When organizing an event, you are confronted by many decisions. Choosing a venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event. The date of the event, catering options, and attendees’ pleasant experiences … All are partly affected by which venue you select.
You’ve probably already considered this. For a local event, you may be looking for a venue within a reasonable distance from most attendees’ homes or places of work. If many attendees will be traveling from out of town, a venue near the airport or their hotels will be beneficial. In whichever case, don’t forget to consider traffic, transportation, and parking options.
A venue with a parking lot is what dreams are made of. If that’s not the case, are there parking lots nearby which attendees can access and use? If there is no parking available, you’re not completely out of luck as you have a few alternatives:
You can reserve nearby parking lots for your attendees and either include the cost in the ticket prices, or have attendees pay when they park.
Take a look at Grab discounts offered for events. You can negotiate with them to set this up and distribute the promo code to your attendees.
3. Capacity and Minimums
You’ll need to know the room capacity of the venues for a few
reasons. First, 500 people (if it is your estimated event size) can’t
comfortably fit into a room with a 250-person capacity.
If your venue offers food and/or beverages and sets a minimum food and beverage spending amount (known as an F&B minimum), ensure that the past F&B records from the previous events are in line with the minimum. If you estimate much more F&B spending than what the venue requires, it means you would be a good customer to them.
4. Services and Amenities
- Does the venue have a kitchen and can it provide catering to your event? often a venue will waive the facility fee and only charge a down payment along with the cost of food for each attendee. Those venues without kitchen facilities may have a partnership with a food provider that you’re required to use. You may want to check their food in advance. If it is not good enough, it can create a negative impact on your attendees’ experiences. So, either go with a venue that serves great food or 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 it have a setup/clean up crew? If you’ve found a venue which provides a setup and clean up crew, rejoice! This isn’t always the case. If these services aren’t available you’ll need to build your event team or find volunteers.
- 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.
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.
Accessibility refers to the possibility that everyone, especially those with special needs, can access the building and its amenities. Before you can answer this question, you’ll need to understand who your attendees are and what their needs are.
You’ll probably know whether there will be children at your venue, but you may not know if there will be individuals with other special needs. In this situation, reviewing recent events hosted by your organization may give you a sense of this.
7. Cost and Flexibility on Event Date
Being flexible on the event date can be a great way to negotiate with venues. They may have open dates on their calendar that they want to fill. By providing 2-3 date options, you are more likely to get discounted pricing.
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