Planning a big event with an even larger guest list can be a logistical headache. One important aspect that often gets overlooked until the last minute is parking. But it’s something that can set the tone for your event. If guests have to battle for a parking space or have no idea where to park, it can be extremely frustrating, which is not how you want to kick off your party.
Whether you’re throwing an event in downtown Austin or one of the spacious suburbs next door, keep these tips in mind as you put a parking plan together.
Event Parking Tip #1 - Make Parking a Venue Priority
One of the first steps to planning an event is finding a venue. This is your first opportunity to start getting the parking situation under control. Ask the venue manager about your available parking options and if there are additional spaces or a nearby parking garage for overflow. Sometimes a venue can have secondary lots or agreements with adjacent properties. Ideally, you’ll want to have enough spaces for your entire guest list.
Event Parking Tip #2 - Account for Wheelchair Accessible Parking
While touring venues it’s also a good idea to ask about wheelchair accessible parking. If there are little to no designated spots see if it’s possible to reserve additional spaces near the entrance using cones and caution tape.
Event Parking Tip #3 - Don’t Forget About Vendor Loading and Unloading
Caterers, entertainers and party planners may need to unload and load a lot of equipment. Ask the vendor operator if there’s space for delivery trucks and where vendors can park when they need to load and unload for the event.
Event Parking Tip #4 - Get a Firm RSVP
When you send out your invites, make sure to require prompt RSVPs. In addition to making sure you have enough food and seating, RSVPs help you determine how many parking spaces will be needed on the day of the event.
Event Parking Tip #5 – Add Valet Parking
Using a valet service is ideal for black tie events and whenever off-site parking is all that’s available. Ask the venue operator if they currently work with a valet service. If not, find a local valet service that will provide a free in-person consultation and is fully insured. Make sure to get the agreement in writing and specify details like how many staff members will be on hand, when they’ll arrive, and the total cost.
Event Parking Tip #6 - Tell Guests Where to Park
When you send out event reminders, it’s a good time to provide guests with additional details about parking. Let them know where they can and can’t park, whether valet services will be available and any special directions on how to get to the lot. If parking options are paid, which is often the case for events in downtown Austin, let guests know the cost and payment options.
You may also want to ask the venue if they have a parking map which you could share with guests. The map should point out entrances into the parking lot, handicap parking, and reserved spaces.
Event Parking Tip #7 - Encourage Carpooling and Transportation Services
Whenever possible, encourage your guests to carpool or use a transportation service if parking is limited. You can even provide additional information for public transit and taxi services to make it easy for guests.
Event Parking Tip #8 – Post Someone in the Parking Lot
For large events, it may be necessary to have one or two people post up in the parking lot. They can help direct the flow of traffic and let guests know which areas have available spots. If more than one person is out in the parking lot, get them a pair of walkie talkies to communicate with so they can help people get to open spots quickly and regulate overflow. You’ll also need to hand out reflective safety vests and flashlights to people who will be working the parking lot.
Event Parking Tip #9 – Consider Shuttles
It’s almost impossible to find a venue with enough parking spaces for events that have hundreds or thousands of attendees. If you’re throwing a super-sized event you may need to look into off-site parking lots paired with a shuttle service. You can use a private shuttle service or see if the local public transport authorities can set up a special shuttle between the parking lot and the venue.
At Casino Knights Inc., our professional party planners understand parking is part of the overall experience. We can help you plan accordingly so that your casino fundraiser, corporate event, or private party goes off without a hitch!
Original Source: http://casinoknightsinc.com/event-planning/plan-parking-event/