As a consumer, what do you look for when you are going to make a purchase?  What are the most important factors to you?  Price frequently is a consideration; however is it the only consideration?  What other factors come into play during the decision making process?  Obviously there is not a set of standards that every single person follows, as each individual weighs the importance of factors differently.  The old saying “you get what you pay for” can be extremely relevant, especially when you are making significant and important purchases.  Your wedding reception would most definitely fall under the significant/important purchase category; putting together a list of what attributes you would consider most valuable plays a key role in the venue selection process is extremely important.  Discuss the elements of the reception with each other (bride & groom) and with your parents, especially if they are helping to pay for the event.  It will be helpful to have hashed all of this out prior to doing your site visits to the venues, as everyone will be on the same page and valuable time will be saved.  Some of the areas/elements that you will want to touch on will be:

1)      Size of the venue and shape of the actual banquet space

2)      Atmosphere of the facility (Is it updated?  How is the lighting?  Is it kept clean?)

3)      Accommodations / Amenities the facility offers (such as: décor options, equipment needed, services for setup/teardown, sufficient event staffing)

4)      Food and Beverage options/quality/portion sizes

5)      Experience of the staff / venue reputation

Once you have decided on which area(s) are most important, you will be able to make a more educated decision when you are presented with the costs of each venue.  As I mentioned above, you will want to actually go out and visit each site in order to collect accurate information and see in person what the facility has to offer.  So many people simply call around to different venues, getting pricing information over the phone.  This is fine as an initial point of contact; however there are so many other things to consider and you might be cutting yourself short if this is how you ultimately make your decision.  Price can be, and usually is a factor….however it should not be the only factor.  The cost per person (for the food) is typically the biggest concern, especially if you are working with a budget.  On the other hand, food is such a significant part of the event, it is usually what can make or break an event so paying a little more money for food of value (quality of food product, presentation, and menu options) is a worthwhile investment.

So as you are making this important decision, ask yourself this:  If booking this venue (that doesn’t reach or surpass your standards/expectations in the categories most important to us) in the long run saves an insignificant amount of money, is it really worth it?

– Jill Hericks | Sales Manager | 605-367-4156 | Sioux Falls Convention Center

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