Sarah Hill of Seven Events offers some tips on the importance of finding the perfect event venue.[hr gap=”30″]
The venue is an essential part of any event – if you fail to choose an adequate space for your needs, the entire event may be impossible to turn into a success, no matter how well you plan out everything else.
It needs to be practical, but at the same time, the space needs to have a wow factor that will create an unforgettable experience for your guests. Balancing these two aspects is a tough challenge, even for experienced event management companies, but it’s critical nonetheless.
So how can you choose a venue for your event that meets your requirements?
Well, here are five things you should consider that can help make the decision easier.
The Location Matters More than You Think
When considering the right location, there are numerous questions you need to answer. Is it easily accessible for the majority of your guests? Does it have good parking options? Is a central location essential or can it be further from the city centre?
The answers to these and other similar questions will depend on the type of event you’re organising, and they will determine what kind of venue location requirements you establish.
Sometimes, you may need the help of an experienced venue finder to sort through thousands of venues near London, especially if you’re not sure which location would be the wisest choice for your circumstances.
The most important thing to consider, however, is the convenience for your guests – if your venue is hard to access, it will be tough to get guests to come. That’s why, for corporate events, a dedicated events venue might work better, as it will likely be convenient to access and will have allocated parking available.
Make Sure There’s Enough Space
Before establishing the requirements for your venue, you will need to determine how much space you will need.
The easiest and fastest way to gauge this is by estimating the number of attendees that your event is going to have – most venues provide information on how many guests it can accommodate, so that can help you to quickly rule out many options that aren’t the right fit.
However, even if the event’s capacity matches your needs on paper, you should still double check to ensure that it really has enough space by visiting the venue in person. Often it’s better to book a site that has slightly more space than what you’ll need because then you can rest assured that it won’t be too crowded.
Finally, the amount of space required isn’t determined just by the number of guests – you also need to consider the space requirements for catering, entertainment, and any technical needs for your event.
Does the Style of the Venue Match Your Event Theme?
While it’s not the primary deciding factor, the style of the venue can play a significant role, as it needs to match your event’s purpose and theme.
Even if you don’t have a particular theme that you want the venue to match, you still need to consider how the venue’s style will reflect on your event and, more importantly, your company.
The decor and the quality of the venue play a vital role in how your event and your business is going to be perceived.
You should make sure that the location positions your company in a way that you want and that it doesn’t clash with what you’re trying to establish.
Also, consider how the style matches the type of event that you’re putting together – for instance, a gala or an award ceremony would likely require a different style from an expo or a conference.
Asking about what kinds of events are usually held at the venue can help you get a better idea of whether it’s a good fit for your event as well. You can even request to see photos or footage from previous events so you could see how it looks like when in full capacity.
Facilities and Equipment
You don’t want to have to deal with sourcing equipment yourself, so it’s essential to ensure that your venue has everything that you will need or is at least able to supply you from their own sources.
The first step of the process is sitting down and making a preliminary list of all your requirements. This includes basic necessities such as chairs and tables, utensils and dishes, and amenities, but may also include things like audio or video equipment, lighting, an internet connection, or anything else that may be required.
After you have a list of requirements, you can cross match it with potential venues and instantly rule out the ones that don’t fit.
And even if the venue says that they have the equipment, always make sure to clarify exactly what kind of equipment is available so that you know that it will suit your purposes.
For instance, if presentations or video streaming will be a part of your event, you should ensure that the projectors will be able to provide you with a satisfactory experience and that the internet connection is reliable and powerful enough to handle it.
Don’t Be Afraid of Unusual Venues
Too often, companies get so bogged down by the thousands of details that go into putting together an event that they end up choosing a venue that’s simply boring.
Sure, finding a venue that matches up with what you need ideally is a challenge, but sometimes you may need to look at what’s available and make compromises if it means that you can have a unique venue that will provide a memorable experience.
Any space can become a venue if you want – even warehouses, historic buildings, public spaces, or nightclubs.
Sometimes these venues do require a bit of extra effort and creativity, but if you manage to make the venue work, you can end up with a space that becomes the highlight of the entire event.
But of course, finding a non-traditional venue that can work for your event is not easy – that’s why it might be a good idea to utilise the services of an event agency in London that can help you spot the hidden gems and help you make the right choice for your event.
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – one of the leading event management companies in the UK, providing conference and incentive travel, conference venue finding services, and corporate team building services. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago; as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.