Site Selection Simplified: Finding Your Perfect Event Venue
Finding the perfect venue for your corporate event can be daunting, but with a little research and preparation, you can find the ideal location to impress your guests and achieve your corporate event goals.
We’re leaving no stone unturned, no ballroom un-danced, and no acoustics system untested in our pursuit to simplify the complex art of choosing the ultimate backdrop for your events!
GIVE ME SIX HOURS TO CHOP DOWN A TREE AND I WILL SPEND THE FIRST FOUR SHARPENING THE AXE.
– Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln was a firm believer in the power of being well-prepared and efficient. In the context of chopping down a tree, he’s saying that it’s better to take the time to properly sharpen your axe before you start cutting, because that will make the job go much more smoothly and quickly in the long run. In other words, invest in the upfront work, and the rewards will be well worth it in the end!
Whether it’s a conference, a product launch, a team-building retreat, or an annual gala, the venue you choose plays a crucial role in the overall success of your event. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process:
Plot the Course
First, let’s clarify your objectives. To do this, you must determine the event’s purpose and tone, to select a venue that aligns with the overall vibe you’re going for.
Let’s start with “your why” behind hosting this event rather than simply focusing on “what” the event is about. Here at The B2Group, we host a book club, and our current read is Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why“. This is where my question stems from. Why are you having this event? If your purpose is “to roll out information” or “to give awards to winners”, this won’t get you to the heart of your objective. I’m hoping for you to successfully communicate the passion behind the reason you’re having this event in the first place.
Ultimately, when this event is over, what are the looks you want to see on the attendees’ faces? Motivation? Connection? Confidence? A feeling of being valued? Determination? Satisfaction? Are you looking to impress clients, motivate employees, or foster networking opportunities? Keeping this in mind, list your objectives for the event.
Play Venue Tetris
Now that you have identified your objectives for the event, let’s consider the size of the event and the number of attendees. This will help narrow down your options and ensure the venue can accommodate your crowd. Make sure the space can comfortably fit your expected group. It’s always a good idea to plan for a little extra room! While looking into the size of the event, consider the layout you’ll need for the main ballroom such as theater-style seating, a large and unobstructed stage area, banquet tables, or an open floor plan.
Where in the World will you “Wow”?
When considering your budget, think about whether your event will take place locally, just outside your state, across the country, or even overseas.
The process of finding the perfect event location is like striking gold at a treasure hunt! Dive into research, exploring cities and regions that echo your event’s theme and goals while also offering a wealth of local attractions and amenities. Work with key stakeholders and carefully consider safety and security aspects. Embrace the flexibility to explore multiple options, always aiming for an ideal location that not only elevates the event experience but also ensures attendees’ convenience – and a truly unforgettable and successful occasion.
The Venue Scavenger Hunt
It’s time to zero in on the location – how is the accessibility of the venue? You want to make sure your guests can easily get to the event and feel comfortable once they arrive. If many attendees are coming from out of town, a venue near hotels or airports may be a wise choice. Consider the local attractions and amenities as well, as they can enhance the overall experience for your guests.
Show Me the Money!
Keep your corporate event budget from going rogue! Look for a venue that fits your budget and necessary amenities. In addition to the venue rental fee, consider expenses like on-site catering versus bringing in your own vendors, in-house security, decor, business services office, and any additional services that may be required. Negotiate with the venue to get the best deal possible. Do they require union labor? Do they allow external vendors?
Finally, don’t forget to negotiate! Venues may be willing to work with you on pricing or add-ons.
Take a Venue Field Trip
The Site Visit is an essential step in the event planning process, as it provides a detailed understanding of the venue, and helps pave the way for customization. It ultimately contributes to the success of your event by allowing you to anticipate and address any issues in advance.
The devil is in the details! Think about the logistics of setting up and breaking down your event. Be sure to include your production company’s project manager and technical director when you make the site visit, as you want to be sure they have considered the venue from their vantage points. They’ll be considering logistical and technical readiness such as A/V equipment needs, load-in and load-out, stage setup, rigging points, audience lines of sight, camera angles, safety and compliance, layout, technical infrastructure, acoustics, backstage requirements, and many other specific requirements and restrictions. You also want to make sure the venue has ample storage areas to meet your needs.
Feel the Venue Vibes! When you tour the venue, also be sure to consider the venue’s aesthetic and ambiance. You want to make sure it creates the right atmosphere for your event. Pay attention to the overall vibe, the flow of the space, and the quality of the facilities. Check out the venue’s lighting and sound systems. These can make or break the atmosphere of your event.
Wi-Fi. Don’t Settle for Slow.
Consider the availability of Wi-Fi and the quality of the signal. Check out the convenience of power outlets for guests. You don’t want your guests struggling to connect or run out of battery in the middle of your event. Remember also that your production company will require a strong Wi-Fi signal as they download content that they capture throughout your event.
Other Things to Consider
Play Nice. Make sure the venue’s policies align with your event’s needs. Check things like noise ordinances, fire codes, and alcohol policies.
Get the Inside Scoop. Research the venue’s reputation! Check reviews, speak with colleagues and peers, ask for references. You want to ensure you’re doing all you can to choose a venue that will provide a positive experience for your guests.
Check into the Parking. You don’t want your guests struggling to find a spot or walking a mile to get to the venue.
Ask About Accessibility. Make sure the venue is ADA compliant and accessible for all attendees.
Investigate On-Site Staff and Security. You want to make sure your guests feel safe and taken care of, and you may need overnight security to keep an eye on products, supplies or pricy equipment that will remain in the breakout rooms or ballrooms.
Ensure the Insurance. Find out about the venue’s insurance requirements. Be sure you’re covered in case of any unexpected incidents.
Think About Theme Threads. Make sure the venue’s dress code aligns with your event’s theme and vibe. For example, you don’t want to have a formal gala in a space that’s too casual.
It’s Time for Time Boundaries. Ask about the venue’s flexibility in terms of setup and tear-down times. You don’t want to be rushed out before your event is over.
The journey of site selection for your corporate event is a meticulous process that can truly make or break your occasion. It goes beyond just finding a physical space; it’s about crafting an atmosphere that harmonizes with your event’s objectives and leaves a lasting impression on your attendees. Whether it’s the convenience of the location, the ambiance of the surroundings, or the technical capabilities of the venue, each element plays a pivotal role in shaping the success of your event.
Keep in mind that creativity, adaptability, and an eye for detail can help transform a venue into the perfect canvas for your corporate event. With the right site selection, you’re not just hosting an event; you’re curating an experience that will be etched into the memories of your attendees!