When you are coordinating an event, there are many decisions that need to be made. However, picking a venue is a decision that will have the largest impact on your whole event. There is some planning information that is largely dependent on the venue you choose, such as the date of the event. Before you start your search it is important to know your budget, number of guests, and the type of event. Once you know these three things, you can start looking for an appropriate venue. By booking a venue about six months in advance, you will be able to create a solid timeline to complete everything by the date of your event.
These are some of the most important things to consider when booking a venue:
- Cost: To maximize your budget, you may want to keep the cost of the venue down to allow for a higher budget for entertainment, food, and beverages. If you are flexible on your dates, you can use it as a negotiating tool as some days of the week or times of the month cost less.
- Ambiance: It is important to pay attention to the style of the venue. The type of event you will be hosting will determine the venue accommodations. For instance, if you are holding an expo, the venue accommodation would be entirely different than if you were holding a gala.
- Services and Amenities: Some questions to ask when looking into the services and amenities of a venue include:
- Can the venue provide catering the the event and does it have a kitchen?
- Are there linens, tables, and chairs you can use?
- Is there a setup and clean up crew?
- Are there AV capabilities?
- Location: It depends on the event when you start thinking about what a convenient location actually means. If the event has attendees in a limited area, a venue located within a reasonable distance would make the most sense. However, if attendees will be traveling from far away, it may be beneficial to host the event near an airport or their hotels. If the attendees are traveling from far away and staying in one hotel, it may make the most sense to hold the event at that hotel.
- Minimums and Capacity: Two questions you must ask when choosing a venue include:
- What are the food and beverage minimums?
- What is the maximum capacity of the space?
- Parking: Figuring out parking will be a huge relief for the attendees. If the event venue has a parking lot, that would be best situation. However, if they do not, you should look at parking lots nearby that would accessible for the attendees. If there is not parking available, you can always look to reserve nearby parking lots, work with Uber or Lyft to create a discount code for your attendees, or offer valet parking for the event.
- Accessibility: It is important to understand who your attendees are and if they have any needs to ensure they can access the building and its amenities. In addition to guests with special needs, you should find out if any children or babies will be attending so you can check the bathrooms for diaper changing stations.
As you can tell, there is a lot to think about when choosing the right venue for your event. If you take the list above into consideration when conducting your research, you will be able to find the right venue for your event.