7 Things to Consider When Choosing your Event Venue
- Event, Hall, Vendor
**This article is mainly focused on events other than weddings and private parties.**
When organizing an event, you are confronted by many decisions. However, choosing a venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event. Critical planning information, such as the date for the event, is in a way dependent on the venue you select. Understandably, making this choice can be a bit intimidating as it can be hard to know what to look for when selecting a venue.
Before you begin your search, there are a few things you’ll want to have a strong understanding of:
Number of attendees
Type of event (formal, high-tech, etc.)
Once you have an idea of these three things, you can begin your search for a venue. Having the venue booked at least six months in advance will ensure that you have the date of your event set in stone.
Finding the right venue for your event can normally take up quite a bit of your time. Thankfully an online tool as RentYourHall.com represents a great shortcut to help you save time, helping you parse through the many venues to find and book the right one for you.
Obviously! And as a cost-conscious organizer/event host, you may want to keep the venue cost down to allow more room in your budget for food and beverages and entertainment. Being flexible on the date can be a great negotiating tool, as certain days of the week tend to cost less.
A convenient location means different things for different events. For an event with attendees within a limited geographic range, a venue within a reasonable distance from most attendees’ homes or places of work may make sense. However, if many attendees will be traveling from out of town, hosting the event at a venue near the airport or their hotels will be beneficial. Better still, if attendees are being housed at a single location, hosting the event at that hotel mitigates the need for tedious parking considerations and the chance that attendees will be late due to getting lost.
Pay special attention to the existing decor inside the venue. What style is the architecture and what does the building’s interior convey? If you’re holding a gala, you’ll likely need different venue accommodations than you would for an expo. The less the ambiance matches the desired feeling of your event (upscale, high tech, etc.) the more decorating you’ll need to do to make up for it.
In addition to the appearance of the site, it is also important to take into consideration the services and amenities that the venue offers. Consider the following:
· Does the venue have a kitchen and can it provide catering to your event? If so, often a venue will waive the facility fee and only charge a down payment along with the cost of food for each attendee. Other venues may not have kitchens. Those venues without kitchen facilities may have a partnership with a food provider that you’re required to use, or you may be free to bring in your own vendors. Many venues have an exclusive relationship with certain vendors, typically food vendors. This can be great if the venue has partnered with a fantastic vendor. If not, it can create a huge headache, and negatively impact the experience of your attendees. If you can’t book a venue that serves food your attendees will enjoy, it would be better to select a venue that allows you to bring in outside food vendors.
· Does it have tables, chairs and linens you can use? If a venue has these items, you can save a great deal of money and effort by using what they have, assuming it matches your theme and ambiance.
Does the venue have parking space that can cater to the expected guest turnout? If it can’t, find out how easy street parking is around there.
· Does it have AV capabilities? Some venues have a built in audio-visual equipment for you to use, and others will require you to bring that in yourself.
· What’s the capacity? If you’ve followed our advice, you already know how many attendees to expect. You’ll need to know the room capacity of the venues for a few reasons. First, for general and practical reasons, 500 people can’t comfortably fit into a room with a 250-person capacity. And second, there are fire and safety codes that the venue has to abide by.
· What are the F&B Minimums? If your venue offers food and/or beverages, find out what the food and beverage minimums, also known as F&B minimums, are and get this information in writing. If you have past attendance records for this event, ensure that those records are in line with the minimums. You may have plans to attract an even larger audience this year, but you also want to make sure that your bases are covered in case attendance expectations are not met.
Even though you’ll be finding your venue early in the event planning process, you’ll still want to have a rough idea of what types of activities you’ll be including, the amenities you’ll require, and the needs of your team and the attendees.
The layout and floor plan of a venue will impact a few different aspects of your event:
· Flow of traffic. Think about the flow of traffic through your event. The kind of flow you’ll want will be different for each event. What areas will be high traffic at the event? Registration? The auditorium doors? Keep this in mind when choosing your venue, realizing that how you setup the tables and decor will greatly affect this as well.
Event activities. If you want to have keynote speakers at your event, you’ll either need a stage, or a spot to place a rented stage. Will you need a demo area? Will there be a bar?
Have you ever attended an event at a venue that was so loud, it was hard to hear others, causing you to strain your hearing and lose your voice, all in one night? That’s caused by poor acoustics. Acoustics is just a fancy word for how sound travels through the venue. A low ceiling will make the venue seem cozy, but it will make it louder if it’s packed. Alternatively, a large warehouse-style venue will result in echoes, or what architects refer to as “reverberation”.
Although, acoustics aren’t the be-all and end-all of your event, there are things you can do to improve them such as making good use of patios outside the venue, or you can use acoustical clouds or canopies.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your event’s venue. However, if you take the above into consideration when doing your research in combination with RentYourHall.com, you’ll find the perfect venue for your event.
Culled from: Whova.com
Insider Tip: Narrow your event venue search, then prior to the event, use the venue as a guest to evaluate the property, staff, and operations.