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Planning My First Event: Securing The Venue

In my first post in this mini series all about planning my first ever event I talked about my initial thoughts, figuring out the type of event, and the importance of getting to know my group mates. Right after all of that, we needed to find the venue for this event. This was probably one of the most stressful parts of planning, and we will definitely get into that!

After we decided to have a wine and paint event on Moms Weekend, we needed to find a venue as soon as possible. My university is in a pretty small town, so all the venues are on campus, with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 in town - so we were definitely needing to have this event on campus. With this event being on a special weekend, you had to submit a request to reserve event space and then they would go through the submissions and pick which events would get the space…(instead of just simply reserving a venue if it was available). The deadline to submit this request was very shortly after we were given the project so there was a lot we had to figure out fast. We had to come up with a cute name (we ended up with Paint With Pinot), had to get an idea of the menu, get an idea of the layout, times, and a few other things. Once we were submitted, they would pick the events who were to get a venue two weeks later. I swear this was the longest two weeks of my life. But thankfully, we were picked for the venue we wanted!

It was tough answering all the questions on this request form about the details of the event. We knew that we just wanted appetizers for catering and we definitely wanted wine - but we didn’t know the specifics or anything about the layout and everything else. Luckily, since this is a class project, we were able to kind of skip the questions and just give them a write up about how the event went last year (sold out at 250 people and raised $5,000) - and I honestly think that’s what got us in.

Photo Credit: Andy Thompson

What I Learned

During the application process I learned how to think on my feet, really. With that, I learned that it is okay to not know everything but still be confident that you are going to be successful. We set goals for our event immediately and explained to them (the venue people) that we are going to work extremely hard to meet these goals. Not only did we believe that we would meet the monetary and attendance goals, we believed that we were going to create an enjoyable and inclusive event for our community!

Once we got the venue, we were able to get going with looking for sponsorships/donations. Securing the venue held us off on this because everyone we had talked to before we got the venue wanted to know all about the event - and we just didn’t have the answers. In the next post in this series I am going to share with you all about my experience with finding sponsors and donations. This was challenging but a great learning experience - and this post will come with an awesome story - so please stay tuned!


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