What to consider when choosing a venue for your event?
First of all you need to determine if your event is restricted to a specific date or if you have a window of time to play with. If you have to host the event on a specific date you need to make that your leading criteria when looking for a venue.
Next you need to focus on the capacity the venue will hold. Be sure to determine the style of event before meeting with the venue coordinator so you aren’t wasting either of your time. Is this a cocktail style party? A sit down dinner? Theatre style concert? A conference where you not only need dining tables for lunch but also break out rooms alongside presentation rooms. The options are endless. Each of those event styles will completely change the capacity of individuals you can fit in the room based on the floor plan once tables, chairs, bars etc are all in place. Venues have to follow strict fire code guidelines for their capacity so this is not an area to try and wiggle with.
Once you have sorted those two key items out you should consider the following:
Location: Where is the target audience located? You want to pick a venue that is accessible to the attendees.
Food + Beverage: Are there food requirements/restrictions? If your guests are Kosher you need to make sure you can use a Kosher caterer in the space. Some venues only allow in-house food service or only allow food service from a shortlist of preferred vendors. Be sure to ask about your options before signing anything.
Audio Visual (A/V) requirements: Are you showing a presentation at the event? Does your video need sound? Is there a music system already built into the venue? What is the lighting in the space like? Are all house lights on one switch or do you have the option to play around with spotlights, pin spot lighting and uplighting? You want to know so you can determine how much extra budget needs to be dedicated to bringing in an A/V supplier.
Those are your key areas to start with. Depending on the type of event you may need to delve into other specifics like if there is a bridal suite for VIP’s to get ready. Is there a green room for any performers? What are the load in access times for design elements to get set up?
Don’t be stressed out, picking the venue can be overwhelming but once it’s done you get to jump into the fun part of planning the event! That’s what we are here for - to help guide you through the whole process.
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