The location is a big piece of the planning puzzle, no matter the nature or size of your guest list. Your location will shape the experience of your participants and host all the other specifics of your case. Your location must be functional, cost-effective and appealing.
Picking the right room can feel daunting because of all the factors involved. Follow these tips on how to select a venue for corporate events, and you will be on the right road to a smooth and unforgettable event.
You’ve probably considered this already. You may be searching for a location within a suitable distance from the homes or places of work of most attendants for a local event. If many participants come from outside the area, it would be helpful to have a location near the airport or their hotels. Don’t forget to consider traffic, transportation, and parking options in any situation.
If you want to reduce the potential for your guests to be late, send them a mobile app invite, which is common these days. Your attendees will feel relieved with GPS maps, driving directions, and parking/shuttle data at their fingertips. Maps with pins especially help a lot if the location is within a broad campus or institute. Interactive indoor maps can help attendants navigate easily for activities with exhibits, posters, or simultaneous sessions.
For several individuals, parking is a determining factor. They need to leave their car somewhere, but they’re not willing to give it up on the street or pay $50 for a spot a day.
Ideally, there should be some parking arrangements for your place, even if access requires an extra charge. Choose a location that has its own lot/garage or a location where parking space can be protected nearby if parking is necessary for your guests.
Some event coordinators have a valet service for guests in specific circumstances, even though the venue doesn’t. Valets ferry cars to nearby lots back and forth. (In general, this approach is only sufficient for events with large budgets.)
For a few reasons, you’ll need to know the room size of the venues. Firstly, 500 people can not fit comfortably into space with a capacity of 250 people (if it is your intended event size). And second, there are codes for fire and safety that the venue needs to comply with.
What are the minimums for F&B? If your venue provides food and/or drinks and sets a minimum amount of food and drink expenditure (known as a minimum of F&B), ensure that the existing F&B records from previous events are in line with the minimum. If you estimate much more F&B spending than the venue wants, it means you’d be a good client for them. Negotiate whether if the spending exceeds a certain threshold, they will offer free service (e.g. Wi-Fi upgrade or A/V support) in return.
Amenities and Programs
Does the venue have a kitchen and will it provide the event with catering? If so, a venue will also waiver the facility fee and only charge a down payment for each attendee along with the cost of food. Those venues without kitchen facilities have a relationship with a food supplier you’re expected to use. Maybe you would like to check their food in advance. If it is not good enough, it may have a negative effect on the experiences of the participants.
So, either go to a place that serves great food or allows you to bring in food vendors from outside. Do you have tables, benches, and sheets for you to use? If a venue has these things, by using what they have, you can save a lot of money and effort, assuming it suits your theme and ambience.
Does it have a crew for setup/cleanup? If you have found a place that offers a team to set up and clean up, rejoice! This isn’t always the scenario. You’ll need to develop your event team or find volunteers if these resources aren’t available.
Has it got AV capabilities? Some venues have audio-visual equipment installed for you to use, and others would require you to carry it in yourself.
Design or Floor Plan of The Venue
While you will find your location early in the planning process of the event, you will also want to have a rough understanding of what kinds of activities you are going to do, the facilities you will need, and the needs of your team and the participants.
Get an illustrated floor plan of each venue when narrowing down your selection, and walk around your favourites at least once, make note of important items, such as where the outlets are and where AV equipment is or can be placed.
A few different elements of your event would be significantly influenced by the layout and floor plan:
Traffic flow- Think about how traffic flows through your event. For each case, the kind of flow you’ll like will be different. Where would be the areas of high traffic at the event? For registration? The doors of the auditorium? Keep this in mind when selecting your place, recognising this will also greatly influence how you set up the tables and decor.
Activities of the event If you want to have keynote speakers at your event, you’ll either need a stage or a leased stage venue. Are you going to need a demo area? Will there be a bar there?
Within the place, pay particular attention to the current decor. What is the architectural theme, and what does the interior of the building convey? If you’re hosting a gala, you’re probably going to need different accommodation for the venue than you would for an expo. The less the environment suits your event’s ideal feeling (upscale, high tech, etc.), the more decorating you’ll need to do to compensate for it.
Accessibility refers to the possibility that the building and its facilities can be accessed by anyone, including those with special needs. You’ll need to understand who your attendees are and what their needs are before you can answer this question.
You will definitely know if kids will be at the venue, but you do not know if people with other special needs will be there. Reviewing recent events hosted by your organisation can give you a sense of this situation.
Have you ever attended an event at such a noisy place that it was hard to hear others, causing your hearing to strain and lose your voice, all in one night? This is caused by poor acoustics. Acoustics accounts for how sound moves through the venue. A low ceiling will make the venue look comfortable, but if it’s crowded, it will make it louder. Alternatively, echoes, or what architects refer to as “reverberation,” will result in a large warehouse-style venue.
Event Date Cost and Flexibility
Being flexible with dates can be a perfect way to negotiate with venues on the event day. They may have open dates that they want to fill out on their calendar. You are more likely to get reduced rates by providing 2-3 date choices.
How to Choose a Place
It can take quite a bit of your time to find the correct venue for your case. Thankfully, to help you save time, there are a few shortcuts:
1. To inquire about locations that best fit your needs, contact the local Convention & Visitors Bureau in the area.
2. Find similar local events to yours on event listing websites, like 10 times, eventful, etc., and see where they host events.
3. Using an online tool like Peerspace, Unique Venues, EventUp, for example. To find the right one for you, they help you parse through the many venues.