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Choosing the Right Venue for Your Event

By: Turf Valley Resort / 16 Mar 2021

By: Jen Wingate, Meetings Express Manager at Turf Valley Resort


Finding that perfect venue for your event can be stressful - whether you are celebrating a wedding, reunion, or another special occasion. There are many options available that offer a variety of pros and cons. Here are just a few to get you started.


Special Event Venue: Pros


  1. Unique. Few people get to say that they had their wedding at a football stadium, or their prom at the aquarium. These types of experiences are certainly one of a kind.
  2. Typically, venues allow you to bring in your own vendors. From the caterer, bartenders, cake and more, you can create the perfect vision by hand selecting vendors.
  3. You will likely be the only event happening at the location, so you will not have to compete with music and guests from another reception.
  4. Guests have access to explore the venue's unique purpose whether you are in a historical venue, sports complex, zoo, farm, or another unique location.


Special Event Venue: Cons


  1. Often these venues are off the beaten path or in the middle of the city. If they are in the city, parking could be a challenge, however a venue in the country may not offer access to public transportation. 
  2. A unique venue may require you to re-purpose the space for your event. This may mean providing everything (from bathrooms to electricity, to tables and chairs, linens, flatware, glassware, basic decorations). These costs can add up quickly.
  3. Many unique venues do not have rain back up locations, so plan accordingly and set up a tent or another location if the weather does not cooperate.
  4. Typically, there is no built-in audio-visual equipment or Wi-Fi.


Hotel & Conference Center: Pros


  1. Generally, hotels have their own onsite catering, so you easily choose from an assortment of options from pre-selected packages. 
  2. The staff (servers, bartenders, banquet managers, bellman, front desk associates, etc) have experience hosting these types of events. They are familiar with the building and standard operating procedures.
  3. When hosting your event at a hotel, guests have the option stay overnight. Hotel room blocks typically offer guests a special hotel price for the event.
  4. Temperature controlled rooms. You can have that 200-person wedding in the middle of summer and not have to worry about anyone getting too hot.


Hotel & Conference Center: Cons


  1. Ballrooms offer standard layouts and uniform decor to accommodate all types of events. There may be extra costs (depending on the venue) to add elements to make the space standout such as pipe and drape and lighting options.
  2. Hotels has standard guidelines that all events must follow, therefore some creative elements may not be allowed.
  3. Some ballrooms do not have windows and thus will look dark in photos without proper uplighting.
  4. Hotels usually have multiple ballrooms and thus will almost always have multiple events happening at once.


Though both Special Event Venues and Hotel & Conference Centers have both pro or cons, it ultimately comes down to the details are most important to you to create your perfect event.



Written by:

Jen Wingate, Meetings Express Manager at Turf Valley Resort

View Jen's Profile |


If you are interested in learning more about Turf Valley Resort, contact us at: or visit us online:



About Turf Valley Resort:

Turf Valley Resort is a full-service conference and events venue with more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space. Located in Howard County, Maryland, we are easily accessible from Columbia, Baltimore and surrounding areas.


Turf Valley Resort offers 25 flexible venues with full-service catering and our hotel features 172 rooms overlooking our championship golf courses. For more information about Turf Valley Resort, please call 410.465.1200 or email



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