When organizing an event, you are confronted with more decisions. Choosing a venue is one of the main decisions that will have the largest impact on your event. The date of the event, catering options, & attendees’ pleasant experiences … all are partly affected by selecting the venue.
Even the best-conceived & well-planned event will go badly if the venue is not up to scratch or has the wrong ambiance. The venue has to be in the right size, have the right facilities & suit the purpose but it also has to look & feel right. By following these tips for booking an event venue, you’ll stand the best chance of ensuring that your event goes off without a hitch.
Before considering any venue, you must first decide the type of event you want to hold, you’ll need to have an accurate estimate of numbers expected to attend & you’ll need to know what you have to spend. Venue size is crucial: too small & the participants will feel uncomfortable, too big & it will feel empty unless you are prepared to decorate the premises to disguise the unused space. You may also need to have rooms available for small group meetings.
You may be looking for a venue within a reasonable distance from most of the attendee’s homes or from the places of their work area. If many attendees will be traveling from out of the town, a venue near the airport or their hotels will be more beneficial. In whichever case, don’t forget to consider traffic, transportation, & parking option.
If you want to reduce the chance for your attendees to be late, then provide them with a mobile event app, which is essentially a standard these days. With GPS maps, driving directions, & parking/shuttle information at their fingertips, so that your attendees will feel relieved. If the venue is within a large campus or institute, then maps with pins especially help a lot. For events with exhibitions, posters, or parallel sessions, interactive indoor maps will help more attendees conveniently navigate.
No matter how good a venue looksor sounds in the brochure, nothing will give you a better feel for the place than a personal visit. You’ll be able to check the size & layout of the rooms, the type of lighting which is available & the acoustics & to check the decor & cleanliness. You’ll also be able to get a feel for the venue to judge if it is suitable for your purposes.
A site visit will allow you to assess the potential problems like, if kitchen noise or traffic noise is likely to be an issue, for example.if others are using the venue you will need to establish if there is any possibility of a clash or interference.
Just as important as the venue itself is the location & surroundings. You’ll need to make sure that it is easily accessible & that there is adequate parking or suitable public transport options for guests.
It’s also a good idea to visit the venue at least once without any appointments. That way you’ll be able to see how it’s run & observe the staff in action under everyday conditions. Check for cleanliness & noise levels & have a look in the toilets to see if they are up to standard.
Depending on your event, you almost need audio-visual facilities. You should, therefore, check what type of microphone systems the venue has and test them for good clarity and effectiveness & establish if it has projection facilities, screens, monitors & so on. If Internet access is important, then you’ll also need to make sure that it is available & meets your requirements.
Refreshments can sometimes prove a headache so you must find out what catering facilities your venue has chosen to offer. Can it provide the type of catering which you want? Will you be able to bring in your caterers? These are the type of questions which you should be asking. And, if your venue does provide its catering, you’ll need to establish what it can supply & its reputation. Ask for references and follow them up.
Being flexible on the event date can be a great way to negotiate with the venues. They may have open dates on their calendar which they want to fill. By providing 2-3 date options, which you are more likely to get discounted pricing.