When planning an in-person event, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is where to host it. There are many factors to consider when choosing a venue, from the size of the space and the event date to the cost.
In this guide, we’ll go over the essential elements you need to consider when choosing the perfect venue to host your event. Whether you are planning a business conference, professional development event, festival, or anything in between, read on for helpful advice on finding the right venue for you.
Location, location. This well-known real estate mantra is also applicable when selecting a venue for your event. There are a few factors to consider when narrowing down your choices, but choosing the right place is key to a successful event.
Before you start reaching out to venues, take some time to figure out what’s important to you and your guests. If proximity to major transportation hubs is a priority, then you’ll want to look for venues in or near city centers. If easy parking is a must-have, then suburban areas might be a better fit for you.
So when deciding which type of venue will work best for your event, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself, such as:
- What is the purpose of the event?
- What type of event is it?
- What type of atmosphere am I trying to create?
- How many attendees am I expecting?
- Do I need a seated or a standing venue?
It is also helpful if you can provide attendees with an event app. Nowadays, event apps are used more frequently because they enhance event experiences.
Using one can help your attendees save time when searching for event information, such as schedules and maps.
A great venue must be accessible to your attendees. If they’re not easily able to find it and enter, you could end up with an empty room or space. First, make sure you make it clear on when and how to attend. Second, ., you may want to consider your transportation options if your guests are coming from far away. Good public transportation will make it easier for them to get there, which means they are more likely to attend. Next, have clear signage to and at your location.
When choosing an ideal place or spot for an event, you should consider how many attendees the venue can accommodate. Technically, it should have enough space for attendees and all the equipment you will be using. And when we talk about attendees we mean the guests, speakers, performers, support personnel, volunteers, and anyone who will have a part in your event.
If you have more attendees than the venue can accommodate, things could get chaotic. If the venue is too small, you will not be able to accommodate everyone who wants to participate on a certain event date, which can reflect badly on you as the event planner. On the other hand, you can pay for extra space to fit more people but this will equal extra costs.
A larger space is ideal, but if it is too big, it may seem impersonal. It is also more expensive. At the same time, a space that’s too small can make attendees feel cramped or restricted and less comfortable or safe. An ideal venue should be large enough to accommodate everyone, but not so big that it fails to create the atmosphere you’re hoping to achieve.
Also, consider any special equipment you might need in the space, such as a stage, speakers, or special lighting. The venue should accommodate anything you require to carry out your event successfully.
Choose a venue with ample parking and make sure the attendees can access the space easily and safely. There is nothing worse than when guests arrive at a venue only to find that there is no parking or the parking is full.
The last thing you want is attendees having to look for parking elsewhere, which can take time and increase the chances of them arriving late or forgoing the event entirely. Therefore, make sure there are more parking spaces than you expect you will need, as it is better to have too many than too few.
It’s no secret that planning an event can be expensive. Between catering, decorations, and renting a venue, costs can add up quickly. That’s why it’s important to choose a venue you can afford.
Here are some tips for finding an affordable venue for an event:
- Consider hosting your event within your organization. For example, are you part of a school district where a school would be a good option to host your event?
- Check out local community centers or church halls. Often, these facilities offer lower rental rates than a full-service venue.
- Consider sharing your venue with another group. If there are two events being held at the same time, your rental rates will go down. Plus, if you are hosting an event for a charitable cause, sharing the space with another group can help raise awareness.
- Ask about discounts. If you are renting the venue during off-hours, inquire about a possible discount.
Function Spaces and Services Offered
It is important to find out what services a venue can offer. These can include catering, live entertainment, room set-up, high-speed internet, clean-up, and more. If you need a service that the venue does not provide, it is important to find out if the venue will charge for the service if you hire it separately.
Also, check to see what function spaces are available, whether it be outdoor space, indoor space, or both. And if the venue provides tables, chairs, or any other items you might need for your event.
Event Date and Time
Before you rush to book a venue, check its availability. You may find a perfect event space but it may be reserved on the date you need it. It is best to check availability months before the actual date of the event, just in case the date is already booked.
If you are keen about a particular place or space and it’s available on the date of your event, make sure to book it as far in advance as possible. This way, you don’t have to worry about the venue and you can focus your attention on other things.
It’s important to look at references for prospective venues before making a final decision. You can get references from past clients or even ask your friends, family, and co-workers if they have ever attended any events there.
You could also check out their website, if they have one, to see pictures or attendee reviews and ratings of any recent events that have been hosted there. This can give you a good idea of what the venue has to offer and what you can expect from it.
If the place has a restaurant, for example, you’ll know if their food is well received or if they are known for being overpriced. If the venue is outside, you’ll know what amenities it has and if its facilities are well maintained.
By seeing what other events have been hosted there, you can see if the venue’s description matches what they actually have to offer.
Furthermore, you might want to ask if they have hosted events similar to what you are planning on hosting. Event venues often hold different types of events and you want to make sure that it has experience with hosting your type of event.
Tips for Booking an Event Venue
Are you still unsure how to choose the best venue for your event? You’ll find a couple of useful tips below:
- Outdoors or indoors? If you are looking for a place that’ll hold at least 100 people, then it is best to stick with an indoor venue. It has better amenities and is more secure. However, outdoor venues are cheaper and offer better scenery for your photos.
- Book early. In-personvents are usually planned way in advance, so be sure to book a spot at least six months ahead of your event. This will give you ample time to set up for it.
- Do your research on the venue’s policies beforehand. While some venues are flexible with their rules, others are strict. Be sure to read over the contract and ask for a few changes if you are not comfortable accepting all their terms.
- Practice your negotiating skills. If you don’t like the venue’s terms, then negotiate. Add specifics to why you are not comfortable with their terms and ask them if they can change them for you. Remember that this is all about getting the best deal for yourself too.
- Book according to your needs. If you are hosting a small event of 20-30 people, then it’s more efficient to book a small space than a large space. If you are hosting an event of more than 100 people, then it’s best to book a large space.
- Alternative options. If you cannot find a suitable venue that agrees with your terms and conditions, then get creative. Loop in your networks to see what options you have available to you.
Looking for the right venue for an event can be a lot of work, but it’s wellworth it to pick the right spot. Plan ahead and plan well, and do your research thoroughly. Don’t hesitate to think outside the box when it comes to finding a place to hold your next event, big or small. Compare different venues to get the best possible deal, but make sure the place you choose is flexible and suitable for your event needs.