Valet anyone? Event insight – Helpful event tips
With the popularity of Uber today, many clients ask if they still need Valet Service. During COVID many people did not want anyone else in their car, and as a result, Parking Attendants became popular and that can be effective some of the time. It is important to take into account a few factors to make a wise decision. What time of the day is your party? Will guests be walking to their cars in the dark or daylight? And is your event formal or casual? Is there a chance of rain or bad weather? Answers to these questions will help you determine if a Parking Attendant is sufficient or should you have full Valet service.
If your event is casual and during the day, and people can clearly see where they can safely park and walk, a Parking Attendant makes perfect sense. An attendant can prevent people from driving on areas of your property that are sensitive, like your garden! Or more seriously, your well, septic area, or your irrigation system. If guests are parking in the street, an attendant or a private duty police officer can help guests traverse the walk safely and keep parking orderly so that your neighbors are not inconvenienced. Self-parking at night without ample lighting can be tricky as you are asking your guests to walk on potentially uneven ground on the grass or in the field, even on the road or driveway in the dark where it can be hard to see. It is still sometimes helpful to allow guests to park on your property in designated areas where street parking is not an option. And it can be done tastefully, weather permitting, with lovely string lights or luminaries to light the way!
If your party is at night and your guests will be arriving in dress clothes for a more formal or fancy occasion, you should consider Valet Service as a courtesy to your guests and an extension of your hospitality. No one wants to walk in the dark or rain or cold in their Saturday night attire. It also is not comfortable or practical to walk long distances in dress shoes, either. What if it is raining? Will they need to walk in the wet grass or muddy field? (Then bring that mud or wet shoes into your home.) When considering Valet Service, the time of day, weather, and distance from onsite parking area, or you simply cannot park that many cars at your home are all very practical facts to take into consideration of your decision. In parking lots, people almost always choose to park closest to the entrances! Why would attending your party be any different?
Consider the definition of Hospitality and the reason you are inviting your guests in the first place. Hospitality according to Merriam Webster's Dictionary, can be defined as, “generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests or hospitable treatment.” I would take that a step further to include going above and beyond to accommodate and make your guests feel welcome and special and a way to elevate the guest experience. Offering Valet may seem like a luxury or an over the top act, however, I think it should be viewed as a courtesy and respect for your guests to offer them safe, convenient and considerate service. Think of it as a way to pamper your guests, like a warm towel on a cold day.
Remember, hospitality professionals want to assist you and elevate your experience, make your day special! Don’t deny them the opportunity to create that magic for you. Remember, Hospitality is in the Heart.