Valet parking is a desirable, and sometimes necessary, part of a special event. For an event where there is not ample parking for guests nearby, hiring valet service is imperative. Although most companies in large cities have an established system in place for parking cars and moving guests quickly, here are some tips for planners when coordinating with a valet parking vendor:
• Establish a Start and End Time. This may seem obvious, but it is important to build in at least 10 to 15 minutes on each end in case the event is not running on time. For example, if a wedding ceremony is running on the early side and guests reach the reception venue 10 minutes early, they should be greeted by valet staff. This goes for the end of the evening too. If speeches or awards run long for a corporate event, make sure you know when the valet service is scheduled to end and what its policy on overtime is. You don't want to be hit with an astronomical bill after the event.
• Ask About Uniforms. If you are hosting a black tie event, you may want your valet staff to reflect the formality of the evening. Ask the valet company about options for uniforms. Most offer spiffier uniforms at an extra cost. If your event is more casual, the standard khakis and company jackets may suffice.
• Discuss Placement of Valet Stand. In addition to providing guests with a service, valet parkers also serve as an indicator of where the event is taking place. Make sure that parkers are visible and that the key board or any signage can be seen from a distance on the street.