Do you intend to conduct a meeting that can turn the table of your business? However, instead of focusing on your event, you are more worried about the venue and how to select the best of venue. Indeed, choosing the right venue is incredibly important because the success of your event is highly based upon the type of venue, you have selected.
Let’s take the example of a hospital. Do you walk into a hospital and immediately feel sad, gloomy, and dull even if you are not personally sick? This is because the place makes an effect on your mood. The same way you feel happy and hungry the moment you walk into a restaurant because the smell, the ambiance and the colorful decoration changes your mood.
Your venue of the event will have such effects on your attendees as well which is why selecting an ideal venue is crucial.
Here we have mentioned some crucial questions that you should look while making a decision of choosing your meeting’s venue.
Selecting your venue’s location is a highly considerable task. Many factors contribute towards choosing the site, so when deciding the most appropriate place, you should look into below-mentioned considerations:
a) Where are your attendees coming from?
The success of your meeting depends on the attendees. If the location of the meeting is out of their reach or is somewhere that is hard to reach. Eventually, the success rate of your meeting falls by a clear 50% because either your attendees will not attend the meeting or won’t be able to reach on time. Too much inconvenience in finding the location would reduce their interest. Thereby, your location should be accessible for all your attendees.
b) Will your attendees have easy access to parking?
Look back to the time when your dad took you out for a football game and continuously roam around for an hour to park the car. His happy face turned into a frown for the rest of the football game. Indeed, no one wants to wait a long time looking for a parking spot. So your venue location must have easy access to parking. If there is a parking lot, check the size and capacity of a parking lot and if it is free or paid.
c) Will they have easy access to transportation for your chosen location?
Not all your attendees will have their personalized transportation, and some might depend on public transport. Hence, your location should be an ideal spot for all your attendees no matter what type of transportation they use so that they can easily reach the venue location on time.
The next big step in selecting the venue of your meeting is your budget. The good news is that today even if you have a small budget, you can still find a suitable site that meets your demands. However, it certainly will come with a few compromises. So here is what you need to ask:
a) What is your budget?
Set a budget and keep yourself true to it. You may get tempted to have it all with all the offers and features, but if it is exceeding your budget, then it is not a good idea to go over budget.
b) How much can you go above your budget?
Contradicting to the above point, you also need to keep a margin along with your budget because sometimes going a little up with your budget can give you some great benefits.
c) Are there any hidden charges?
Many times there are hidden charges that show up at the time of payment, and they catch you by surprise. To be clear of such wonders, make sure that you check with the venue’s owner or manager if there are any hidden charges involved.
d) Are you willing to pay extra for any extra facilities?
Sometimes your ideal location will come with extra facilities which you may or may not want. Therefore, it is better to decide beforehand if you are willing to pay for the extra facilities such as additional lighting, extra seats, table accessories, decorative accessories, and etc. If these extra facilities are a waste for you, ask the venue seller to remove those facilities.
The space of your meeting depends on the type of event you are planning to have. It isn’t just a matter of having a big or small space. Some key aspects while selecting the space of your venue are discussed below:
a) How long your event will last for?
This is the main question you need to decide. Any event that is happening for a short period will require a meeting space without any other facilities or other services.
For instance, if you are having an introductory meeting of your new partner to the team that will end within an hour you only require a meeting hall. If you have an event that is happening for more than 2 hours, you will require other facilities and services.
For example, if you are having a brief meeting about a new project. It would surely go for around 5 hours, then your meeting hall should have decent break rooms, stationery to take down points, refreshments, etc.
b) Will your event last for a couple of days?
Sometimes your event continues for days. For such space requirements, you will need further facilities and extended services so that your event can be carried out smoothly.
Your attendees will require hotel rooms if they are travelling from abroad or from a different city. They will need easy access to restaurants or may want to be provided with meals. Depending upon the type of protocol you wish to have, other services such as transportation, leisure facilities etc may be provided.
c) Will the layout of the space accommodate your event?
Spaces that have limited adjustments are suited for simple meetings where you need just a room, a table and some couple of chairs, but if your session is a full-fledged event you will require a stage, networking area, a different sitting plan, etc. Your space should be able to accommodate all these settings.
4. The atmosphere and ambience
This may seem like a very unrelated factor in considering the venue of your meeting, but the atmosphere and ambience of your session has a lot more to do with the place than it seems. So first things first, ask yourself:
a) Is your event strictly professional or liberal?
If your meeting is strictly professional, then you need a venue with bright lights in an indoor space and one which has fewer distractions. You may also want to choose a venue that is not close to loud areas so that your meeting goes by without any interruptions.
But if your event is liberal such as introducing new team members or involve group activities, then your venue can be outdoor where you have open skies and a connection with nature.
b) Will your meetings be held during the day or at night?
Meetings held in daylight will require a different venue and a different venue setting as compared to night meetings. Daylight meetings can be held in open spaces where you can use the natural lights and ambience of the day. Night meetings will require additional lighting setups especially if your meeting venue is outdoor.
5. Food & Drinks.
Whether or not you want to provide a proper main course meal, almost 98% of meetings will offer at least refreshments. However, the remaining 2% of meetings are held within an hour time frame. So food and drinks are other factors in choosing your type of venue.
a) What is already included in your venue?
Many venue providers have an included refreshment plan or a whole range of food plan while many venue owners have no food policy. So you need to know what is included in your venue plan.
b) What sort of food do you want to offer?
Next, decide what kind of food you want to offer based on the type of event you are having. If the event is in morning hours, you will need to provide breakfast. The latter timings will require lunch and dinner. Sometimes short events will require a simple refreshment plan.
c) How will the food be served?
For big events, you may need to decide between a buffet or sit-down. Generally, when you have a buffet style, you require less staff as the ones you have will just be handling food in one single area. Having a sit-down setup requires more team as each table will require staff to overlook food serving.
6. Technical Services.
Your event will most likely require some technical services. The least of which is a power outlet to connect your devices with. But this is just the bare minimum. For bigger events and based on the type of event, your technical requirements will differ.
a) What technical service do you require?
Having a clear idea of your event at this point is very important because this step is a crucial task in setting up your event. Is it a speech to audience kind of event where you will require a microphone and a proper speaker setting or is it a group activity kind of event where you will need presentations, projectors, power outlets, chargers etc.
b) What services does the venue offer?
Nowadays, Wi-Fi services are also provided by venue providers. However, you should confirm whether Wi-Fi services are included or not? You do not want to have your attendees waiting with all the buffering and connection issues. Also apart from Wi-Fi what other technical services are they offering.
c) Do you require any extra gadgets?
If your current venue is not offering any technical services, you may need to rent them from outside vendors. This extra step will require you to rent the gadget and then ask the venue staff to adjust to the venue.
d) Will there be technical staff to help the attendees?
Not all gadgets and not all technical features are user-friendly. Some require professional hands-on board, and for events that need projectors and presentation screens, you can never be too sure when something will go wrong, and you may end up stuck. You require technical help throughout your event to be on standby.
7. Staff & Personnel
This is, again a matter of what kind of event you are having and how big it is. You would require working hands as per the size of your event. The bigger the event the bigger the number of human resources needed.
a) What are the staffing and personnel options provided?
Ask your venue manager of the waiting staff, concierge support, security, etc. These are all essential for having a smooth event. Although you may feel that more staff will be helpful, it is not always correct. In fact, it is usually just a waste of money.
Always check the attendee to staff ratio.
b) Does your venue manager has experience with an event similar to yours?
Another key factor in the staffing is to ask your venue booker if they have experience in the event such as yours or anything closely similar to yours. Having previous experience in the same event will immediately increase your chance of having a smooth event. The staff will be trained pre-hand and will know what to do.
c) What is the dress code for the staff personnel?
Even though this is an irrelevant question. However, it should be clarified so that you might change it; if it doesn’t suit the nature of your event.
Conclusively, with these questions in mind, you can save yourself from a lot of additional costs and drama that comes with booking a venue if you are not sure what to look and ask for. Choose a site that answers each of your questions to your satisfaction.