There are so many considerations to think about when selecting a venue for your event. Ultimately, as an event professional, a meeting organiser or a conferencing planner, you want to ensure that everything from the overall event plan and schedule to the smallest of details goes off seamlessly. You want your stakeholders and your delegates to be wowed, and you want the venue team to become as one with you and your team.
To help you plan your upcoming events, we’ve put together our 6 top tips on what to think about when you book a venue.
Before you start your venue search, you’ll need to agree your budget. Be sure to stick to it and don’t be drawn in by expensive venues that are beyond your budget. At the same time, it’s important to remember that low-cost or budget venues can sometimes have hidden costs, or you may receive a much more basic service. It very much depends on the type of event you are looking to run. So have a clear plan and set of objectives for your event. Check out case studies, testimonials and Google reviews. Speak to other event professionals who have used the venue previously, to get honest feedback on the service and the space and any insights on unexpected costs.
Be clear about what you are looking for in terms of facilities and services. A quality venue should provide you with a number of elements as part of your Day Delegate Rate (DDR). Check with the venue as to whether these items are included in your booking:
If your delegates need to travel, they may require accommodation. Be sure to find out if your venue offers accommodation, and if they don’t, they may well have a preferential rate agreed with a local hotel.
Be sure to think carefully about the size of space that you’re looking for. Whether your event is large or small, ensure the venue you choose is appropriate for your needs. Keep in mind that you may well want to use the venue for other events in the future so look for flexibility. Are there any partitioned rooms that could work better for your event by opening them up? For larger events, a venue that can offer ample meeting rooms, reception space, breakout rooms, a restaurant and outside space may be better suited.
The event location is one of the most important factors when choosing a meeting venue. You need to select a convenient location for all your delegates and presenters. Be sure to find somewhere with easy transport links. Think – are they near a main motorway or railway station? Ideally your venue should provide free parking, or at the very least, a reduced fee for event delegates. Things like this will make the event that little less stressful for busy delegates who may be travelling a significant distance. Ensure that you think about whether you’ll need outdoor space too. Are you hosting your event in the summer months? Will you be having a Drinks Reception that needs to spill out onto some gardens? Dedicated meetings and conference venues will be fully geared up to help you with queries like this and to support your event needs. Just remember, it’s what they do every day, so get them to help you.
During your search, if you find a venue you like the look of, be mindful of how quickly the events team responds to your enquiry. Great service should run throughout the course of your enquiry and your event. Ensure you carry out a site visit before you book the venue. This will allow you to see the venue and the team in person and judge whether they can meet your needs.
If you decide to do an initial site visit or ‘show-round’ as it’s often referred to in the events industry, here are seven key things to look out for:
Once you have followed our 6 tips for booking your events venue, you should be in a strong position to not only select your preferred venue, but to put together a list of venues and the pros and cons of each.