Event planners have the same problems world-wide: Finding the right space for the right group at the right time.
Mike James works with Function Fixers, a United Kingdom-based event planning company that specializes in sourcing unique venues for events, and here he offers some tips from his point of view for finding the right space in a world full of unique venues.
What is the Format:
It’s essential that the preferred room format is acquired, so do everything you can to find out what the celebration is all about. You wouldn’t hold a networking event in a theatre, so it’s essential that the format of the venue you’re looking for meets your requirements.
Consider what your event is all about and make the most of the pictures many venues display on their websites. You could even use some of the reviews other hosts have provided to come to a well-informed decision.
Choose the Location:
The location can make the difference between success and failure, so it remains an imperative aspect of any upcoming event. You certainly don’t want to make it difficult for people to access, so close parking can be helpful.
Nearby transport links are also essential otherwise a huge portion of your attendees are less likely to turn up. You should also be within close proximity of accommodations, especially if your event is attracting people from all over the country.
Date and Time
Keep on top of everything happening around the same time and make sure it doesn’t clash. Timing your event is crucial when choosing a location, as many venues won’t let your event continue past a certain time. Make sure you know exactly what the venue is expecting from you with regards to arrival times and shutting down.
Disabled guests will require alternative accessibility facilities in some cases, so make sure your venue can offer this. If disabled guests arrive without the facilities they require, they will feel unwelcome and this can create a damaging image for your event. This is especially important if you are hosting large-scale networking events where a substantial number of guests will turn up.
A comprehensive range of food options contributes significantly to a positive experience for your guests, so make sure you investigate all the catering options available.
If you decide to take up the food responsibilities yourself, having a venue with its own catering options can save time and make the organization process a little easier. To find out about catering options, do some research on the venue’s site and take a look at some of the customer feedback they have received in the past.
It’s also important to check up on some of the amenities you’ll have at your disposal at a chosen venue. Amenities can make the various aspects and features of your event convenient and save you time having to plan around a lack of equipment.
If you are going to be carrying out video conferences or using online services at any time, you need to make sure your event has Wi-Fi options. If you don’t have all the equipment you need, find out what they don’t have and you’ll be able to plan your event around technology they do have available.
The reputation of your chosen venue is essential as you might find many of your guests or attendees have had experiences they’d rather forget at the same location. In order to discover your chosen venue’s reputation, access their site and take a look at some of the customer reviews.
Instead of making your decision based on one single opinion, check to see if there’s a noticeable trend with regards to service. It shouldn’t be too difficult to see whether or not your chosen venue regularly lives up to expectations.
The Venue Size
Why waste money on a venue that’s designed for a few hundred guests when you’re hosting a corporate meeting? You should choose your venue based on the number of guests that are set to attend and the general theme of your event.
For example, if you’ve got a Christmas disco planned to end an awards evening, you may need some extra size for a dance floor. Make sure you have a good idea of the amount of guests who will be turning up and remember to have security at the door with a guest list if necessary.
Visit Your Chosen Venue
Complete the planning process with a visit to the venue itself so that you can make a well-informed decision on whether or not it’s the ideal spot. There’s always the chance that the venue possesses some problematic hidden secrets and these are usually only uncovered with a visit in person.