10 Things to Consider When Selecting a Venue for Your Next Event
Considering your next in-person event? Venue matters more than you may think.
From comfortably accommodating all of your guests to ensuring you have access to the right technology, parking availability, food and beverage amenities, and more, there are a number of things that will ultimately influence the location you select.
Here are our ten tips for choosing the right venue.
Before settling on a space, you’ll want an estimate of how many people will attend. Once you have established the number of guests, it’s time to think about how much space each person needs to attend the event comfortably. Will people be seated at tables? Will it be standing room only? Will the room be divided into sections? You might also consider renting out multiple rooms if various presentations will occur at once.
Even if a room is large enough to host your event, the existing layout might obstruct its flow. Alternatively, you might find yourself with a large conference hall that lacks any layout, making it mandatory that you include an easy way for guests to navigate and explore the event. This is especially important for trade shows and other conferences where booths or vendors need to be organized and accessible.
Especially for events that may be hosting virtual or hybrid experiences, it’s crucial that there is a strong wifi connection. Even for guests attending in person, accessible wifi is important for checking emails, pulling up relevant information, or even potential networking opportunities. And while most venues are equipped with wifi, it’s important to check that the internet connection is strong enough to meet your needs. This can include general wifi capabilities for accommodating the number of people accessing the network during the event, as well as the need to live stream to virtual viewers.
Ideally, a venue should offer some form of parking. If parking is not included in the cost of attendance, make sure to let guests know so that they’re prepared to pay ahead of time. Even if you aren’t budgeting for all attendees to have free parking, we recommend covering the costs for keynote speakers and sponsors at a minimum.
Before selecting a venue, having a comprehensive understanding of your budget is crucial. While the more expensive and flashy venues are exciting, they might not be necessary or might even take away from the event. It’s also important to take into consideration the other items you would like to offer your guests, whether it be food and beverage options, promotion materials, or more.
Prior to looking for places to host your event, you’ll want to have a few ideas of possible event dates. If a space you love is only available during a certain timeframe that falls outside of your schedule, it’s time to move on! It’s also helpful for the location managers to know of potential dates in order to show you available options.
If you haven’t booked the space before, it’s helpful to ask questions along the line of “What type of events are often held here? Will there be cohesion between the space and event? Does the space take away from the event’s purpose?” Contacting companies that have booked the space before is another way of learning about the utility and flow of the venue.
Identifying the type of technology needed to host a successful event is a key factor when selecting a venue. Will the event be virtual, in-person, or a hybrid? Assessing whether you will need to provide your own projectors, microphones, and more can be a reason to choose one venue over another. Even if some venues may not have the technology on-site, they can likely offer recommendations for where you can rent the equipment you need.
9. Food and Beverage Amenities
Depending on the length of your event, you might serve your guests appetizers or a full course. In this case, it’s important to ask about in-house catering versus hiring an external catering company. You’ll also want to consider whether or not guests will be able to select a meal from a variety of menu options, or if you’ll be providing prepackaged meals.
When searching for a location, you’ll want to consider where your guests may be staying. In some cases, a hotel ballroom or conference hall might be the most convenient option. Especially if your event is hosting guests beyond the local area, this is a great way to minimize other costs they would otherwise incur. If you choose a more remote venue, guests might have to find their own transportation. In that case, you would most likely need to provide them with an easy, reliable way to get to the venue. Shuttles or other car services are one alternative.
Have other questions about selecting the right venue? Leave us a note in the comments.
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