Part 1: The Venue
Choosing the right venue for your event can make a vast difference for your guests. When you are looking at a venue, whether it’s for a large conference, an intimate wedding reception or a lavish dinner, there are lots of things to consider to ensure you exceed expectations. Here are our key points for choosing the right venue...
Location - The venue location needs to be the most important decision for your event. It should have good transport links, parking space nearby and accommodation if the event is more than a day.
Size - Consider the size of your audience. You don’t want visitors to feel cramped in a venue that’s too small but, on the flip side, you don’t want your venue looking empty because your audience isn’t big enough to fill it.
Floor plans and building layout - Entering a booked venue for the first time and realising it will not meet your needs is a dreaded experience so make sure you ask your venue for a typical layout and floor plan in order to spatially map your event. It’s also a good idea to check where electrical outlets run in each room to avoid any nasty surprises when your event AV team are setting up.
Do you need a green room or kitchen for your event? Making sure your VIP guests are well looked after is often a matter of spacing and access. If you are providing catering make sure you are well aware of the equipment installed in the kitchen, and its capacity. Many commercial event venues will provide a bar area for your use, however, some may not due to a lack of a license. You can always bring your own bar, a surprisingly easy alternative to finding a dedicated bar area. However, make sure that both your venue and vendor are licensed before taking this step.
Bathrooms are an often-overlooked element of building layouts. Are there multiple sets of bathrooms? Are there bathrooms with disabled access? Are the bathrooms clean and tidy? A great amount of discomfort can arise from improper bathrooms, so check that your venue is designed with this in mind.
Accommodation - If your event is going to be over several days and not going to be held at a hotel location, make sure you check out the surrounding accommodation options for your guests. The venue may already have any links with particular hotels in the area, and will know how far away they are. There may be transport links already set up between the venue and the surrounding hotels, in which case your guests can get to bed safe and happy.
Staffing - Find out if your venue includes staff for your event in its cost. Security and bar staff are often necessary, so consider these additional costs. Ask if the venue is happy for you to bring in your own staff should their rates seem a little excessive, hiring your own team is an easy way to boost your investment in the long run. Over the years we have built strong connections and work closely with other companies allowing us to receive competitive offers and discounts. Whatever you staffing needs wether it is event security or first aid to competent bar staff we have you covered.
Think outside the box - your only option isn't just a specialised conference centre or your local pub. There are lots of venues around all with different layouts and suited for different styles of events. Why not have your event in a marquee allowing you to create a temporary structure completely to suite you event needs.
The Little Details - It’s often the little details that get overlooked however can make an event truly memorable, and many of these details come from choosing the correct event venue. Is there on-site parking and can you negotiate prices with the venue for your guests? Are the venue’s tables and chairs up to scratch and is the enough? Does Internet access spread throughout the venue, and is it of a high quality?
It’s the small things that can really weigh a guest’s experience down, or lift it to the height of enjoyment, so pay attention to everything.
We hope you have found this list useful in your venue selecting decisions. If you have any questions our friendly passionate team are alway happy to answer and offer professional opinions and guidance.
Finally remember Stage AV when you come to needing event technical solutions.