As events slowly start to come back into the rotation of our normal lives after the pandemic, more and more venues are opening their doors back to the public.
As an event planner, choosing the right venue is a decision that will impact every single aspect of the event. There are several factors that should be taken into account when looking for the best possible venue.
In this article, we'll tell you 5 important things you need to consider when choosing event spaces for your next event.
Let's dive in.
When You Should Start Looking For a Venue
It's never too early to start looking for a venue for your event. There are three important factors you need to understand before you start your search:
- Estimated event size
- Space requirements
Once you have a ballpark of each of those factors, it's time to start looking for your dream venue. Depending on the type of event and size of the event you're hosting, you should probably book a venue around at least 8 months in advance.
This will give you time to plan other important aspects of your event, such as starting ticket sales, marketing to attendees, securing guest speakers, creating an event website, and more.
5 Factors to Consider When Looking For Event Spaces
There are many different aspects that need to be considered when looking for the perfect space for your event. Let's take a look at five of the arguably most important ones:
Location, location, location. This is an obvious huge factor in choosing an event space that makes sense.
If you're hosting a local event, you want to make sure that you choose a space that's a reasonable distance between your attendees' homes or workplaces. If people are traveling in from out of town, it could make sense to find a venue that's close to the local airport or the hotel they will be staying at.
Another recent technological innovation that has become a standard for bigger events is a mobile event app. With this, you can provide maps, directions, parking and shuttle information, and more. This will help attendees feel more confident about where they are going and will keep them punctual.
This is especially useful for venues that are located on large campuses.
One underrated factor of venue choice that can make or break an event is the parking. It's important to see if it has a parking lot or even valet parking.
Although venues with a parking lot are ideal, it's not always an option. If that's the case, search the area and see if there are nearby parking lots that can work.
If the parking situation isn't good, there are a few other options you can take into consideration:
- Reserve a nearby parking lot and include it in the ticket prices
- Try to negotiate a deal with Uber or Lyft for event discounts and give the code out to attendees
- Provide a way for attendees to share cabs with each other in apps or group chats
- Offer valet parking for the event even if the venue doesn't offer it
3. Capacity and Minimums
It's always important to take note of the capacities of event spaces before choosing.
It's important to always choose a location that has a slightly higher capacity than what you're expecting. For example, if you're expecting 500 guests, don't go with a 500-person capacity room. Guests will feel cramped and you'll be out of luck if any surprise guests show up.
On the other hand, if you choose a 500-capacity location with only 100 guests, your event will feel underwhelming and empty.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the food and beverage minimums. Make sure to discuss what the minimum is with the event manager and negotiate what you can. See if they offer complimentary services (like Wi-Fi or A/V support) with it.
4. Services and Amenities
Speaking of complimentary services, you need to know what services and amenities come with the venue.
Does the venue have a kitchen? Do they provide catering? If so, the venue will often waive the facility fee and charge a down payment along with the food. If they don't, they typically have a partnership for food services.
Do they have (nice) tables, chairs, and linens that you can make use of? If they already have them, you can save a lot of money by using what they have.
Do they have a setup and clean-up crew? It will take a huge task off your table if they do. But if they don't, you'll need to hire an event team or get volunteers to help you out.
Do they have AV capabilities? Depending on your event, you'll need to make sure that they have quality audio-visual equipment that your speakers can use.
5. Ambiance and Layout
Pay attention to the layout and decor of the venue. Does it have the same aesthetic that your event is trying to portray?
Hosting a wedding has a completely different feel from event planner conferences. The atmosphere needs to match what you want your attendees to feel at the event.
Finding an event space that matches your ambiance will save you a lot of time and money in decorating.
It's also key to start planning how the layout of the event will be early. You want to have a good flow of traffic. To do this, map out where your attendees will be walking through the event. Consider registration, bathrooms, food services, and more.
Find the Best Event Planner in New York
Those are five key elements to finding the right event spaces for your event.
As an event planner, it's important to continue to grow your knowledge and network with others in the industry. Event planner expos are a great way to do that.
Come join the leading marketing professionals, event planners, and innovators in New York City. Get your tickets today!