Posted: Monday, May 8, 2017 , Filed in:

How To Pick A Venue For Your Event

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An integral part of planning an event is the selection of a venue. Your venue can make or break an otherwise perfectly detailed plan, from the building layout to your event audio. Aside from your audio-visual setup, there’s a wealth of other information you need to mine from your potential venues to ensure you find yourself in the perfect place. Thankfully, we’ve compiled a handy checklist of things you should check during the critical decision-making process.

Location

How close is your venue to transport links? Keep your attendees’ feet and wallets in mind when considering a location without any such links, and make sure you take note of the last train times if straying far from any hotels. On a broader scale, take local history or culture into account when selecting a location. An extra special touch can easily be found in a location that has a history associated with the topic of your event.

Accommodation

If your event is not going to be held at a hotel location, make sure you check out the surrounding accommodation options for your guests. Ask your venue if they have any links with particular hotels in the area, and 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.

Venue Equipment

Commercial venues often have to cater to a wide array of event demands. Their equipment is therefore unlikely to be specialised to your needs and may be unreliable or outdated as a result. Hiring an audio-visual company to take care of your event audio, lighting and entertainment takes this stress out of your hands and ensures everything runs smoothly.

It’s likely that the venue will not stock microphones, lighting rigs, or screens and other stage equipment to the same standard as a specialist provider, so make sure your venue is happy for you to bring an external company in for these aspects of the event.

Floor Plans

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 audio team is setting up.

Building Layout

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? A great amount of discomfort can arise from improper bathrooms, so check that your venue is designed with this in mind.

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.

The Little Details

It’s often the little details that 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? 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. For more help, there are online tools that can refine your search to certain areas and present a list of the most applicable venues to your needs. Smart Meetings offers such a tool, which can be a great starting point for every event.

And finally, remember Stage Engage when you come to hiring event audio, lighting and entertainment for your big event!

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+44 (0) 1392 927888

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Stage Engage, Old Wheatley Farm,
Exeter, Devon, EX4 2HA

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