21st October 2015
Organising an event?
Apart from having a very good reason for running an event, which always involves a level of risk, one of the most critical issues to resolve is finding the right venue. It might sound easy, it might sound obvious, but it can prove to be one of the most challenging problems once you take into consideration all the prerequisites for your event.
Finding the right venue.
Is it in the right location for your target audience and is it easy to reach by road, rail and, if necessary, by air?
Does it offer good parking on site or is there access to good parking close by?
Out of town locations usually have more space and provide ample free parking whilst in town centres parking can be expensive. The compromise then might be a great location close to shops, theatres and other amenities but at a cost for parking, or free parking but away from other facilities. On the other hand you may find it advantagous to take delegates away from other distractions.
Does the venue offer the style, image and quality that you would want associated with your event?
If you are trying to make a statement with your event, the quality and style of the venue is critically important. The compromise then of course will be the cost.
Does it offer the overall space and number of additional rooms you will require?
If the main event is a conference, will you want theatre style seating, where you can accommodate most delegates or classroom or banqueting, either of which will dramatically reduce the numbers you can accommodate. Will there be break out activities and if so how large are these additional rooms and how close are they to the main event. People can get lost finding their way around very large venues.
Does it offer good unloading access for any contractors you will be employing?
Yes, you do have to consider the contractors and how they will move often large, heavy equipment from their vehicles to the various rooms involved. Is access direct to the room, down lengthy corridors and through small doorways or by way of lifts – and how large are the lifts?
Does it offer all the additional facilities you require such as catering, AV, furniture, staging?
There are more complaints about catering than any other aspect of most events. Is it taken care of in house or can an outside caterer be brought in? Check the quality. Similarly with the other facilities, make sure what is included in the offer. AV, staging, furniture can be expensive if you have to bring it in.
If you require bedrooms, does it offer these or is it close to a good supply of bedrooms? What hotels are close by, how busy are they, could they accommodate you at the time of your event?
Are the staff conversant with the type of event you are planning?
Many events will list a whole range of events that they can cater for, but it is always worth asking if they have actually handled the type of event you are running. An exhibition is very different to a conference and a conference is very different to a product launch.
And finally, not least of all, are their prices competitive and do they make it absolutely clear what is included – ‘extras’ on the bottom of the bill can often come as a very nasty surprise!
Categories: Organising your event