Staging a successful event depends on a number of different elements and one of the most crucial is ensuring that the venue is perfect. A football crowd doesn’t fit into a small conference room and a handful of people feel out of place in a large stadium.
So how do you get it right? These are the things you can consider when matching your event to a venue:
1. What are you planning?
Start with the type of event you are planning. Is it a conference or for your parents 50th anniversary? This will give you an idea of where to start when looking for your ideal venue. Create a checklist and put this at the top.
2. How many will attend?
How many people are you planning to invite or do you think will attend. It is handy to set a maximum figure that you will accept and work towards this to ensure that the guest list doesn’t spiral upwards out of control.
Once you have this figure you can estimate the size of the venue that you will need.
3. Is there food involved?
Most events involve food of some kind. Food service can be a morning tea, a smorgasbord lunch or a full three-course sit down meal and everything in between. What will you be serving? Ask yourself:
- Is full seating required for food?
- Will it be self-serve?
- Is there a separate space available for food consumption/break times?
- Can the venue provide everything you need or is an outside caterer necessary?
Don’t forget to take into account that people may have special requirements, can the venue accommodate these with their own catering service? Asking people about particular food requisites when they register or are invited makes it easier to add it into your planning.
4. Ideal spaces
The perfect space for an event is not just about size it is about ambience as well. Stunning views, a combination of indoor, outdoor and rustic surroundings can all contribute to how attendees will enjoy your event.
Characterless rooms may be functional but tend to make an event boring. When assessing venues imagine how the space will work for you and your application. Talk to the management about what they can supply and how they can set it up to fulfil your needs.
Is the venue easy to get to for people of all abilities? Is it near public transport or major roads so that people can easily attend? If it is out of the way, you can add some transportation of your own or perhaps encourage carpooling via event registration.
Have you ever been to an event where Aunt Betty can’t be art of the celebration because she cannot get her wheelchair into the venue? Not ensuring that your venue is accessible for all abilities is a big event mistake. All internal and external doorways must be accessible and even toilets. When you inspect venues put this on the top of your checklist.
Finding the perfect venue is one of the first steps in organising a successful event. Make sure that you have a written contract that documents everything that the venue agrees to provide prior to giving any deposit.
Remember that the quality of your venue makes or breaks your event so take your time to ensure that you choose one that can give you everything that you need.