Location, location, location – when it comes to events this is the first and most fundamental question that any events manager will ask and the location of your event really is the central building block to a successful event.
There are many venues across the UK, Europe and Worldwide that don’t receive the publicity they deserve but can offer something genuinely bespoke and different. Plus, if you’re in a popular city centre, like London, it’s even more important that you do your homework. The venue itself really can add another dimension to your event.
Here are a few important pointers to help you choose your next event location:
- Does the venue fit the purpose of the event?
It seems like a simple question, but you’d be surprised how many people fall in love with a venue because of look without considering the practicalities. When choosing a venue there are some fundamental things you need to consider: your brand, the purpose of the event and how does the venue’s look or feel support this.
Is the venue big enough for the guest list? Whether you’re hosting an event for a celebration, networking event, presentation evening or something more personal, you don’t want to leave anybody, who wants to attend, off the guest list. Equally neither do you want to hire a venue that is too big for what is likely to be a smaller gathering.
Is the venue practical? When choosing a venue, you need to ensure the space available is practical for what you are aiming to do. For example projection distance if you’re having a presentation, what are the catering facilities, the location of the toilet, etc. Why is this important, I hear you ask! Let me give you an example if you’re holding an event for 100 people but there are only two toilet cubicles (one male and one female), a 15-minute break won’t be long enough! This not only delays the agenda timings but gives less time for the important parts of your event.
- Can attendees get to the venue?
The straightforward answer is yes, especially with public transport and great road networks but a location of a venue can put people off attending. Many people don’t want to travel a long journey! When considering a venue, check how easy it would be to reach by car, rail or air!
It’s also worth checking with the venue if there is parking available on-site and if so how many spaces would be free. You may even consider purchasing spaces in advance and including advice on invitation materials about how to get there. It’s important to tell your guests this information beforehand, especially if there is a cost involved.
- Does the venue fit my budget?
In an ideal world budget wouldn’t matter but unfortunately, it’s a very important factor when organising an event. However, don’t just write off a venue because you think it might be too expensive, you may be surprised.
Here are 3 reasons why:
- Venues offer discounts to agencies, such as Exhibit Group, that have booked with them before or that can be passed on to new clients. This is a great reason to employ an agency to help with your venue hunt as they can save you time and money! If Exhibit Group can be of assistance please do get in touch with us today.
- If you can be flexible on dates for your event, then this can be a great anchor for negotiating prices. Some venues have open dates in the calendar which they want to fill so by giving them 2 or 3 dates, you are more likely to be able to negotiate a discounted price.
- Don’t wait until the last minute! Choosing a venue should be one of the first tasks you complete. Aim to start looking at least 5 months in advance for events catering to 100 – 200 people and if you’re expecting more give yourself up to a year.
- Does the venue have any restrictions?
Different venues have different rules on what you can and can’t do. From catering to alcohol, entertainment and opening hours, it’s important to find out what the restrictions of the venue are. You may have found a lower cost venue, but they may insist you use their production team who charge extortionate prices and it may have been cheaper (and a better event) overall to choose a more expensive venue with fewer restrictions.
For example, you may have a specific caterer in mind or want to hire your own waiting staff but many venues prefer you to use their in-house staff and facilities or their preferred supplier list. Whilst other venues simply provide a suggested list of local suppliers.
Make sure you check the restrictions before you sign any documents or book any venue as the last thing you want is to order a DJ and find out you’re not allowed loud music after 10pm.
- What are the venues timeframes for setting up?
There are a few things to consider when discussing timeframes with a venue.
How long will it take for you and your team to set up? Some venues book an event in the evening and afternoon, which will restrict the time you have to set up. Be clear on how long it will take your team to unload and set-up for the event, including any audio-visual requirements.
Is there a charge for the time you use setting up? Some venues will make you book the room for your set up time whilst others will give you this free-of-charge so it’s worth checking and negotiating.
- Does the existing décor inside the venue fit with the desired feeling of your event?
When choosing a venue, pay special attention to the existing décor, architecture and what the interior conveys. If the current décor doesn’t fit with your vision, then more of your budget will need to be allocated to decorating the venue.
Finding the right venue and making sure you’ve researched the right options is time-consuming, so why not let somebody with experience and insight do it for you? Exhibit Group can help organise and manage your event so that you’re free to enjoy it. We have a dedicated event management team who have the time to dedicate to finding you the perfect venue.
Don’t let your event fail with the wrong venue choice, contact us today on 020 3384 0369 ext 840 or email email@example.com to discuss your event requirements in more depth.
Exhibit Group also offer services in graphics and furniture too which means all your event can be managed by one supplier! This will ultimately save you time, money and ensure the project is delivered on time.