When choosing a venue for your event, there are a number of factors to consider. Of course, budget is nearly always a determining factor, so you’ll be wanting to look at the cost. However, other considerations can be equally as important and should not be overlooked. Here are a few points to remember:
How easy will it be for your guests to reach the destination? If this is a business event, you’ll want to make the trip as hassle-free as possible, to ensure maximum attendance. You may be able to entice wedding guests to trek out to the country for your nuptials, but attendees to a networking event, launch party or even a business conference prefer a central location with a clear path to get there, or they may just opt to skip it. Even if they’re required to be there as part of their job, you don’t want folks arriving cranky or late because the journey there was a big drag. Make sure you choose a spot with easy directions and good parking, or if you’re in a big city, with close proximity to public transportation.
Yep. These days, fast, dependable wifi service is one of the key factors to ensure a successful event. From registration apps, onsite social media outreach and live streaming to research and general communications, you are going to need access to the web before, during and after your event. Do what you have to do, but make sure that your venue has good wifi service. It’s essential.
REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITATIONS
Make sure you are clear about what stipulations your venue has regarding what they will or will not allow you to do. Some venues have lists of approved vendors for food, production and other services, and you will be required to stick to the list. Make sure you are approved to bring your own people if you have a certain caterer in mind.
Most venues have specific requirements regarding event insurance. Don’t wait until the last minute to secure your policy. You don’t want to be caught with insufficient or incorrect coverage, as some venues will actually refuse entrance for you to set up without having already given them the proper paperwork. (Imagine that nightmare!)
Be very clear about the technical specifications regarding entryways, size and location of elevators and electrical capacity. Make sure you know what you are or are not allowed to do with regard to painting, taping or otherwise altering walls, floors and other surfaces. Understanding the venue’s policies in this regard will save you a lot of time, money and general frustration on the back end, particularly if it means avoiding extra charges to repair preventable damage.
Is the space a good fit for the type of event you are planning and the people who will be attending? This is a determination that you should be making together with your client. Understanding their needs and the type of atmosphere they are trying to create is an essential part of any event planner’s job. Of course, your client will have definite opinions, but depending on the depth of their event experience, these opinions may rely more on esthetics. You will also need to weigh in on logistics and technical details, as these are equally important considerations.