How to book a venue:
The venue is the most important and trickiest part of a Blind Cafe. It has to be the right spot for us to have as successful event. Below are the requirements. * Some of these are flexible but we need most of it to be place to have a successful event.
- The event space must be 'dark-able', meaning does not have a 'ton' of windows or doorways making it too difficult to make dark. Some spaces are obviously either dark-able or not, but this can only be determined really after you have sent us a short video to show us the space. Example of venue video:
- The venue must be OK with us making the place COMPLETELY PITCH DARK, no light what-so-ever. This means we cover all windows, doorways and any lights in the room that let off light. We have someone by the exit doors, the lights and exit signs at all times ready to turn the lights on at a moments notice and uncover the signs during the darkness part of the event. ( See Safety Plan )
Capacity, Tables and Chairs
- The venue must have room to host at least 70, ideally 100+ people for a sit down dinner and enough tables and chairs to accommodate them. *This is flexible and should not be ruled out if lower amount for specialty purposes.
Bathrooms / Accessibility
- It's important that bathrooms are accessible outside of the dark dining area. So guests can go to the bathroom without having to go through the darkness room. It's ideal that the bathrooms are wheel chair accessible also and the venue is wheelchair accessible.
- The venue must have a least a working kitchenette area for preparing food, ideally a commercial kitchen. * This is flexible and we can work with most types of kitchen spaces.
- Not essential, but it's ideal that the space has a Lobby or separate room or open hallway of some sort where we can greet guests organize them and offer wine bar.
OK With Serving Wine
- It's idea we have permission from the venue to serve 'donated wine' not 'sell' to our guests before the event.
Dates / Availability
- We will need the space for 3 full days. Ideally a Thur-Fri-Sat or a Fri-Sat-Sunday. We can do 2 nights sometimes.
- We need to be able to leave the darkness and darkness structure up for all three days. We can be flexible with taking some darkness down to make available for passage through certain areas but essentially we need the majority of the darkness set up to stay set up the duration of the three day event.
- For darkness set up we need to ideally come in the night before ( 6PM - 11PM) for several hours to get started on the darkness plus come in early the following morning ( 8AM ) to prep the darkness for that evenings show.
- Because our event is a charity event and ticket sales don't really cover the costs of our event, it's essential we get the space either donated or discounted to $100 a day, $250 at the very most.
Safety / Fire Safety Plan
- Under direction of our Fire Marshal in Boulder CO, we are required to have at least two exit doors clear with no obstruction of tables etc up to 4 feet from the exit doors. These doors can be sealed from light but only from the outside, making it easily open-able from the inside in case of an emergency.
- We are required to have a easily 'remove-able' fabric cover for any exit signs we cover so they can immediately removed in case of an emergency
- We are required to have one of staff by the lights at all times during the darkness part of the event to immediately turn on the lights and remove the exit sign covers in case of an emergency.
- The Master of Darkness and Event Manager will have flash lights on hand at all times to assist in any challenges in the dark.
- Our safety codes are as follows: "Level 1"- The MOD or Event Manager assists with a flash light to attend to any attendees immediate needs in the dark WITHOUT turning on the lights. "Level 2" MOD turns on the lights, uncovers exit signs and normal emergency policies apply according the venue.
- We have a first aid kit on hand at all times stored in the lobby supplies box.
Summary of Requirements Questions to Answer YES
- Is the venue Dark-Able?
- Is the venue OK with us making it completely dark?
- Is it OK for us to leave the darkness set up for the duration of the event?
- Does the venue hold more than 70 ppl for a sit down dinner and have the tables and chairs?
- Is the space available for 3 full days?
- Is the space donated or discounted below $250 a day?
- Does the venue have a kitchen or kitchenette?
- Does the venue have bathrooms accessible outside of the main dining area we are considering for dark?
- Does the venue have a Lobby space or open hallway where we could set up the Box Office and Wine Bar?
- Does the venue allow us to donate, not sell wine
If all YES, it's an ideal venue. If not all, may still be workable.
How to create and maintain an awesome relationship with a venue:
Since finding a venue for the blind cafe is a journey, it's important that we create an awesome relationship with the venue's we work with so they will welcome us back.
Our goal is to leave the venue feeling AWESOME about us, willing to store our Blind Cafe gear and welcome us back anytime.
- Ask the venue to write out a list of 10 things ( or write it out yourself ) that if these 10 things were perfectly handled, ( they would ecstatic about having hosted us and welcome us back. Now, make this part of your day of the event plans to have these top 10 items solid so the venue loves us! :) <3
- Leave the venue better than when we found it! Note how the venue looks before we start prepping, it's cleanliness etc. and keep it in your game plan to add some extra love and special surprises. Do they need a new lock for their door that would be not problem for us to pick up one while shopping for darkness? Can we leave them flowers on their front desk or hidden in a special spot to leave a mark of love and appreciation? Do they need volunteers? We encourage our volunteers to help out the venue afterwards somehow. Be creative.
- Write a hand written thank you letter!!!!!!!!!