10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Event Venue

10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Event Venue

Choosing the ideal venue for your conference and event can sometimes be a tough decision. It can determine whether your event is a success or failure. There is so much choice, a wealth of information available online and of course, limiting factors which will ultimately influence where you finally book. Take a look at our top tips below - 1. Location & Accessibilty This is paramount to maximising attendance. Your venue must have excellent transport links - air, train and motorway; plentiful (and if possible free or cheap onsite) parking and if the event is to take place on more than one day or has an early start / late finish - onsite or nearby accommodation to suit a range of budgets. Try to determine where most of your delegates or guests will be coming from and chose a location that is convenient to the majority. Assess your business needs and factor in the overall logistics when shortlisting your venues. 2. Size You should choose a venue that is the right size and capacity, ensuring a good fit for your delegates and event. If you book a venue that is too large it might look like the numbers for the event have not been achieved and it is poorly attended and therefore unsuccessful. If you chose somewhere too small it will be overcrowded and uncomfortable and there may not be enough seating or space for networking. Does your venue have spaces that meet your needs? Check with your venue the capacities of the spaces you are booking. You should also check that there will be sufficient staff working on your event and ask if you will have a dedicated point of contact. 3. Cost Budget is crucial when searching for a venue and you should always set this first. However, if you have found your perfect venue but find it falls outside your budget, consider negotiating before walking away as you may be able to reduce the costs in some areas to bring the event in within budget. What packages are available and what does this include. Is everything included or will you be charged for extra refreshments, water on the tables When it comes to paying your final invoice you don't want any unexpected costs that you hadn't budgeted for. 4. Layout Options Depending on what type of event you are organising, ensure your venue can set your room(s) out in your desired and optimum layout. For example you don't want to be tied to a room that can only be laid out theatre style if your delegates have group work or discussion to do. Other factors to check include asking if there are any obstructions to the staging in the room, is there plenty of power, is there natural daylight, is it close to breakout rooms and catering? 5. Menu When it comes to choosing menus for your event, whether it be a drinks reception, a gala dinner or a buffet lunch, ensure there is something available to suit everyone. You want plenty of choice with hot and cold options. Make sure you cater for dietary requirements, allergies and have the suitable alternatives available. It is a good idea to book a tasting session when you go for a site visit especially if you are booking a seated dinner. 6. Availability It makes sense to check for other major events taking place at the same time, either in your events location or within your industry to ensure that your event attracts the maximum number of attendees. If the venues you are shortlisting are available you could check whether other events are taking place there at the same time as this may impact on networking in common spaces. 7. Suitability What type of event are you holding? Does the venue fit? Are there ample opportunities for branding and also ask does it reflect your events objectives?. Again check if there are any other events taking place at the same time that may clash with your events objectives. Check the venue has appropriate break out space if necessary. How adaptable are the venue staff and how will they respond to the inevitable changes 8. Technical Delegates want free, fast and available wi-fi so ensure this is available. Enquire about technical packages available if you require equipment such as projectors and flipcharts. Ask if there is technical support available should you need it. 9. Site visit It is really important to go and visit your potential venue(s), make a list of what you need the venue to deliver before you go and take a camera. You often can't make a judgement from the internet or a telephone call alone. Factors you should consider are the welcome from reception, car parking, breakout spaces, catering facilities, parking, outdoor space (if required). Are you confident in the staff to deliver the best - are they confident in what they are doing and will they help with what you are trying to achieve. 10. Use Conferences UK Using a venue finding service gives you the benefit of insider knowledge, experience and feedback. Remember that Conferences UK can help you find your perfect venue...give us a call today on 0800 078 9585

Author: Gary Burgess

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