Selecting the right venue or space for your event is critical to its success. While it may take time to set a location up according to your project, it does not have to be an overwhelming experience. For many amateurs and professional event organizers alike, venue hunting can be an exciting, challenging, and rewarding activity.
Let’s assume that you have already chosen the theme for your event and are looking for the perfect place to hold it. There are several elements that you need to consider as you go through the process of selection. Here are some tips to help you get started and to finally bed down that perfect event location that everyone will like.
1. Target audience: who are attending and how many
How many people are you expecting to show up and what is their general profile? Both the type of crowd and the capacity of the venue are crucial elements to choosing the right place. Be sure to have an accurate estimate of the number of attendees, what their tastes are if they will be driving cars and need parking, the type of food they like, the entertainment they appreciate, and more. All these factor into the space available at your location, its facilities, and other considerations.
2. When is your event?
Time and season are also key factors. Will the event be happening in the winter or the summer? You will need to consider ventilation, air conditioning, or heating, whichever is applicable. Also, take note if there is ample space to serve as a waiting area so your guests are not uncomfortable while the main event space is still unavailable. Will it be in the morning, at noon, or at night? Be mindful of lighting, temperature restrictions, space for movement, the distance of toilets and the like.
3. Set your budget
When you have narrowed down the event locations that could work for your big day, consider the rental fees and other miscellaneous expenses. Do all these fall within the budget? All that factored in, does your budget leave enough room for incidentals? Have you already tried negotiating the rates to get a discounted package?
4. Consider venue restrictions and services (and reputation)
Does your candidate venue have a good reputation? What are people saying about it online (or through friends and networks)? Based on the time and theme of your event, do you think your guests will want to attend if it is held in this specific location? Some venues charge for electricity and water use separately, while others place an add-on fee if you occupy certain spaces or ask for additional toilet facilities or want to mount decorations on the ceiling. Be very clear with the venue manager when you do your scouting so you can properly estimate costs and decide.
5. Conduct a site visit
Don’t just rely on the testimonials online or photos, even referrals from friends. You have to take yourself and your team to the venue itself so you can give the entire place a thorough inspection. Note the electrical load of the place, number of outlets, restroom facilities and other possible areas where problems might arise.
During your quest to find the right venue, you also have to ask your client if there are any places that he or she would prefer. If you know of any potential issues with the preferred space, bring them all out early on so your customer will have the choice whether to push through with what he or she suggested or will go with your recommendation.