In this era of digital world, live events are mostly preferred by the marketers.
To organize an event, you have to confront many decisions. The one decision that will have the largest impact on your event is to choose a venue.
Does this sound a bit intimidating? Don’t worry! You don’t have to feel that way.
Here are some ways to make a wise decision for your event venue.
When to start looking for a Venue?
The earlier the better. You can begin your hunt for a venue once you have a good understanding of the three essential aspects:
- Estimated event size
- Space requirement
Always book your venue at least 3-5 months prior to your event so that you will have the required time to plan other critical things such as event brochures, catering, and event promotion.
Now you know when to begin your search for the venue, but what all things to consider when searching for a venue. Let's find this out.
Venue knowledge and experience
Before you decide to hire a venue for your event, check what all events they’ve done before, ask them to show some pictures of those events.
Speak to some of the staff as well to know what expertise they have and how accommodating and friendly they are. Find out how many staff members will be present during the event, what they’ll wear during your event and whether they can or will work over-time if needed.
You’ll also have to consider what all facilities the event venue will take care of and what all you have to arrange, i.e. decorations, set-up.
The more behind-the-scenes information you have, the better it is!
Check the outside area of the venue too and have a look if there is any possibility of noise issues, is any decoration required outside the venue, possible hazards, where the fire exits are located, and parking area for buses or taxis.
The first and foremost thing is where your venue should be located.
For a local event, you may look for a venue within a suitable distance from most attendees’ residence or place of work.
If majority of your attendees are coming from out of town, a venue near the airport will be beneficial.
Always consider the transportation, traffic and parking options.
Do you want to reduce the chance for your attendees to be late? Actually that’s a silly question, right? I mean who do not want to see their audience on time.
Provide them with a mobile event app with GPS map and driving directions at their fingertips. This will make them feel relieved.
Layout of the Venue
I’m sure you must want to have a rough idea of what type of activities you’ll include, what all amenities you’ll require and the needs of your team and the attendees.
For this get an illustrated floor plan of all the venues in your list and walk through your favorites at least once and make a note of things such as what’s the seating arrangement and where AV equipment is or can be located.
The layout and floor plan will greatly affect various aspects of your event.
Think about the entire flow of your event. What all areas will have high traffic at the event?
Registration? The venue doors? Keep all this in mind when you choose your venue,
Even if you want to have keynote speakers at your event, you’ll either need a stage, or a place where you can do the stage setup.
For all this you have to check out the layout of the venue properly.
Amenities and Services
Check if the event venue provide catering to your event.
If so, they will only charge a down payment along with the cost of food for each attendee.
Venues without catering facilities may have some other tie-up with a food provider.
But you must check the taste of food in advance. If it is not, it can impact your audience negatively.
Thus, try to go with a venue that serves great food or have a tie-up with good outside food vendors.
After getting done with food, find out the seating arrangements. How many tables, chairs and linens the venue has?
If a venue has these items in sufficient number, you can save a lot of money and effort by using what they have and it would be great if these matches your theme and ambiance.
Make sure the venue has a clean up crew. If the venue which provides a setup and clean up crew, rejoice!
But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes these services aren’t available so you’ll need to prepare for the volunteers in advance.
Don’t forget to check if the venue has AV facility. Some venues have a built in audio-visual equipment for you to use, and others will require you to bring that in yourself, so consider this in your check-list.
The right ambiance get guests pumped and excited about the event and can ensure they all have a great time.
Give special attention to the decor inside the venue.
What is the interior of the auditorium and what does the architecture of the building convey?
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of an event. Lighting can also be projected onto a wall or be a backdrop for company logo.
The ambiance must match the desired feeling of your event, if not, you’ll need to do more decoration to make up for it.
Does the venue have a parking lot?
A venue with a parking lot is what you need to check for. If there is no facility provided, then check for other parking lots nearby which attendees can access and use.
You can include the cost in the ticket prices or have a paid parking facility and provide a valet may be essential if the event is an upscale event.
Capacity & F&B Minimums
You can easily get an idea from your previous events and if it's your first event have early registration for a rough estimate of how many people will be attending your event.
You’ll need to know the capacity of the hall. 300 people can’t comfortably fit into a room with a 100 person capacity.
Along with the capacity check for F&B minimums too.
If your estimate of F&B spending is more than what the venue requires, it means you would be a good customer to them.
Negotiate with them whether they can provide complementary services (e.g. A/V support or Wi-Fi) in return if your spending reaches a certain level.
Have you ever attended an event that was so loud, it was hard to hear others, causing you to strain your ears, all in one night?
The reason for all that is poor acoustics at that venue.
Acoustics is just a fancy word for a quality of a room that determine how sound travels through the room.
If the venue has a low ceiling, it will make the venue seem cozy, but if the venue is packed, it will make it louder.
On the other hand, a large sized venue will result in echoes, or what architects refer to as “reverberation”.
So make sure the venue is good with the acoustics so that people can listen to the speaker as well as the videos which you play ( if any ) without any strain to their ears.
Flexibility with Event Date
Be flexible with the event date as it can be a great way to negotiate with venues.
They may have dates on their calendar that they want to fill and if you give them 2-3 date options, you are more likely to get discounted price.
As you can see, there are many things to be considered to choose your event’s venue. Consider all the above mentioned points and start your research to get a perfect event venue.
Tick off all the boxes on the above mentioned checklist.
Also make sure who your go-to person at the venue will be on the day of your event. It will help your event run smoothly if you have someone to deal with any problems that arise during the event.
This will make it easier for you to find a suitable venue and will help your attendees have an even more pleasant experience at the venue.