Bellagio Hotel | Las Vegas, NV

  • Price: $$$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Hotel

2. DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina | Berkeley, CA.

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Hotel

3. Drury Plaza Hotel Riverwalk | San Antonio, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 251 – 400
  • Venue Type: Hotel

4. Duchman Family Winery | Driftwood, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: ???
  • Venue Type: Villa

5. Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center | Grapevine, TX

  • Price: $$$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Convention/Conference Center, Hotel

6. Hampton Inn Bostn Bedford Burlington | Billerica, MA

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 0 – 75
  • Venue Type: Hotel

7. Highpoint Event Center | Dallas, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 251 – 400
  • Venue Type: Banquet Hall

8. Hilton Palacio Del Rio | San Antonio, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Hotel

9. Holiday Inn Dallas –  Richardson | Richardson, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 251 – 400
  • Venue Type: Hotel

10. Hotel Emma | San Antonio, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Hotel

11. Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas |  Irving, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Banquet Hall

 

These venues were found in under 60 seconds using VenueCenter’s simple and powerful search tool. Find the perfect venue by clicking the button below!

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12. Kindred Oaks | Georgetown, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 151 – 250
  • Venue Type: Banquet Hall, Hotel, Villa

13. Nature’s Point | Lake Travis, TX

  • Price: $$$
  • Capacity: 151 – 250
  • Venue Type: ???

14. Red Oak Ballroom – Austin | Austin, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 151 – 250
  • Venue Type: Banquet Hall

15. Santa Ana Star Center | Rio Rancho, NM

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Arena/Stadium

16. The Bicycle Hotel & Casino | Bell Gardens, CA

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 151 – 250
  • Venue Type: Hotel

17. The Milestone – Aubrey Mansion | Aubrey, TX

  • Price: $$$$
  • Capacity: 251 – 400
  • Venue Type: Villa

18. The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain | Marana, AZ

  • Price: $$$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Hotel

19. The Westin Downtown Dallas | Dallas, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Hotel

20. The Windsor at Hebron Park | Carrollton, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 251 – 400
  • Venue Type: Banquet Hall, Loft

21. Worthham Center | Houston, TX

  • Price: $$
  • Capacity: 401+
  • Venue Type: Retail/Unique Space

Conclusion

I could see needing a venue that is both vegetarian and gluten free, but if you need it to be kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free you may as well tell your guests to bring their own food! Haha.

What do you think? Is there any reason someone would need all of these food options?

Decorations

The 9 Most Beautiful DIY Wedding Reception Centerpieces

November 24, 2015

Gone are the days when we strapped a few colorful rubber bands around a glass and called it a centerpiece. Today’s DIY wedding ceremony centerpieces are unique, classy, and all around beautiful. Whether your looking for DIY decorations because your on a budget, you enjoy arts and crafts, or because your wedding is too unique for anything else, these 9 DIY centerpieces are sure to impress.

You can find instructions and how to’s for any of the DIY wedding reception centerpieces by clicking on the title. The list is organized with the best at number 1 but, it’s kind of hard to have one best centerpiece because of all of the different styles and themes of weddings. The top 9 list should include one great DIY centerpiece for any style wedding, so let’s get started!

Number 9: Lacy Candle Centerpieces

A Beautiful and Easy DIY Centerpiece

Establish a gentle ambiance with these centerpieces that glow like moonlight.

This simple DIY Centerpiece works great for an elegant and romantically themed wedding. It involves grouping clusters of single pillar candles in a variety of lace-covered hurricane lanterns.

Number 8: Moss and Rose Centerpiece

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This unusual, lush display is rustic and modern at once — and inexpensive and easy enough to make yourself.

While not quite as simple as rubber bands over a glass vase, this DIY is one of the simplest reception centerpieces out there! It’s also a very unique, inexpensive and all around beautiful. It’s great for barn weddings and outdoor weddings!

Number 7: Harvest Centerpiece

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A little glue and tissue paper are all you need to transform plastic fruit into a modern, sculptural still-life.

This DIY centerpiece is minimal, chic and beautifully unexpected. The whitewashed fruit is placed on a cake stand and then accented with silver millinery leaves.

 Number 5: Floral Sphere Centerpieces

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Large or small, in groups or alone, these fanciful flower balls are like nothing you or your guests have ever seen.

The only reason we haven’t ranked this DIY centerpiece higher is because of the complexity of the centerpiece. It is the most difficult and most time consuming wedding reception centerpiece on this list, but it is also one of the most beautiful. So beautiful, that it is well worth the complexity of this DIY – just recruit some of your wedding party to help with creating these beautiful floral spheres.

Number 4: It’s All About Birds and Blossoms

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Nature provides such wonderful motifs for weddings. Blossoms are surprising (and timeless) when they’re made of paper or fabric., and they are perfectly paired with little birds, longstanding symbols of love.

This is simple, yet surprisingly beautiful. The centerpiece features branches decorated with millinery birds and paper blossoms. The branches can be placed in vases which are color coordinated with your guests plates. A beautiful and easy DIY centerpiece that will leave your guests wowed.

Number 3: True Paper Whites

a98384_fal00_paperflowers_vert.jpg

In winter, when fresh blossoms may be harder to come by, these lush tissue-paper flowers are in full bloom.

At number 3 on our list, this DIY centerpiece features beautiful tissue paper flowers matched with Christmas balls. These work beautifully in winter and with only 4 steps, they are quite easy to make!

Number 2: Wrapped Branch Centerpiece

ribbon-bow-diy-mwd103633-tree-0515_sq.jpg

An arrangement of branches wrapped in seam binding and bedecked with fabric blooms makes for a minimalist look that holds maximum appeal.

Number 2 on our list of DIY wedding reception centerpieces due to its simplicity and ease to make as well as its unique and beautifully minimal looks this DIY centerpiece is sure to impress your guests.Incredibly simple and incredibly beautiful, there is no reason not to use this centerpiece at your wedding… that is until you see the #1 centerpiece on our list!

Number 1: Tiered Bowl Wedding Centerpiece

bowl-centerpiece-sum11mwd107101_vert.jpg

For a bold and cheery statement piece, fill tiered bowls with dense tufts of goldenrod, fuzzy clusters of mimosa, globe like craspedia balls, olive leaves, kumquats, lemons, and sprigs of fresh lavender.

With only 3 steps, this DIY centerpiece earns its place as number 1 for both its ease of creation and its beautiful looks. While the original tutorial calls for yellow flowers and fruits, you can use any flowers and accents in this simple yet gorgeous wedding centerpiece.

Want to get more great lists like this? Planning your wedding and want useful information each week? Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to receive email updates in the box at the top right of this post. You can also leave a comment to get in touch with us too!

Tips

3 Smart Ways to Create an Active Participatory Conference

November 23, 2015

The active participatory model addresses the 3 biggest trends in the conference industry today:

  1. It creates personalized experiences
  2. It addresses the “big why”
  3. It aims to create the most engaging conference possible

Unfortunately, many of the online guides and advice focus on using cumbersome new apps and start up technology to achieve this when there are ways to create an active participatory event that skips the tech, cuts down on costs, and is just plain easy to do!

1. Integrating Storytelling From the Beginning

As an event planner, you have 3 main goals:

  1. Get people connected
  2. Get people engaged
  3. Get people to interact with your organizations brand

Each of these goals should be started from the moment an attendee registers. So how do you reach all these goals from the get go?

With an interactive welcoming event that tells a story in a creative and unique way. With this welcome event you want to bring out peoples emotions, utilize experimental design and promote engagement and team building.

2. Use a Conference MC

Investing in an experienced conference MC will not only help with transitions between speakers, you’ll find these additional benefits as well:

  • An MC will help set the tone for the event
  • They will help to make the most out of your planning
  • Attendees will be inspired to network and retain new information

3. Utilize Peer to Peer Learning

Getting attendees to learn while networking has always been tough. Traditionally, if you wanted your event attendees to retain new information, you would use the sit and listen method. The problem with forcing your attendees to sit an listen to a lecture is that it ignores their desire to participate and network in the conference.

Polling applications are more of a novelty than an effective tool, and short pitches followed by deep dives make it hard for attendees to retain new information. So if those two methods aren’t up for the task, what is?

Using peer to peer and small group discussions along with your lecture is great way to encourage networking and participation while keeping the ability to teach your attendees in an effective way.

What is VenueCenter and Why Does it Have an Article on Active Participatory Conferences?

VenueCenter is an online tool that helps you find the perfect venue to meet your needs! Our comprehensive online database provides an assortment of venue types all across the United States with pictures and amenities/features for each venue clearly displayed.

VenueCenter is designed to take the hassle out of the venue searching process whether you are a event planner. a professional, a couple planning their own marriage, or just a group of friends looking for a place to party.

We release articles such as this one to help spread knowledge and become a resource for all things pertaining to events, so go ahead and subscribe to our newsletter, or get started searching venues by clicking below!

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Featured, Houston Venues, Weddings

The 5 Most Jaw-Dropping Wedding Venues in Houston

November 19, 2015

Houston is home to some of the most unique, and beautiful wedding venues in the nation, but many of the venues aren’t what you think!

Pictured above is the number 1 wedding venue in Houston during 2015, Station 3.

From one of the most attended museums in the country to a renovated firehouse these unique wedding venues in Houston are sure to wow your guests, and many feature the added bonus of needing only minimal decorations too!

5. Fifty-Two-Twenty-Six

This indoor-outdoor venue boasts 20-foot ceilings, floor to ceiling glass, and modern architecture to create a highly configurable and extremely beautiful wedding venue. The exterior is colorful and lined with palm trees while the inside features a secret garden, meditation pool, and waterfall swimming pool. This venue can hold up to 150 guests and features several choices of spaces.

4. Julia Ideson Library

With marble columns, a grand staircase, and Spanish architecture this library adds all of the romance from the roaring 20’s and then some! The library was recently restored and renovated adding a brand new garden and expanding the possible number of guests to 450. This library would make the perfect wedding venue for a book lover in Houston.

3. Houston Museum of Natural Science

This expansive museum is large enough to host up to 2,000 wedding guests and requires little to no décor. Your wedding will be the envy of all your friends and family when you exchange your vows in the Burke Baker Planetarium and dance alongside dinosaurs in the Morian Hall of Paleontology. If you don’t have a big guest list, don’t worry either! You can rent out some of its smaller rooms and halls to keep the venue from feeling too cavernous.

2. The Astorian

The Astorian is an Art Deco venue featuring the perfect combination of industrial elements, woods and ambient lighting to create a venue similar to a New York City loft. The venue features removable walls and fixtures which make the 28,000 square feet a bride’s playground. More than 400 guests fit in this very unique wedding venue.

1. Station 3

This is a newly restored venue, and probably the most unique on this list! The firehouse turned wedding venue is the perfect marriage of historical charm and modern touches. It can hold up to 250 guests and features the original red brick, dark pine floors, and fireman’s pool alongside a glass staircase and custom made chandeliers. The station was redesigned for use as weddings featuring a catering kitchen and bridal sweet and treats your wedding guests to a spectacular unobstructed view of downtown Houston.

Want to find more unique and jaw dropping wedding venues in Houston, Texas? Browse our collection of over 170 wedding venues in Houston now!

Find your Ideal Houston Wedding Venue

Event Planning

The Secret Reason Why You’re Losing Your Attendees Attention

November 17, 2015

What makes for an epic corporate event? Is it the technology, the speakers and the activities?

There is no doubt that those 3 play a big factor in throwing a successful corporate event, but there is one other factor that every event planner needs to consider when planning their next event.

An Intro Multidimensional Events

Any event, no matter how good the speakers, will put its audience to sleep when the content is all the same. One of the keys to a great event is making sure the event has multiple dimensions.

A dimension is either an emotion or sense. For example, you could use humor to get your attendees to open up and network a bit, then use a beautiful visual to capture attendees interest and wrap it up with a tragedy which touches the compassionate side of your guests.

A Few Dimensions to Use at Your Next Corporate Event

  • Beauty / Visuals
  • Laughter / Comedy
  • Love
  • Connection
  • Tragedy
  • Compassion
  • Heroism / Inspiration
  • Peace / Tranquility
  • Wonder
  • Joy

Does My Event Need to Include All of the Dimensions?

Luckily no. Using more dimensions to get in touch with your audience will increase audience engagement to a point. If you use too many your event attendees may leave feeling confused and overwhelmed. The key is to use between 3 and 5 dimensions. 

Using less than 3 dimensions in your event will run the risk of leaving your guests bored, but more than 5 can result in a diluted message and a confused audience.

Where Does the Idea of the Multidimensional Event Come From?

The idea of employing multiple dimensions to leave an audience with a positive impression is not new. Movies, books and TV shows have used this idea of multiple dimensions to capture their audiences for years.

Let’s take a look at the very successful TV comedy The Office.

Even though The Office is a comedy, there is more than just humor. It contains aspects of love and romance and it connects with the average American by accurately depicting the 9 to 5 job and all of it’s annoyances. That’s 3 separate dimensions which it uses to connect with the average viewer, and, because it had a great multidimensional approach, it became a hit television series.

Your next event can become a hit if you employ multiple dimensions to capture the attention of your event attendees.

How to Easily Plan an Event with Multiple Dimensions

Planning an event which taps into the emotions, feelings, sense and lives of its attendees is a difficult task, but if you follow a few simple steps it can be a seamless part of your planning process.

  1. Find a venue with AV, lighting and decoration which will complement one of your dimensions or be used as a dimension of its own.
  2. Choose speakers with different dimensions. For example, one speaker may be offering a funny speach, while another presenter uses a heart touching story about his mom’s battle with cancer.
  3. Choose to focus on 3 dimensions which reinforce your events core objectives

If you need help finding a venue which complements your events dimensions or even becomes a dimension of its own. check out the great collection of events on VenueCenter. With VenueCenter you can easily find, price and book your next corporate venue whether its a seminar venue in Dallasa conference venue in Austin, or any other venue.

Party Venues, Tips

How to Throw a Party Like Kim Kardashian!

November 13, 2015

Kim and Kanye have a history of going over the top by renting out entire venues from attempting to rent out Versailles for the wedding, renting out Disneyland for North’s birthday and renting a stadium for the proposal. The power couple doesn’t stop either! Kim rented out the entire Staples center (all 950,000 square feet of it) so that Kanye could play basketball with all his friends. There was even a John Legend performance!

So what is the key to throwing over the top parties for those closest to you? The Venue.

Kim and Kanye Know How to Choose a Venue

Had Kim taken Kanye to a street court it wouldn’t have been anywhere close to the level of surprise and awesomeness it was when she rented out the entire basketball stadium for him. Don’t worry, you don’t need to rent out a basketball stadium to make the next party you throw epic, but you do need to look at renting a venue.

Kim and Kanye know the power of choosing a venue. The venue is what pushes the party to become truly epic.

A Few Epic Party Examples:

I’ll list a few normal birthday party ideas below, and next to them I’ll put how to take them to the next level with a new venue (just like Kim and Kanye do).

  • Karaoke Night | Throw a full blown concert night by renting a theatre, concert hall, lounge or bar with a stage and use the lights and speakers provided to have each person put on a concert. Then decide who’s concert performance was best and give them a prize at the end of the night! (You could even have a lip sync battle!)
  • Poker Party | (If possible) Rent out a room at a casino and dress fancy with sunglasses and all. Pretends it’s the world series of poker and go all out. (If there are no casinos in your area) Renting out a lounge will work well too, and can still provide a similar look and feel as a casino.
  • Murder Mystery Party | Complete this unique and epic theme party by renting out a mansion or museum that way your guests have both the thrill of a great party and an exciting venue to explore. The venue will also complete the mood and add to the theme, especially if it’s an older mansion or museum.

How to Find a Great Party Venue

So, we’ve seen that Kim and Kanye throw awesome parties and that the secret lay in the venue. The only thing keeping you from throwing the party of the year is finding the perfect venue! If you’re looking for party venues in Dallas, Houston or Austin you have nothing to fear as VenueCenter can help you find, price and book the perfect venue. Start searching for adult party venues in Houston, Austin, and Dallas now!

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Corporate Event Venues, Tips

Top 10 Factors to Consider When Looking for Your Next Corporate Event Venue

November 11, 2015

Do you want your next corporate event to end in a standing ovation? Yes – of course you do! In order to create an ovation worthy event, you need to create a corporate event which is a cut above the rest. How do you do that? Well it all starts with choosing the best corporate event venue.

Here are the 10 key items to look for when choosing a venue for corporate event use:

1. Friendly and Knowledgeable Event Staff

A corporate event venue which provides both knowledgeable and friendly staff will help take some of the burden off of you as the event planner and will also help the event to run smoothly and error free. Check online reviews to see how friendly and knowledgeable the staff are.

2. A Flexible Schedule

A venue with a flexible schedule will allow you to get discounts on dates which aren’t filled.

3. The Size and Configuration of the Venue and its Rooms

An ideal venue for hosting corporate events will be large enough to accommodate a crowd without feeling cramped, but no so large that it’s cavernous.

4. Quality and Variety of Food

Many forget about the food when it comes to corporate events, but the food can make or break the event – even if it’s just appetizers!

5. Location and Accessibility

Having a venue at a scenic location always adds to the memorability of the event, and don’t be afraid of an event which is a little bit out of the way. Depending on the type of corporate event you are throwing, a road trip with the team may be a great way to encourage creativity and build team strength.

6. Activities and Amenities

Activities and Amenities may not seem that important, but they can be great for teambuilding exercises and provide a fun break for the moments in between speakers.

7. WIFI and Cell Reception

Unless one of the goals of the event is to unplug and unwind, internet access and a good cell phone connection is a must.

8. Lighting and AV

Any good corporate event venue should have AV and lighting capabilities. You’re looking for things like projectors, TV’s, PA systems, etc.

9. Environmentally Conscious

This isn’t required for every event, but it is becoming increasingly important. Check out my previous article on choosing a sustainable event venue for more on this topic.

10. The Mood, Theme and Feel of the Corporate Event Venue

Every venue has its own style, and that style translates into a theme, feeling and/or mood. If the venue’s style clashes with the feel of the event, it should be skipped. Use photos and an in person visit to get a feel for the theme and feel of the event venue.

In Conclusion,

A great venue is one of the most important parts of creating a memorable event. Due to the large role of the venue in an event’s success, careful consideration needs to be given in choosing the best corporate event venue. Save time and money by searching for event venues on VenueCenter whether you’re looking for a seminar venue in Dallasa conference venue in Austin, or any other venue.

Tips, Weddings

Is an All Inclusive Wedding Worth It?

November 6, 2015

Many couples wonder whether all inclusive weddings are right for them, or if they are even worth it. The Knot describes an all inclusive wedding as “One flat fee [which] covers your room plus all meals, unlimited drinks, entertainment, tips, taxes, airport transfers, and a list of activities (most with instruction and equipment) as long as the train of a wedding dress. Some even include weddings! What’s not included: airfare, gift shop goodies, departure taxes, and phone calls. (Cruises do not include soda, alcoholic drinks, or tips.) Off-site excursions, rental cars, and spa treatments are usually not included except as part of a package.”

In otherwords, an all inclusive wedding is a wedding package which provides everything needed for your wedding for one flat price.

Are All Inclusive Weddings Cheaper?

Yes. Well, most of the time. It all depends on your location. In some areas, choosing individual vendors will actually save you some money, but it may not be enough to offset the stress of coordinating with many vendors. You may also need to hire a day of coordinator (or DOC). Here are a few points to consider when looking at the price of all inclusive weddings:

  • Are there any extra fees from using individual vendors instead of a package? (extra set up time needed, delivery fees, etc.)
  • Will you need to hire a DOC?
  • Are the items in an all inclusive wedding upgraded/nicer? How much would it cost to get the same quality of food, chairs, etc.?

Are All Inclusive Weddings Customizable?

Yes. Many couples are surprised to find out the many different options for their all inclusive wedding. They often have the same customizability as individual vendors would. Usually you can get  in touch with the different individuals responsible for each part of the wedding. One couple shared how they were able to choose from different cakes and how they sent a few pictures of what they wanted the wedding to be like with their all inclusive wedding capturing the feel of the images perfectly.

All Inclusive Wedding Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • All inclusive weddings can provide significant savings on your wedding day!
  • Ease of having only one bill
  • No surprise costs which cause your wedding to go over budget
  • Tips are included in the price
  • Many fun and unique activities are included for you to try
  • Most of the time, there are onsite wedding planners to help your wedding go by smoothly
  • Much less stressful

Cons:

  • Unincluded activites (like a spa treatment, massage or cruise) will cost extra
  • If the included activites don’t interest you, you may be wasting money.
  • Occasionally, all inclusive packages do cost more (but this is not always the case)
  • For the most couples, all inclusive weddings offer enough flexibilty, but if you have a specific vision for your perfect day, or you demand a very large amount of customizability you may want to go with individual vendors.

In Conclusion,

All inclusive weddings offer convenient, activity filled weddings and for many couples, that’s more than enough. There are some who demand a very specific theme for their wedding, and in that case you may need to choose independant vendors. Be warned though that individual vendors will most likely be more expensive! A great place to start yoursearch is on VenueCenter. Its easy to find, quote and book a venue whether your looking for wedding venues in Dallas, AustinHouston, or San Antonio!

  Find Your Wedding Venue

Event Planning, Tips, Weddings

18 Hidden Costs When Booking a Venue!

October 23, 2015

All venues have “hidden costs”. These costs aren’t so much hidden as they are forgotten or not thought of. Take a vineyard wedding venue for example, A beautiful wedding venue, but I’m sure you don’t want your guests having allergic reactions to any mosquito or bug bites! To prevent those nasty bugs you’re going to have to buy a lot of citronella candles, and I bet you never thought about that cost!

It doesn’t matter what type of wedding venue you choose, there is always going to be a list of associated costs, and many of them will catch you unaware and eat into your wedding budget. Read this guide on hidden wedding costs before you book your venue if you want to keep your wedding under budget.

Outdoor Wedding Venues

Outdoor weddings provide a great romantic vibe, but they also come with a few extra costs that you need to be prepared for!

Additional Costs:

A Tent – Even if the wearther forcast is clear, you need to have a tent (or multiple tents) as a precaution. Also if your wedding is taking place at night, those tents will need addtional lighting too!

Permits – Getting married in a public place such as a beach or a park will require you to buy a permit from your local government. You may need to pay a location fee and even get wedding insurance. Tents sometimes require additional permits as well.

The Dance Floor – If you don’t want people’s heels breaking and getting stuck in the mud, you’ll need to rent a dancefloor. Dancefloors usually need additional, subflooring on grass – which means it will cost you even more.

A High-Powered Set of Speakers – Since it is much harder to hear at an outdoor event, you will need a larger set of speakers.

Destination Wedding Venues

Traveling to an exotic and fun destination wedding is, well, exotic and fun, but there are a few costs that everyone seems to forget about!

Additional Costs:

Planning trips – You need to make at least one visiting trip to your wedding location before the wedding. This of course means paying for travel, hotel and food expenses, and if you were only planning to take one trip you’ll find your destination wedding to be more than you budgeted for.

Transportation – If you are having decorations shipped to the location of your wedding you will need to pay the extra to get them there, you may even need to fly in your photographer, hairstylist and makeup artist!

Regional Marriage Requirements – Research and budget for your marriage requirements. Depending on the location, you will need to be in the country for a period of time before the wedding. In France for example, a couple needs to be in the country for 40 days before the wedding can take place!

Exchange Rates and Taxes – Brush up on these too as you can either save money or make every single expense pricier depending on your location!

The Second Reception – Not everyone will be able to go to your wedding, will you be planning a reception back at home for the family and friends that could attend? If so, you have to add that to the cost of your wedding!

Hotel Wedding Venues

We’ve said it over and over again on VenueCenter: hotels offer a tremendous level of convenience with their preset wedding packages, on staff wedding planners and plethora of amenities, but there are a few extra costs to consider!

Additional Costs:

Corkage Fee – Some hotels will charge an extra fee if you bring in outside alcohol. It’s something to keep in mind and to ask before making any final decisions.

External Vendors Fee – Just like the corkage fee, this fee isn’t added on at all hotels, but if your choosing to bring in cake, food and flowers from outsite vendors or vendors not on the list of preffered vendors you may have a fee applied.

Overtime – Overtime fees are applied at most every venue, and any venue which includes cleanup and garbage removal. If you run past your allotted time, expect to be charged by the hour and if you run past midnight expect to incur an additional fee.

Conclusion

Every venue has hidden costs, it’s not like they are trying to rip you off or are not fair, these prices are just things that many forget to think about. A good rule of thumb would be to keep a little bit of your budget saved for any costs which you may not have expected. An easy way to find, price, and book the perfect venue is to use VenueCenter. Find the perfect venue now whether your searching for wedding venues in Dallas, Houston, Austin or San Antonio.

Corporate Event Venues, Tips

How To Get The Perfect Crowd At Your Next Corporate Event

August 27, 2015

You can tell how successful an event is by the guests which attend. Whether you have thousands of attendees or just a handful of colleagues, having a targeted group of guests is key to hosting a productive event.

But how do you know who to invite and convince them to attend?

This quote from Dave Welty, from Maloney & Fox (a PR firm) should be made into your goal: “Look for influential consumers who are interested in what your brand is doing and what your brand is going to continue to do in the future.”

Getting the Perfect Crowd: The Venue

One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is selecting the right corporate event venue. This is probably the most important step in drawing in the perfect crowd. The reason it is so important is that depending on your event venue you will draw in a different crowd. This means if you choose something intimate and professional like a meeting space you will end up with a much different crowd than if you choose a venue for a corporate party.

There are a few things to consider when choosing the right venue.

  • What are the transportation alternatives, if any?
  • How long does it take to travel to the event?
  • Will your targeted guests be able to get to the event in an easy and quick way?
  • How will your guests leave at the end of the night? (Everyone may not be willing to drive a far at the end of the night – which would cause guests to leave early)
  • How many guests can the venue accommodate? Will this be enough?
  • Will food or drinks be provided? If so, are they included in the price or do guests pay for themselves?

Getting the Perfect Crowd: Keeping Guests Connected and Interested

One of the toughest parts to hosting any successful event is the task of building lasting relationships. Even if you have the perfect venue and crowd you can miss out on a wealth of opportunity if you do not connect with your guests.

Even if guests say they want to connect you may have trouble actually getting them to act when you reach out to them after the event. Even though there is no secret formula for keeping your attendees interested and getting them to connect after the event you can do a few things to increase your chances:

  • Gather feedback on your event and use it to make changes and improvements to future events.
  • Connect your guests with each other during the event.
  • Create a social media pages for the event and be sure to create your own hashtag. This helps by building a community and getting people excited for future events. It may also be used to increase your attendance as people see the pictures on Instagram or have the page recommended to them on Facebook.

So whether you are looking to a corporate event venue in Austin, corporate conference venue in Houston or  venue with meeting space in Dallas, VenueCenter Has you covered!

 

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Around The Web

Behind just Houston and Austin, America’s third fastest-growing region is Dallas

July 21, 2015

With so many jobs being created in the state, it’s no wonder Texas is leading the way in fastest-growing cities in the nation.

While Houston was at the top of the list for“America’s Fastest-Growing Cities 2015″ by Forbes, and Austin was a close second, it was Dallas that rounded out the nation’s top three.

The cities are categorized by Metropolitan Statistical Areas, or as Forbes describes “cities and their surrounding suburbs, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Read the full article at the Dallas Morning News.

Event Planning, Tips

6 Ways To Cut Expenses When Planning An Event

July 16, 2015

In our previous blog, we discussed how to save money when you are booking a venue; however, in today’s blog,VenueCenter would like to give you some tips on how to trim the budget of your actual event.

According to statistics, couples in DallasHouston and Austin spend approximately $20,000 to $35,000 for weddings. Additionally, on average, couples spend about $11,000 just for their wedding venue in those cities.  People spend lots of money not only on wedding venues, but on other event venues such as for birthday parties and corporate events as well.  Although hosting an event can be costly, there are a couple of ways to cut the budget of your event without sacrificing quality.

  1. Look For Venues That Allow You To BYOB

We have all been to a cash bar at an event and thought to ourselves “$10 for a beer. WTF? I could have bought a 6 pack for that price!”  Well consider this, on average, your guests are going to have approximately 2 drinks per hour (i.e. $20 per hour/ per person). As you can see, this figure can easily get out of hand, so as an alternative, you find a venue with a BYOB policy.  Most BYOB venues will require that you hire a bartender certified by your state’s alcohol licensing board. A BYOB venue can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Sidenote: Even if a venue does not require you to have a certified bartender, VenueCenter suggests that you hire one for two reasons: (i) certified bartenders know the laws and regulations related to serving patrons and (ii) the ambiance of an event is much more elegant with someone serving drinks.  A bartender will allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy your event, while your guests enjoy their favorite libations.

Outside Catering

  1. Find A Venue That Allows Outside Catering

We have all been to a company banquet, wedding or luncheon that serves the “standard” banquet meal (a plate of chicken or beef, potatoes, and under or over cooked green beans or broccoli.  No one loves the “standard” event meal and at an average of $30 per person, who wants to serve a “blah” meal. By finding a venue that allows outside catering, you can break away from traditional banquet food, compare prices of different catering companies and pick the best cuisine suited for your event and budget.

Sidenote: When shopping for vendors, try and be as vague as possible and refer to your event simply as a ‘celebration.’ Prices tend to rise when you mention “weddings,” “corporate events” or anything with “baby” in it. We are only partially kidding here.

 

Outside Food

 

 

  1. Opt For Buffet Style Over A Plated Dinner

For venues that do not allow outside catering, opting for a buffet style dinner over a plated dinner will typically save money.

Sidenote: Even if the venue does not require you to have servers for buffet style dinners, hire one.  Professional staff will give your event a more elegant feel.

centerpiece

  1. Create Centerpieces Yourself

Venues and vendors do a really good job of selling table centerpieces. Centerpieces can add the right amount of glitz and allow your event to look truly breathtaking. Flower centerpieces always look great on tables, but be careful, centerpieces are deceitful and once the clock strikes midnight and the event is over, they turn into Cinderella with no slipper.  A quick way to reduce this cost, is to create some of the centerpieces yourself. You can do this for pennies on the dollar. Get a see-through vase, add (i) water, fruit, marbles, or shiny stones and (ii) flowers (plastic or real), and you are done.

Sidenote: Can you tell which of the two centerpieces pictured above was DIY? Probably not and that’s good, because I am not telling.

 

centerpiece

  1. Use Electronic Invitations (Evite, Paperless Post, etc.)

With the digitilization of our lives and schedules, an electronic invitation is not only a cheaper alternative to traditional invitations ($2 per invitation for snail mail vs. FREE for electronic invitations), but it also a faster and more effective way to send invitations. On the receiving end, you open an email, click RSVP, then add it to your outlook or Google calendar and you are done. Your computer will remind you about the event when it is approaching. From the host’s perspective, you send a mass email to your list of invitees and get real-time information as to whether or not your invitees are able to attend the event, therefore, giving you more time to forecast the expenses for your event.

Sidenote: If someone hassles you about being ‘cheap’ for sending an electronic invitation, tell them you are only trying to do your part for the environment by going green.

music

  1. Consider Creating A Playlist Via Spotify Or A Similar Music Platform

I know this, depending on the type of event, one of the most important factors in determining whether or not your event was a good or bad event, will be the entertainment (DJ or band).  Some DJ’s cost upwards of $1,000 for an event.  As an alternative to paying for a DJ, you could develop a playlist that matches the mood you want at your event. Let’s take a wedding for instance:  During the cocktail hour (or when the bride and groom are taking pictures), have one genre of music playing, then transition to the introduction of the wedding party, then to first dance, and then transition to party time. You can set your playlist to have different music for every transition point and portion of the vent.  One of your friends can even act as an MC.  Most people at the event will not be able to tell the difference, but your pocket book surely will! Let’s compare:  $12 for spotify (cancel once the event is over) v. $1000 for a DJ.

Sidenote: Depending on whether or not your venue has A/V equipment, you may have to rent speakers or other equipment, which will increase the cost slightly.

The 6 tips listed above will help you decrease the bottom line, while not sacrificing the quality of your event.

So whether you are looking for Fort Worth wedding venues or want to throw a pool party, we have you Covered! Let VenueCenter help you search for your Ideal.

Find Your Ideal Venue For Any Event