Finding the right location and venue for your event is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as an event organizer. Since it’s such an early step in the process, the venue you choose will influence almost every decision you make after that.
Sound intimidating? It doesn’t have to be. Once you’ve gathered an idea of the event’s size and vibe, you can start narrowing down your venue options until the perfect one comes into focus.
To help get you started off on the right foot, here are a few tips to help you as you evaluate your next venue:
1. Schedule your tours at the right time
When you go a venue for a tour, try and schedule it for at or around the same time of the event you plan on hosting there. Everything from the lighting inside to the safety of the surrounding area outside could change depending on the time of day. To get an accurate idea of the venue virtual roundtables, you want to try and experience it in the same time frame as your event.
2. Stay true to your event & attendees
Evaluate the venue based on your event and your attendees needs. This sounds like common sense but all too often we see organizers get enamored with a venue that they love but is not right for their specific events needs.
Just because the venue is in a “hot location” or you found an opening at a notoriously hard to book place doesn’t mean it’s the right one for the event at hand. Know your event audience and what they will like/not like and stay true to them.
3. Get the inside scoop
A venues reputation around town is as good an indicator as any of whether it’s worth your time and consideration. Of course, online web searches are a great start but to ask other local businesses and event planners as well.
Does the venue staff have a reputation for being unfriendly and inattentive? Have they hosted similar events before and how did they fare? Are they flexible with changes and requests?
These are the kinds of questions you’ll want to know before booking the venue so don’t hesitate to ask around town.
4. Know your rentals
If you have an idea of what you might need to rent (chairs, tables, linens, sound system, etc) check if a venue can provide them instead of you having to rent them. While rentals do give you more creative freedom, they can quickly become a major expense for your event.
If budget is a concern, it’s a good option to look for a nicely furnished venue that can help alleviate some of those rentals costs.
5. Ask about refunds and culpability
In a perfect world your event will go smoothly, your attendees will adore you and you will be known city-wide as the best event organizer of all time. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Surprises and unforeseen issues can pop up at any time so knowing your options for pulling out ahead of time is crucial.