City of Angels has a diverse and exciting selection of special event
venues to offer the meeting planner/event coordinator.
selecting your venue, there are six basic elements to keep in mind. The
basic elements of an event are: Location Site; Catering and Beverage
Service; Rental Equipment; Theme and Decor; Music and Entertainment;
Considerations for selecting a venue are: distance and travel time,
guest count, weather conditions, type of event, theme, and budget.
How much travel time is allotted to transport your guests? Will they be
staying in hotels in one area or throughout the city? If guests are
local, would a particular area of the city be preferable?
Is the event to be a reception, buffet or formal dinner and what is
your maximum guest count? How much seating is required? Will guests
need to be served in a common area or can several areas of the venue be
utilized? Consider space required for dancing, entertainment or
presentations. Keep in mind you may want to have a cocktail reception
in one area followed by dinner and perhaps entertainment in another.
Will you consider having all or part of the event outdoors and is
tenting an option in the event of weather changes? Of course, we know
it never rains in Southern California, but space heaters work quite
well for an unexpected chilly evening. Los Angeles boasts such a
beautiful climate and there is a wonderful selection of indoor/outdoor
You may already have determined whether you want your event to be
elegant and sophisticated, casual and fun, reception style or formal.
This will help in your site selection.
Your theme most likely will be determined by your choice of venue. Who
can resist dinner at a Beverly Hills estate, a "Hollywood bash" at a
movie studio, or a real California beach party? Venues are often
selected that represent and characterize our city and its rich culture.
Of course, you can always transform a particular location site into
your theme of choice, but this will usually require a higher budget.
Budget may determine your selection of venue, but please don't make the
mistake of isolating the location cost. The determining factor should
be your budget for the entire event, not just location cost. Often
there are creative ways of working within your budget even though the
venue may be expensive. And in many instances location sites may be
willing to negotiate rather than lose the event. If you are working
with a local event professional, his/her longterm association with the
location and vendors will help considerably.
You really want your reception, theme party or event to be at a
creative off-site location but your budget is conservative? You will
find the next category helpful...
and Beverage Service
Although many venues require the services of an independent catering
company, others provide in-house catering only. Generally speaking,
when profits are generated from in-house food and beverage, location
fees are lower or nonexistent and rental equipment is included,
lowering the cost of the event considerably.
As for the independent catering companies, those in Los Angeles are
among the finest and most creative in the world. Our reputable caterers
have extensive experience working "on location" and are capable of
creating the flair and excitement that will personalize your event and
make it memorable. From nouvelle cuisine to international menus, off
premise caterers have the ability to provide the finest culinary
options offered in our city.
A full service catering company will lend expertise in designing
themes, coordinating rentals, providing beverage service and could even
assist in site selection.
Rental equipment includes tables, chairs, linen, china, glassware,
stemware, silverware, professional catering and kitchen equipment,
heaters, tenting, staging, dance floors, lighting, and electrical.
Our most professional rental companies have computer generated diagrams
of the most often used venues to facilitate logistical planning.
A rental consultant will work closely with the caterer/coordinator
through all stages of planning until execution of the event to assure
Decor can be as minimal as floral arrangements for buffet and guest
tables or as elaborate and intricate as the imagination and budget will
Your location site will often determine your theme and provide most of
the backdrop and decor you need. Guests will have the opportunity to
tour the magnificent mansion or the museum's exhibits. Film studio
theme locations provide everything necessary for that Hollywood theme
party. Breathtaking city, ocean and mountain views, historic
architecture, and the sands of our Gold Coast beaches cannot be
duplicated by any design company. Often, supplemental florals and
lighting may be all that are necessary to complement existing decor.
However, if your budget is not limited and your venue is perfect for
creative transformation, our industry's outstanding event design
companies have the creativity and vision to enhance your event. Venues
such as warehouses, soundstages, airport hangars and parking structures
provide a perfect canvas to create a corporate identity or product
promotion, or any theme the imagination could consider.
Your needs may be as simple as background music for your reception and
dinner or a band or an orchestra for dancing, but the selection of the
right talent is vitally important to the success of your event.
Entertainment must complement the venue, the theme, even the
"consciousness" of your guests.
Entertainment covers a broad range of possibilities. World-class
celebrity look-alike/impersonators are popular in Los Angeles. Their
presence and performances enhance a Hollywood theme and provide
wonderful photo opportunities. Other popular options include comedy,
illusion (magic), variety or specialty acts, vocalists, even headliners.
Reputable music and entertainment contractors can provide the most
desirable options and will be familiar with the best available talent.
They will also coordinate the various elements of production such as
sound reinforcement, A/V, lighting and staging, which are often
necessary to enhance ambiance. "Our years of experience and contacts in
the entertainment industry saves our clients valuable time, energy and
expense when coordinating an event," says Sal Kuenzler of City
Connection Entertainment and Productions.
Transportation from hotels is usually provided by deluxe motorcoach or
shuttle van. Shuttle vans may be required in rare instances where
access for large buses is limited at the location site. For very large
receptions with high guest counts, motorcoaches may be scheduled for
several trips to pick up guests. A nice touch is to have local
hostesses (often bilingual) load passengers at the hotels, provide a
warm welcome on the ride to the event and provide assistance as needed
throughout the evening.
For local guests, options would be self parking, valet parking or
again, motorcoach or shuttle van where parking restrictions prevail.
With a higher budget (and usually for smaller or medium-sized events)
you may choose to transport your guests by superstretch limousine. Or
limousines may be hired for senior executives.
The following are additional items to be considered for your event
which need no elaboration here:
- Photography and videography
(don't forget press style photographs for trade newsletters, promos,
- Gift items for guests
- Insurance (many location
sites such as mansions and museums require a certificate of insurance
from your company which may be obtained at little or no expense)
companies (often competitors) will be entertaining during your
convention and every meeting planner wants to know that his/her efforts
will result in an impressive event that will be remembered and talked
call and plan a site inspection as early as possible to select the
venue of your choice (you may also make your decision from photographs,
brochures and other promotional material). Of course, competing
companies will not want to have events at the same venue even on
You now have all the basic information you need to coordinate your
off-site event. If you are a seasoned meeting planner or event
coordinator, most of this information will be familiar. However, we
hope we have provided you with new insights and a bit more knowledge to
help with your future efforts.
Marilyn Jenett is the owner of
Marilyn Jenett Locations,
a renowned special event
location company with offices in Los Angeles.
COPYRIGHT 1994 CBJ, L.P.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group