As an event planner, you know that a lot goes into choosing a venue and it can get overwhelming! Choosing the right venue depending on your budget, number of attendees and type of event is very important. If you’re in the process of picking a space, we’re here to help! Below are some steps you can take to help you choose your perfect venue!
1. Change it up!
Organizations that host annual events tend to get comfortable with using a specific venue. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want your event to be different then avoid guests knowing what to expect and consider changing spaces. Your current venue may have limited capabilities or may only be able to hold a certain amount of people. New venues are always popping up and giving guests a chance to visit a new space will create a memorable experience!
2. Find out what you need and don’t settle!
After you narrow down your list to a few venues, go visit them! If you’re unable to visit, make sure you’re asking the right questions to get the information you need to accurately choose a venue. Does it have the right feel for your event? Does your desired floorplan fit comfortably in the space? Does the venue have strict policies or restrictions? You have to consider the type of event you’re hosting as well. If you’re holding a 24-hour dance marathon to raise money for your organization, you’re going to need a venue with a big dancefloor! If your event will feature a band or a speaker, the venue you choose should have space for a stage if one doesn't already exist. Depending on what you want to accomplish, your venue can make a huge difference. If you choose a venue without getting the right information, you could end up with a space that is completely wrong for your event and have to compromise a lot to make it work.
3. Do your research!
You wouldn’t decide on anything without doing a little research, right? Search for reviews on venues within the area to see what people are saying! You will also want to visit the venues’ websites to see events that they have held in the past. This will give you an idea of what you want to accomplish at your event and the process of elimination will lead you to the perfect space! Pay attention to details such as chairs in the photographs, do they belong to the venue or were they brought in for a particular event? You never want to have a room looking empty but we do suggest finding a space that offers you plenty of room to grow! If you get space to accommodate two extra tables and those won't get filled, you can add a few cocktail tables for the reception hour instead.
4. Who will be there?
One of the main things you have to keep in mind when choosing a venue are your attendees. You have to consider their demographic in order to find the right venue. If your guests are traveling and will need to stay the night, a hotel ballroom might be the right choice for convenience. If you’re hosting a sales dinner you will want the venue to be in a populated office area to keep folks from driving out of the way. To go the extra mile for your traveling guests, create a google map and pin near by hotel suggestions, restaurants, parking garages and convenient stores along with the venue of the event. Another thing to think about are dietary restrictions of your guests. Does the venue’s in-house catering accommodate this? You also always want to consider guests with disabilities and make sure that your venue is accessible for everyone in attendance. So after narrowing your venues down to a select few, don’t forget to think about who will be at your event!
5. Make sure your production needs are met!
When researching and/or visiting venues, find out if they will meet your technical needs! If you’re planning on having entertainment, creative lighting, projection displays or more the venue needs to have certain power capabilities in order to accommodate your event. Avoid poor acoustics so your attendees aren’t yelling over the music to have conversations. This tends to happen in venues with low ceilings and events held in warehouses can cause an echo. You also want to find out if the room has built in projectors, flatscreens or A/V capabilities at all. You may find out that you need to hire an outside production company!
We hope you found these five key points helpful. We will continue to share our experiences with you to make planning your future events easier!