4.Scope Out Different Locations
Once the guest list numbers and possible event dates are narrowed, it’s important to identify the locations where the event could be held. Hotels and event/conference centers are some of the most popular event spaces for corporate events and wedding receptions, but they are not the only options. This is a time to be creative in your thinking. Consider the following:
Based on the theme of your meeting, what three best locations come to mind?
Where would your guests prefer to attend this meeting/event?
- Find the Right Type of Space
The venue you choose must have an appropriate space for the type of event you are planning. Will your event require a dance floor? Will you need a PA system? What about a speaker’s podium or a projector screen? What sort of table setup do you need? In addition to considering these sorts of questions, here are some of the top venue planning questions to ask yourself:
Does the event venue meet the special criteria of your program or event?
Does the condition of the facility reflect the high standards of your organization?
6.Consider Venue Services and Restrictions
In addition to finding the right type of event space, you will want to look into the types of other services offered by the venue and decide their value to your event. Some venues will also have a preferred vendor list from which you must work to find vendors or suppliers for other services. Other venues have restrictions on decor or other aspects of the event itself. Some questions to ask include:
Does this venue offer good parking options?
Does this venue offer security?
A venue’s reputation for service is critical. This is often the difference between holding a good event and producing a great event. The way a venue manages its facilities, staff and clients will always be remembered. To get a sense for a venue’s reputation value, consider these questions:
How much flexibility is the venue willing to extend to you?
Does the venue offer photographs from events similar to yours?
8.Schedule a Visit
Unless logistics and time prevent it, every event planner should conduct a site inspection before contracting any venue. Pictures can be extremely helpful, but there are many aspects that can only be evaluated in person. Ask for a tour of the venue including everything from the parking to the entrance and the event space to the bathrooms. You’ll be glad you did.
Incorporate Client Preferences
Event planners must present their venue recommendations to their client (whether that be an internal client like company executives or management or an external client) and obtain approvals. The only question to ask yourself with regards to the client during the venue planning phase is will the client approve the recommendation(s)? To be able to answer that question with some confidence, you must make sure that you understand the client’s expectations and preferences from the beginning.