Choosing the perfect venue is one of the most crucial decisions event managers make, impacting the experience, attendance, and overall success of a corporate event. Here are top tips for event managers to ensure they select the ideal location, based on input from delegates and suppliers at the Event Organisers Summit…
1. Central Location: Opt for a venue that’s easily accessible for all attendees. A central location, preferably with good public transport links and ample parking, can increase attendance and ensure punctuality.
2. Capacity and Comfort: Choose a venue that comfortably accommodates your guest list, with some room to spare. Consider the maximum capacity for safety, but also ensure the space isn’t too vast; you want to avoid your event feeling under-attended.
3. Facilities and Amenities: Ensure that the venue offers all the necessary facilities. This includes audio-visual equipment, staging, seating options, and reliable Wi-Fi. Check if there are additional costs for using these facilities and if the venue offers technical support.
4. Brand Alignment: The venue should align with your company’s brand image. A luxury brand may opt for a high-end hotel, while a tech company might look for a modern space with cutting-edge facilities.
5. Budgeting: Keep a clear budget in mind and understand what is included in the venue hire fee. Some venues offer packages including catering, which might be more cost-effective than hiring caterers separately.
6. Catering Options: Food and drink often leave a lasting impression. Ask about in-house catering, preferred suppliers, or if there is the option to bring an external caterer. Remember to consider dietary requirements and have a variety of options.
7. Layout and Flow: Consider the event flow and whether the venue supports it. Is there space for breakout sessions? Are there networking areas? The layout should facilitate the event’s objectives, whether that’s learning, networking, or celebrating.
8. Accommodation: If guests are traveling from afar, consider venues with on-site accommodation or those within close proximity to hotels. Some venues may offer discounted rates for event attendees.
9. Staffing and Service: A venue with experienced, professional staff can make all the difference. Ensure there are enough personnel on hand for your event’s needs, from tech support to catering staff.
10. Site Visits: Always visit the venue in person. Pictures can be deceiving, and it’s crucial to get a feel for the space, the staff, and the atmosphere.
11. Date Flexibility: Being flexible with your event date can give you more venue options and sometimes better rates. Consider off-peak times for the best deals.
12. Contingency Spaces: For unpredictable UK weather, ensure there are contingency options for outdoor events. Check if there are indoor spaces available in case of rain.
13. Accessibility: Ensure the venue is accessible to all attendees, including those with disabilities. Check for step-free access, elevators, and accessible restrooms.
14. Negotiation: Don’t be afraid to negotiate on price, especially if you plan to bring repeat business or book multiple dates.
15. Past Reviews and References: Look for feedback from previous clients and ask for references. Past experiences can give insights into potential issues or confirm the reliability of the venue.
By meticulously considering these factors, event managers can choose a venue that not only impresses attendees but also contributes to the seamless execution of the event, ultimately reflecting well on the organisation hosting it.
Are you looking for venues for your organisation’s events? The Event Organisers Summit can help!