When it comes to hosting in-person events, the venue is just as important as the food and entertainment. After all, the venue is one of the first things your attendees will see. It sets the tone for the entire event. How can you make a strong first impression that lasts throughout the event?
As a leader in onsite event technology solutions, Canapii has played a role in thousands of in-person events and has seen what works, what doesn’t, and what has potential. Let’s explore some best practices for choosing an event venue.
Choosing a venue is one of your first priorities. In fact, your venue will help you to make decisions about most of the other facets of your event. That’s why you’ll want to start looking for a venue as soon as possible — ideally, as soon as you start planning your event.
Venues can be booked out months in advance. It’s a good idea to book your venue as soon as possible before someone else does. This helps to ensure you get the venue you need as well as the dates you want.
Once you have a venue in place, you can start designing other details of your event around your physical space.
Size, price, parking, amenities, location — you’ve got plenty of details to consider when choosing a venue. Let’s look at the top considerations in more detail:
The venue’s location can make or break your event. If the venue is too far away from your target audience, you’re likely to lose them.
The venue’s location can also affect your budget. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, venues further away from the city centre are usually a good bet.
A lack of parking can be a major inconvenience for your guests. If there’s no dedicated parking lot or garage for your event, guests will have to park on the street, which can be a pain, especially if it’s raining or snowing.
Parking can also be a safety issue. If guests have to park far away from the event venue, they could be putting themselves at risk, especially if it’s late at night or in a bad neighborhood.
The right capacity ensures your guests will be comfortable. If a venue is too small, it will feel cramped and uncomfortable. Too large, and your guests will feel lost in the space.
The capacity also affects the acoustics of the room. A smaller room will have better acoustics than a larger one, so if you’re hosting a music event or something similar, this is something to keep in mind.
Cost is also a factor to consider when choosing a venue. Larger venues often come with a higher price tag, which will affect things like event tickets, food prices, and more.
Things change and you need to be able to adapt. A flexible contract allows you to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. For example, you might sell more tickets than you planned, which would require more food, drink, and other supplies. The opposite might happen, too — fewer attendees mean you’ll need less of the things you’d budgeted for.
A flexible contract protects both parties involved and can help prevent disputes down the road.
Different venues offer different services and amenities. For example, can guests access free WiFi or do they need to pay for it? Does the venue offer on-site AV equipment or do you need to provide your own? Is cleanup included? What about an event porter or parking attendant?
Do you have a short list of venues, explore each one in more detail. Ask specific questions about available services and amenities and whether they’re included or available for an extra charge. Take good notes so that you can compare each option later and decide which venues give you what you need.
Catering can make or break an event venue. It’s important to choose a catering company that is experienced and professional, and that can provide the type of food that you and your guests will enjoy.
Many venues offer in-house catering services, which can give you one less thing to contract out. However, you should ask about the different types of food and drink options available. Learn more about their food quality and taste from people who have attended events there in the past. If you have attendees that might have allergies or dietary restrictions, ask how they can plan a menu that will appeal to your audience.
Event layout matters for a variety of reasons. First, it can affect how well attendees can see and hear the speaker or presenter. It also affects traffic flow and how easy it is for attendees to move around the room. It might also impact the overall atmosphere of the event.
A well-designed event layout takes all of these factors into consideration. It ensures that attendees have a good view of the stage or presentation area, and that there are no obstacles in the way of foot traffic. It also creates a pleasant and cohesive atmosphere that helps guests feel more comfortable and engaged.
When done right, event layout can make a big difference in the overall success of your event venue.
An event venue is only as good as the technology that powers it. That’s why event technology matters so much in today’s world.
With the right event technology, a venue can provide a seamless experience for both guests and organizers. From online ticketing to on-site check-in, event technology can make your venue run like a well-oiled machine.
And when guests have a positive experience at the venue, they’re more likely to come back — and recommend you to their friends.
Your budget matters. The venue is one of the biggest expenses, so it’s important to choose a venue that fits your budget.
That said, venue price can affect the quality of the event. If you want your event to be high-quality, you need to choose a venue that reflects that. That means choosing a venue that’s affordable, but not too cheap.
Remember, you get what you pay for. If you choose a cheap venue, chances are the facilities and service won’t be up to par.
When looking for an event venue, it’s important to consider the insurance coverage that the venue has. Many venues will have some form of insurance, but it’s important to make sure that the coverage is adequate for your needs.
For example, if you’re holding a corporate event, you’ll want to make sure that the venue’s insurance covers any damage to property or injuries that may occur.
If the venue regularly hosts large events, they’re likely to have more comprehensive insurance coverage. However, if the venue only hosts small events, then their insurance coverage may be less comprehensive.
Choosing an accessible venue shows you care about your attendees. It sends a message that you want everyone to be able to participate in your event.
Acoustics matter. A lot. Imagine you’re at a concert and the sound is so loud and echoey that it’s difficult to make out the words being sung. Or, alternatively, you’re at a comedy show and you can’t hear the punchlines because the laughter from the person next to you is too loud. These are both examples of poor acoustics in action.
Good acoustics, on the other hand, can make all the difference in creating an enjoyable experience for your guests. When choosing an event venue, be sure to take the time to test out the sound system and see how it works in person.
As we mentioned before, things change. If you need to change the event date for any reason, make sure your venue allows it without adding additional charges.