If you are getting ready to plan an event, be prepared to make many decisions!
The venue that you select will have a big impact on the outcome of the event, so in addition to key issues such as its date availability and price, you should also consider these other essential aspects when choosing your venue:
- Capacity: the “how” is as important as the “how many”. When requesting information on venue capacity, keep in mind what type of arrangement you need for each room (theater, classroom, standing…). Do not forget to check the room layout for elements that may hinder the visibility of the attendees (columns, steps, etc.) and always have a Plan B when using outdoor spaces. After all, you don’t want the rain to spoil your ceremony!
- Catering service: make sure it doesn’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Whatever type of event you are planning, you will most likely need some sort of catering service whether it is a simple coffee break or a gala dinner. See which options they offer, if they work with an exclusive provider or you can bring the catering company of your choice, and if they have a fully equipped kitchen that can be used.
It might be convenient if in fact they work exclusively with a specific catering company (they will be familiar with the dining rooms, kitchen facilities, discharge areas,…). But don’t be too confident! If the catering company involved does not meet your quality standards in both the food and the staff, look for other venue options. Your guests may not mention how incredible the stage design was, but they won’t hesitate to comment how much they disliked the food!
- Audiovisual services: The show must go on. Some venues have their own audiovisual equipment that you can rent, others have exclusive suppliers or agreements with companies that can offer the audiovisual services you need, and more flexible venues allow you to bring in the provider of your trust. If the latter is not the case, make sure you will have experienced technical staff to give you professional support during the event. These technicians must be aware of your needs, performing a pre-event testing if possible, and being prepared for the unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the event.
- Accommodations: convenience above all. The golden rule in event management is to do everything in your power for the attendees to feel at ease. Therefore if you can spare them the inconvenience of going back and forth from one site to another, depending on transport, finding a place to park … they will be very grateful! So when selecting your event venue, consider if it offers accommodation nearby, easy access to airports and train stations, parking area, etc.
- Accessibility: celebrate an event that everyone can enjoy. Analyze the profiles of your guests to take account of those with special needs, whether they are disability issues, food intolerances, or any other. If needed, contact the relevant associations: they will be glad to offer their help and knowledge. Not only are you contributing your two cents’ worth to social awareness, but you will also feel the attendees’ gratitude far beyond the closing ceremony.
- Adaptability: versatile spaces, dedicated staff. In assessing possible places to hold an event, it is necessary to go beyond the cold numbers. As an event planner, you must find a space that can be customized to convey the corporate image and message, in a way that is visually striking but also functional.
This versatility of the space must go hand in hand with the strategic collaboration of the venue’s staff. They have an important role in the success of your event, and therefore must share your pro-active approach to troubleshooting.
- Performance: verify their work in progress. When scheduling your visits, set dates so you can inspect the possible venues without and also during an event. Make a first visit when no event is being held in order to tour the facilities and discuss your concerns thoroughly. The person assisting you will appreciate having the chance to show you the possibilities that the space can offer. But don’t forget to visit the venue again during an event so you can see how everything works “live and in action”, evaluating everything from the staff’s attentiveness to the cleanliness of the bathrooms.
After considering these factors, you’ll have a better criterion for selecting the venue that best fits the needs of your event. Now you can get going with all the other aspects of the event, if you have the time! In case you don’t, Akadama Events are experts in strategic event management and are ready to be your team players. Focus on running your business and building your client relationships during your event. We’ll take care of everything else!