What to Look for When Picking Your Venue
Selecting a venue sets the tone and provides a memorial backdrop to your celebration, so it is understandable to get a bit stressed out when deciding where to host your event. While cost is typically a major driver in selecting the perfect venue, there are other factors to consider that can give even the best event planners anxiety. From the location to the amenities, food options and size, the venue you pick should be a reflection of your vision and your desired atmosphere.
Choosing the right venue may seem stressful, but with the right considerations, you can rest easy knowing you have covered all the bases. Here are the top five things you should consider when picking a venue for your event:
Event-Specific Needs and Vision
The first step in choosing a venue is understanding what your event requires and keeping your desired theme in mind.
If it’s a wedding, you may want a rustic, elegant, modern, or beach setting. Perhaps you’re hosting a milestone birthday party and want a venue that reflects the guest of honor’s personality and hobbies. If it’s a corporate event, you may need a venue that provides ample space for presentations, breakout sessions, and networking.
The venue you choose should align with your vision and support the purpose of your event. A useful tip is to visualize your event: what does it look like, what are people doing, what is the atmosphere like? This will help you identify the type of venue that would be a perfect match.
Location plays a pivotal role in selecting a venue. For weddings and parties, you should select a location that’s convenient for most of your guests. If many guests are coming from out of town, choosing a venue near the airport or their hotels will be helpful.
Also, consider the transportation and traffic considerations of the chosen location. Is there ample parking? Is it easily accessible by public transport? All these factors will affect your guests’ experience and their ability to attend the event.
Capacity and Layout
Capacity is a practical consideration. You need to ensure the venue can comfortably accommodate your guest list. Look at the venue’s maximum capacity but check how the space feels with your expected number of guests – you don’t want your event to feel overcrowded or too sparse.
The venue’s layout and floor plan are also significant. For weddings, you might need space for a dance floor, a buffet setup, or a stage for the band. For corporate events, consider spaces for break-out sessions or areas for exhibition stands. Walkthroughs and floor plan diagrams are excellent ways to get an understanding of the space. Once you have selected the venue, you can take it a step further by walking through the venue with your event planner to map out design specifics, to ensure your vision is captured throughout the space.
Cost and Flexibility on Event Date
Stay within your budget by considering the cost of the venue and what’s included in that price. Some venues offer packages that include catering, audio-visual equipment, and even event-planning services.
Availability can also impact on the cost. Some venues might offer discounts for off-peak times or weekdays. If your event date is flexible, you might be able to negotiate a better price.
Amenities and Services
Lastly, you should look at what amenities and services the venue offers. Does the venue provide in-house catering, or will you need to hire outside caterers? Are tables, chairs, and linens included in the rental price, or will you need to rent them separately? Is there a setup/cleanup crew, or will you need to organize this?
Check also if the venue has an event coordinator who can assist in the planning and coordination on the day of the event. Their expertise can be invaluable and help ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Choosing the right venue involves a delicate balance of practicality, creativity, and careful planning. By considering your event-specific needs and vision, the location, capacity and layout, cost, date flexibility, and available amenities and services, you’ll be well on your way to selecting a venue that fits your requirements and creates a memorable experience for all your guests.
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Industry Trends: Unconventional & Unique Venue Locations
We have all been to events that are held in a typical location, such as a convention center or banquet hall. While these are still viable options for hosting a variety of events, we are seeing more folks think outside the box when creating an experience that will be unforgettable. Event planners everywhere are seeing an increase in the use of unconventional spaces for hosting weddings, receptions, parties, or corporate events.
Some of the most popular locations that have seen an increase in hosting events are libraries, art galleries, and museums. Incorporating the history that is contained in these spaces puts a special, local touch on the festivities. You can host an event surrounded by culture and art, turning the space into a unique backdrop for a gala or networking event.
Other unconventional locations that have increased in popularity are warehouses or abandoned buildings. These spaces can be transformed into trendy event venues, perfect for artsy or urban-themed gatherings. Of course, make sure these spaces are safe and accessible for attendees!