You know your budget, you have an idea of the number of guests and you know what type of event you will organize. You can then start looking for a suitable venue.
Or rather the perfect venue. And this is not just a simple step. It is one of the most important decisions you will make in the process of organizing a successful event. There are many things you need to consider.
Why is the right venue so important to the success of your event?
The location, building or grounds where you hold your event determines to a large extent the image you create. It will be the face of your project. It is therefore quite important, and it is clearly worth taking a serious look at it.
Certainly don’t be seduced by the idea of booking the first site you visit that you like. Consider as many different options as possible and carefully weigh the pros and cons of each.
Different types of events and venues
The list of venues that could be suitable for your event is endless. Therefore, make sure that the venue is appropriate for the type of event you are planning. It goes without saying that you will not make a good impression if you organize a big gala dinner in the canteen of the local soccer club.
Where can I find a suitable venue for my event?
Once you have an idea of where you want to hold your event, it’s time to find that perfect venue and book it. Relying on your good fortune to stumble upon that golden venue makes about as much sense as buying a lottery ticket to finance your event.
- Places and organizers of events and parties
- Event planner: all about event organization + business-related topics
- Industry news and reviews
- Request a quote
- Sites for corporate events, conventions, and trade shows
- Event bureaus, organization offices, and suppliers
- Industry news
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What should I look for when searching for an event location?
Of course, the building is not the only thing that matters. The location will also contribute to the success or failure of your event. So make sure that the venue is easily accessible, relatively centrally located, and that the average distance to your target group is acceptable.
If you are organizing an international event, then select a location near an airport. In this case, also consider accessibility by public transportation.
Five essential questions to ask when contacting your potential event venue
You have finally found a few sites that correspond to your project and your expectations. Now it’s time to gather as much relevant information as possible. So don’t hesitate to ask questions. Lots of questions. But start with the following five. That way you won’t forget them.
- What is the fixed price for the rental of the chosen site? Don’t forget to ask about the possibilities for set-up and dismantling. Also, try to get a discounted rate for the extra days you may need for this purpose.
- What to do in case of cancellation? Take into account the possible problems that could arise.
- What about catering? Is there a predefined caterer or chef or do you have to plan for it? This is a crucial question to take seriously. The impact on the success of your event (and your budget) is considerable.
- What are the AV and sound capabilities of the venue? What about the power supply? Is it possible to play live music?
- Is parking paid or free? What about shuttle and cab services?
The practical side
You have chosen your site, now it’s time to look at the more practical aspects. Do you have everything you need to ensure the smooth running of your event? What can the venue provide, and what do you need to take care of yourself?
- Tables, chairs, tablecloths, flowers, coat check?
- Coffee, tea, snacks during breaks?
- Facilities for the disabled?
- How are the acoustics?
- Is the heating sufficient?
- Is the site rented to other companies or do you have an exclusive right to use it?
Discuss all the do’s and don’ts
“There is more to it than meets the eye” is an adage that is more relevant than ever here. So don’t forget to go over the less obvious elements with the owner (make a list beforehand!).
Don’t hesitate to ask about additional services the site may or may not offer, and certainly don’t forget to address any limitations. Here’s how to get started.
- Set up and tear down?
- Cleaning crew?
- Security and protection?
- A maximum number of guests (regarding fire regulations)?
- Can you use other suppliers ?
- Do I commit to a minimum amount? What happens if the number of registrations is lower than expected?
Visit the site in advance
Unless you have a good reason for not doing so, you need to set aside time to visit the site and review it in detail. And preferably do it before you sign a contract.
While the pictures on the flyers, brochures, and websites will help you get a feel for it, there is still a lot you need to evaluate on-site. Don’t forget to ask if the site can provide references.
So ask for a complete tour, from the parking lot to the lobby and from the event spaces to the restroom facilities. This tour may give you some negotiating leverage before you finally accept. You won’t regret it.