Some Venues Stand Out Because They Include Tables and Chairs
One detail made some venues stand above the rest...those that included tables and chairs in the site fee.
It's important to mention that at the time, I was running a full-service event rental company. The fact that some venues provided tables and chairs was really only important to my wife. On several occasions I had to remind her that tables, chairs, tableware, linens, etc. were not a concern of ours as I already owned all of it.
It didn't matter. If a potential wedding venue included tables and chairs, my wife saw more value, less planning, and that venue shot to the top of the list.
It's with that memory hardwired in my mind that I make this recommendation: all event venues should offer tables and chairs in their site fee.
Buy Your Own, Or Rent?
There are a couple ways you can do this. One option: buy folding tables and chairs yourself and store them in between events. This is very common and many of our wedding venue customers do this. The advantage of this is that after a certain number of events, you get a return on your investment since you have not been paying to rent tables and chairs (and hopefully you increased your site fee!)
The downside of this is the upfront cost associated with buying chairs and tables, as well as whether you have the space to store said tables and chairs.
The second way you can include tables and chairs for your brides is to partner with a local party rental company and regularly rent the items for your weddings. When I had my rental company I made special arrangements with a few venues to become the preferred supplier and in turn offered a discount.
The advantage of partnering with a rental company is that you avoid the capital expenditure and you still appear to "include" tables and chairs with your wedding venue booking. You also avoid any of the maintenance associated with owning event equipment, like cleaning and checking for safety.
Of course the negative of doing this is the fact that you never get to see a return on investment (kind of like renting an apartment instead of buying a house). It can also be a hassle to arrange for rentals every single weekend if you have a busy venue.
Don't Forget About the Accessories
If you decide that owning your tables and chairs is the way to go for your venue, you might also consider a number of other event accessories to help store and transport the tables and chairs. Consider buying dollies for stacking chairs, and carts for tables and folding chairs.
You may also want to round out your event equipment offering with items that don't take up that much storage space, like tablecloths, pipe and drape (to separate areas or provide beautiful wedding backdrops), market umbrellas, patio heaters, or even a portable dance floor.
Some Storage Ideas
As for where to store your new tables and chairs, I've seen people get pretty creative. The ideal situation is of course that you have a large storage room where you can keep your tables and chairs on carts to quickly roll out into the event space.
If you don't have a dedicated storage area, consider a shipping container (preferably around back!) or even an enclosed trailer. What's nice about an enclosed trailer is that you can store it anywhere on your property and then pull the entire thing around front to set up for the ceremony or reception. This all but eliminates the need for table and chair carts.
So if you have a successful wedding venue and you're not already offering chairs and tables to your brides, consider it. If you need help deciding which chairs are best for you or which tables would do the trick, don't hesitate to give us a call and speak to an event expert at EventStable.com