Finding the Perfect Venue

Posted on 08/07/2013 by Chloe

It’s all about location, location, location when it comes to finding the perfect venue. Choosing the right location is a crucial element and can determine an event’s success. While ploughing through venue after venue questions whirl around endlessly, until you feel the urge to pick up your computer, find the nearest window and watch the wonders of gravity in motion before you’re swiftly escorted from the building…

Obviously we don’t want that to happen so here’s our guide to homing in on your requirements so you can pass us the information, turn your hand to anything else on your list, while we find you the perfect collection of venues for your consideration.

Although there can be a lot to take into account, getting your requirements firmed up from the outset can really help set you on the right path to finding the venue that compliments and adds value to your event. In addition, identifying your requirements early on will encourage comprehensive, comparable costings to be proposed that encompass your requirements and by extension, limit hidden costs.

So grab a calming beverage - Camomile’s a favourite – your requirements may not be set in stone at this stage but here’s a list of things to consider to help find a venue that delivers your vision.

The basics

Date: Do you have preferred dates? Although it can depend on the time of year and location if you’re considering a one day event, Mondays and Fridays are great selections if you’re on a tight budget. Having a celebratory bash for your team? A weekend away instead of mid-week enables you to reduce budget, so you can keep the team happy spending money in the important areas!

Event Type: What is the event for? Is it a Dinner, Exhibition, Conference, Team Building Event or a combination event? Deciding your event type will determine the space, access, build elements etc. that you’ll need. Also, what is the key objective? Is there a theme? Themes can be incorporated into almost any venue so this may not be an integral requirement of the venue, however, it’s great to have an idea of it at the request for proposal stage so you can get an idea of the additional furnishings and elements needed to create your theme.

Rooms Required & Layout: Knowing the event space and layout you’ll need is beneficial as it helps to determine the room sizes and therefore which venues will suit. Basic layouts within conference and meeting rooms range from Theatre to Cabaret, Classroom to Banquet, Buffet or Exhibition. The type of event will also enable you to gauge formality and therefore layout.

Timings: Have you considered a tentative itinerary? Blocking off a whole load of rooms when you may not necessarily be using them can mean you’ll be paying for unnecessary space.

Numbers: Anticipated numbers will determine the size of your venue. Think about the maximum and minimum.

The nitty gritty

F&B: Is Food & Beverage required?Vegetarian options should be incorporated as standard into any menu but if you’re aware of other dietary requirements such as Halal, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Allergies then you may like to ensure these are catered for in your selection. Anything can be accommodated with preparation.

AV: The basic Audio Visual equipment such as Flipchart, Screen and Stationery should be included with a Day Delegate Rate or 24 hour rate – but again this depends on the location. Things such as Projectors, Microphones etc may be additional but it’s a good idea to understand costings. Perhaps speak to your speakers/trainers to see what they would like in  the room. For instance, as long as space dictates – depending on level of expertise one speaker may like to have a mic available yet another may not.

IT: Will your event be heavily dependent on IT and connectivity? If so, WiFi and state of the art facilities should be considered of any location.

Accommodation: How many of your guests will require accommodation - if any? Will you need Single/Double/Twin rooms or a mixture with single or double occupancy? If you are considering accommodation together with food and beverage, 24 hour rates will most likely be proposed, which are more comprehensiveand cost effectivewith better inclusions.

Additional Attributes: In addition to the above think about the attributes you’d like the location to have - natural daylight / space / outside area for team building / leisure facilities / centrally located / privacy / entertainment

Your guests

Convenience: Where will delegates be travelling from? If they’re predominantly travelling by air, perhaps you’d like to consider an airport venue – or something in between the airports your guests are flying into. If the majority of guests are travelling by road – fantastic transport links will be essential and parking will be a must. If, on the other hand delegates are travelling by train, city central venues could be a good idea (with a bit of parking if possible). Think about whether transportation is required between bus/train stations and the venue. Essentially, to encourage great delegate take-up make it as easy as possible for people to attend. The last thing you’d like upon event feedback from your guests – especially after all the work you’ve put into it – is to be told it was difficult to find.

VIP’S: Do you have any VIP’s on your guest list who require a little bit extra in terms of accommodation, goody bags etc?

Budget

Last but not least do you have a budget? Whatever budget you’re working toward remember it can be catered for – we don’t shy away from negotiation and venues are very accommodating. Try to factor in a 10% contingency element to the budget for any last minute requests.

There you have it – your guide to finding the perfect venue. A site visit is always recommended to reaffirm your thoughts and feelings about any venue. Wednesday’s blog then is all about showrounds…