The details of planning and managing an event will vary from business to business, but there are certain steps that should always be taken in order to ensure a successful indoor experience for your attendees, stakeholders, and staff. One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is the venue at which you’ll be hosting your event. While an indoor venue protects you from most weather-related concerns, there are still plenty of other factors to consider when making your choice.
Read on for our event experts’ list of five key things to research before making this important decision!
If available, be sure to use historical attendee data to estimate your event’s attendance numbers as accurately as possible. You certainly don’t want to book a venue that’s too small to house your attendees, potentially leading to a premature sell-out, unnecessarily cramped conditions, and increased queuing. But you should also work to avoid spending excessively on a space that’s too large. Not only will you find yourself straining your budget, your event may end up appearing under-attended in a venue that’s too big for your crowd.
When surveying your potential event venue, consider the building’s layout in relation to the general flow of admissions traffic. Depending on your expectations, the location and number of entrances may play a huge role in the first experience your attendees have on event day. Your top priority is admitting attendees quickly, safely, and efficiently. If you anticipate a gradual flow of attendees over the course of a few hours, a single entrance with a lean team may work fine, but if you expect a big admissions rush right before showtime, you’ll want multiple entrances with enough room to set up plenty of staff with ticket scanners, cash boxes, and stanchions.
Accessibility to Transportation
Transportation and parking availability can be a major factor in the ultimate success of your event. Be sure to take into account the type of event you’re hosting, the demographics you expect to attract, and their likely transportation methods when choosing an appropriate venue. If you’re organizing a beer festival, for example, assume that attendees are going to be looking for easy access to ridesharing services, taxis, and public transportation to avoid driving themselves. Or, if you’re planning a family-friendly event that will attract parents and young children, plan to have access to ample and affordable parking.
Facilities and Equipment
How many restrooms does the venue have? Can they provide any necessary audio/visual equipment? Does the venue have its own cleaning crew, or will you be responsible for organizing cleanup? Before setting your heart on a specific location, determine whether your potential venue will be able to provide the proper facilities and equipment necessary to make your event a success, or if you’ll need to outsource to other third-party providers. Be sure to keep your budget in mind: venues that provide these services may initially look more expensive, but utilizing multiple third-parties can add up!
Picture it: your event is next week, your ticket buyers are excited, and your special guests have done a great job hyping up your event. Then, out of nowhere, your venue is forced to cancel your booking! It’s important to be prepared for all possibilities so a scenario like this doesn’t derail your event. Before you make any commitments, be sure your venue contract clearly lays out the terms and consequences surrounding a cancellation (damages owed, etc.), limiting the scope of reasons for cancellation (emergencies, flooding, etc.), and discuss placing a backup date on hold as a plan B.