Whenever you are thinking of organizing an event, there are many decisions you have to make. The one decision that is likely to have the most significance is the venue you pick for your event. In fact, this decision pretty much affects the other major decisions, such as the caterers you pick, how to enhance the experience of the attendees, the date on which to hold the vent, and so on.
When it’s put like that, it can all sound rather daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be daunting. With the right guidelines, choosing an event venue can be easy as pie.
When should you start looking for a Venue?
You should start as early as possible. There are three things you need to know before you start looking for an event venue. These are the estimated size of the event, the budget, and the requirements for space. Once you know those three things you can start looking for a venue.
It’s a good idea to book the venue at least 4 months in advance, preferably 6, so that you have more than enough time to spend planning other important things, like brochures, catering, and even landing pages. You should also consider using time-saving tools for your planning.
Things to consider when searching for a Venue
1. The Location
This is probably the first thing that popped into your mind, and rightly so. If you’re going to be doing a local event, you want to pick an event venue that is close to where the attendants live and work. If there are going to be attendants travelling out of town to reach your event, then you might want the venue to be located near the airport or the hotels where they will be staying.
“Location is paramount. If you get the wrong location no one is going to come to your event,” says John Epps of Essays on Time.
If you want to make it easier for them to get to the venue on time then provide them with an app. It can offer GPS maps, information on routes and directions, and so on. They will appreciate the convenience. If your venue is within a larger institute or campus, dropping pins will help them find you. If your event is indoors and there are lots of parallel sessions, posters, and exhibitions, the map can be interactive to help them navigate.
2. The Parking
“Most of your attendants will have cars, so parking is a very serious thing to consider,” says Hakeem Merali, who has held an event before on how to write a dissertation.
What kind of parking is there at your event? Is it valet parking or a parking lot? The best kind of venue is one with a parking lot. However, if you can’t find one, you can always look for one with lots of parking lots nearby that your attendants can use. You can also consider reserving parking lots and having attendants pay for them when they park or get Lyft and Uber to serve your event. You can try and negotiate for discounts.
You could also ask attendants to carpool and find a way to make it easy for them with an event app. You could also offer valet parking yourself. A valet is an especially good idea if you’re doing an upscale event.
3. Capacity Considerations
First off, what is the capacity of the event venue? You should know all the room capacities so you can figure how to fit people into them while staying within fire and safety codes.
“The last thing you want is to try to fit 500 people in a room that’s only meant for 250,” says Anita Sanders, PR manager at bestessaytips.com.
Does your event venue offer food and beverages? In case it does, does it set a minimum spending amount for these? If you’re going to be spending more than what they need you to spend then they are going to consider you a good customer. You should also try to negotiate for complimentary services with them like Wi-Fi and a PA system.
4. Amenity Considerations
There are a few things you should consider here:
First, find out if the venue has a kitchen and can cater to your event. When venues have kitchens then they tend to waive the facility fee so long as you let them cater for you and will only charge you a down payment that includes the cost of food per head. Venues without kitchens may partner with a caterer that they require you to use. If you don’t like the caterer, you might have to find a different venue.
You will also want to know if the venue has linens, chairs, and tables that you can use. This can lead to massive savings. Same goes if the venue has a crew for setting up and cleaning up. Finally, you should find out if it has AV capabilities, otherwise, you will have to bring ink your own.
5. The Layout
You need to know what kind of activities will take place at your event, what amenities you’ll need, and so on. You should also figure out the flow of traffic to work out how you’ll coordinate your attendants on event day.
6. The Ambience
How does the décor of the event look? What is the architectural style? It has to match with the kind of event you’re planning. The needs of an expo are very different from the needs of a gala. The ambience should match the feeling you’re trying to evoke.
7. Take care of Insurance
Some venues actually won’t agree to do business with you unless you have insurance first. You, therefore, need to get your general liability insurance provider to endorse your event. Do this as early as possible in order to get everything in order.
8. The Accessibility of your Event
This is basically ensuring that those with special needs can access and use the amenities in the building. You should, therefore, know who your attendants and their needs are. That includes children, special needs adults, and so on.
9. The Acoustics
Your event should neither be too loud nor too quiet. It should just be good enough to provide a pleasurable experience while also making it possible for people to talk to each other. It’s all about how sound travels around the venue. A low ceiling means a cosier event but increases the risk of excessive loudness. Same goes for a high ceiling.
These are some points that event planners must consider before picking an event venue.