Finding the right place where your event can take place can consume a lot of time. When to start searching for the right place? Where to start? In general, it is worth to proceed as soon as possible to seek the ideal venue, but not earlier than you know the budget, the estimated number of event attendees, the main requirements regarding the place and the planned date. Below are some tips that will help you save time and increase efficiency in looking for the perfect place for your event.
Estimate the budget
If your budget has no limits – then great, you can schedule an event in even the most exclusive or extreme location. The number of possibilities seems to be enormous. However, there are very few such event organizers. Typically, there is a limit in the event’s financial plan, that you have to adjust to. It is worth knowing this amount as soon as possible as this will save you time, eliminating the offers beyond the reach of your budget. This doesn’t mean however that in a reasonable budget you can’t find a fantastic place to organize your event.
Estimate the number of attendees
The type of event you organize will undoubtedly determine the choice of venue, however, it is worth remembering that one of the biggest factors limiting this choice is the capacity of the chosen place. Make sure that you know at least the estimated number of attendees: this knowledge will limit the possibilities and save your time. There is a huge variation considering the capacity of the venues, from the cameral workshop rooms to huge conference halls. Knowing how many attendees can appear at your event, you will be able to start searching for the right location. A place can’t be either too small or too huge. The hall, which can accommodate 250 people – even located in the most attractive place – will be too small for 500 people. At the same time, the huge lecture hall won’t be a suitable place for handful participants of your training course: a large number of vacancies can make the participants feel overwhelmed and, as a result, their impressions will turn out to be negative.
Specify the needs of the attendees
When planning an event venue, it is worth taking into account who the recipients of your training courses/workshops/conferences are. The venue must reflect not only the needs related to the implementation of the event but also the tastes and expectations of its attendees. If people with special needs are to participate in your event, the access to the building and its facilities has to be provided to them.
Check if the place meets the technical requirements
Parking and access
Make sure that your chosen localization offers the right amount of parking spaces, especially if the event takes place outside the city. If not, check what are the parking possibilities nearby and what are the options to get to your destination.
Check if there is a catering service at the place of your choice and the costs associated with it. Make sure if you can negotiate the price and modify the menu. If you can, check the quality of meals in advance. Choose a place where tasty food is served or order catering from outside (make sure the facility offers this option).
Check, if your chosen venue offers tables, chairs and other items needed, such as a projector, a screen – if yes, it will save you a lot of money and effort by using what the facility offers. Ask also if the price includes flower arrangements, tablecloths, etc., you may find that this added value will be extremely valuable to you.
A hall layout
A proper hall layout can have a huge impact on the learning process and final satisfaction of attendees of your event. Therefore the venue you choose must offer a space adequate for the needs of the planned event. Draw a sample hall layout and plan the arrangement of tables, chairs, lectern, stage etc. Check that all the necessary elements fit in a way that allows comfortable participation in the event. Also pay attention to seemingly insignificant issues, such as the location of electrical sockets – you don’t want kilometers of cables from extension cords to lie on the floor.
Equally important as the optimal room capacity is its acoustics. If it is bad, attendees of the lecture or training course will have to strain their hearing to understand the lecturer’s words. It is not a comfortable way of learning. Make sure that your chosen venue offers good acoustic conditions. The hall can’t have a too low ceiling (sound of even quiet conversations intensified by bad acoustics may prove unbearable), nor can it be too high (unpleasant reverberation).
Once you find a venue that interests you and fulfills the criteria mentioned above, check its availability on dates that interest you. It may be that you will have to flexibly set the date of the event or choose a different location. Don’t put all eggs in one basket, always have a few alternative proposals ready.
Plan a meeting
Before concluding the contract, it is worth visiting the preferred place. Pictures and assurances of the facility manager have tremendous value, but nothing can replace a personal inspection. You will then be able to independently check whether the facility meets your expectations. It will also be an opportunity to assess the ambience of this place!
Book a place
If you have already decided, book your place, but remember to do it in advance – at least 4–6 months before the event – thanks to this you will have enough time to plan other important activities, such as marketing activities, choosing the right online event registration software or preparing the process of registering event attendees.
When choosing a venue, you have to consider a lot of issues. The more you will be engaged in this task, the less unpleasant surprises will pop up during the event itself. Always rather be assured than assume, in this way you will avoid Murphy’s merciless law.