When to Start Looking for a Venue
The earlier the better. Once you have a good understanding of the following 3 things, you can begin your search for a venue: budget, estimated event size, and space requirements.
Book a venue at least 4-6 months in advance so that you will have enough time to plan other critical things, such as catering, event brochures, an websites.
What to Consider When Searching for a Venue
You’ve probably already considered this. For a local event, you may be looking for a venue within a reasonable distance from most attendees’ homes or places of work. If many attendees will be traveling from out of town, a venue near the airport or their hotels will be beneficial. In whichever case, don’t forget to consider traffic, transportation, and parking options.
Does the venue have a parking lot or valet parking? A venue with a parking lot is what dreams are made of. If that’s not the case, are there parking lots nearby which attendees can access and use? If there is no parking available, you’re not completely out of luck as you have a few alternatives:
You can reserve nearby parking lots for your attendees and either include the cost in the ticket prices, or have attendees pay when they park.
Take a look at Uber and Lyft discounts offered for events. You can negotiate with them to set this up and distribute the promo code to your attendees.
3. Capacity and Minimums
What’s the capacity? You’ll need to know the room capacity of the venues for a few reasons. First, 500 people (if it is your estimated event size) can’t comfortably fit into a room with a 250-person capacity. And second, there are fire and safety codes that the venue has to abide by.
What are the F&B Minimums? If your venue offers food and/or beverages and sets a minimum food and beverage spending amount (known as an F&B minimum), ensure that the past F&B records from the previous events are in line with the minimum. If you estimate much more F&B spending than what the venue requires, it means you would be a good customer to them. Negotiate whether they can provide complimentary service (e.g. upgrade Wi-Fi or A/V support) in return if your spending reaches a certain level.
How to make adjustment based on attendee feedback? It is important to be able to make an informed adjustment for a size of a room or F&B right before or during your event.
4. Services and Amenities
Does the venue have a kitchen and can it provide catering to your event? If so, often a venue will waive the facility fee and only charge a down payment along with the cost of food for each attendee. Those venues without kitchen facilities may have a partnership with a food provider that you’re required to use. You may want to check their food in advance. If it is not good enough, it can create a negative impact on your attendees’ experiences. So, either go with a venue that serves great food or allows you to bring in outside food vendors.
Does it have tables, chairs and linens you can use? If a venue has these items, you can save a great deal of money and effort by using what they have, assuming it matches your theme and ambiance.
Does it have a setup/clean up crew? If you’ve found a venue which provides a setup and clean up crew, rejoice! This isn’t always the case. If these services aren’t available you’ll need to build your event team or find volunteers.
Does it have AV capabilities? Some venues have a built in audio-visual equipment for you to use, and others will require you to bring that in yourself.
Even though you’ll be finding your venue early in the event planning process, you’ll still want to have a rough idea of what types of activities you’ll be including, the amenities you’ll require, and the needs of your team and the attendees.
While narrowing down your selection, get an illustrated floor plan of each venue, and walk through your favorites at least once, making note of important things such as where the outlets are and where AV equipment is or can be located.
The layout and floor plan will greatly affect a few different aspects of your event:
Flow of traffic Think about the flow of traffic through your event. The kind of flow you’ll want will be different for each event. What areas will be high traffic at the event? Registration? The auditorium doors? Keep this in mind when choosing your venue, realizing that how you setup the tables and decor will greatly affect this as well.
Event activities If you want to have keynote speakers at your event, you’ll either need a stage, or a spot to place a rented stage. Will you need a demo area? Will there be a bar?
Let Palatial Events take the stress and strain out of searching for a venue you. We will make sure the venue has all the ticks that will suffice for your event!
Contact us and speak with our experts to help you in finding the perfect place your event.