Selecting the right venue is critical and according to event professionals on LinkedIn, when asked what they would consider the most important points to keep in mind for choosing a venue for their events, here are the most frequent responses:
- Budgets – Cost is usually the main item that people focus on when considering or eliminating venues, and the cost of hiring out the venue must fit within your proposed budget.
2. Space requirements – This can include items like room capacities (this may include foyer and exhibitor space if you are planning a meeting or event), loading in and out of supplies; and technical abilities (like electrical and audio visual etc)
3. Availability – This goes almost without saying, but it’s a very good rule of thumb to have a few dates and time options on your plan (or at least be a little bit flexible with day/time of the event) before you begin looking at venues so you don’t set an immediate limit the number of venues you can possibly consider.
4. Appropriateness for the event – This may be the most important point listed here, as it requires you to know exactly the goals of your clientele so you can match up a venue with their exact specifications.
5. Security – This point can often be overlooked but is nonetheless very important, as this includes not only a venue’s security personnel but also points like security doors and limiting venue access to only guests/attendees (who wants an event crasher?).
6. What other groups are going to be using the venue at the same time as you – If you are planning a sit-down conference with speakers, you probably don’t want a loud wedding reception or a church service next door ruining your event. So make sure any other events happening at the venue (or even nearby) won’t interrupt yours.
7. Customer service – The venue needs to not only be to be responsive and mindful of your needs prior to the event, but it also must ensure to have enough support staff on site during your event to respond to the needs and requests of you, your staff and your attendees.
8. Accessibility – The venue needs to be conveniently located for your attendees and within a reasonable travelling distance, otherwise your attendance figures can suffer.
9. Parking and transport – On-site or nearby parking options for your guests are highly important (and also the cost of parking for your guests). In addition, proximity and accessibility to airports and public transport is important if you have many guests who aren’t driving themselves to the event.
10. Accessibility for people with disabilities – This can include ramps, elevators and other amenities for guests with physical disabilities as well as older guests who aren’t as easily mobile.
11. Nearby amenities and entertainment – Event attendees most times need or want to partake in fun activities outside of the main event, so a venue that has entertainment options in house or nearby can be critical to the success of your event. Alternatively if the venue is situated far from civilization, ensure that you offer a different type of entertainment and meals after event hours to keep attendees entertained.
13. Vendor restrictions – Some venues have a list of exclusive vendors that they work with exclusively and outside vendors that you may want to bring in, may not be allowed, or there may be certain restrictions.