When you’re organising a work event, it can be pretty stressful getting everything right. You’ll need to figure out everything from who’s coming, where to host it, and what the day will consist of. Whether you’re hosting a business meeting, a conference, a team building day, or an awards ceremony, there are so many things to consider. However, I find that once the venue is sorted, the other things seem to fall into place relatively easily. Here are my tips for choosing the right venue for your event to make the process just that little bit easier…
Know your numbers
My first recommendation would be to get an approximate number of attendees before you begin your venue search. One of the first things the booking staff will ask you will be “how many people are coming?” – this is so they can allocate the right space to the right parties. After all, imagine if you booked a room for 50 and then 150 ended up coming; it would be a logistical nightmare! You may also be able to barter with the venue if you have a large number of guests coming, so that is another reason to know your numbers. Either way, it’s good practice to send a confirmed number of attendees a couple of weeks before your event.
Think about the practicalities
Once you’ve found a few potential venues, it’s time to start thinking about the nitty gritty. If you’re having a conference, are there breakout areas where people can help themselves to a coffee to get through the next few sessions? If you’re having a lot of people, are there enough toilets to satisfy the demand? This is especially important for award ceremonies when people are potentially drinking a few more than they usually would on a work night.
What industry are you in?
If you’re putting on an industry specific event, many event organisers would tell you to find a venue that represents the industry. If you are a digital agency, you might want a place that is technologically savvy, whereas if you’re in the sports business, a football ground or a golf club might be more suitable. Then again, you might want to get your staff to step out of their normal roles for one night, meaning that a train conductor may end up wearing a suit to a swanky ball instead.
Consider venue accessibility
Finally, there are a number of accessibility requirements you might want to consider. The first of these is for those who require a wheelchair or special assistance; check with the venue that they have ramps, lifts and disabled access toilets so everyone is catered for. The next point to think about is the venue’s proximity to transport hubs so all of your guests can arrive and leave safely and conveniently. And lastly, you may need to ask how big the lift space is, and whether cars are able to park outside. If you are bringing along an exhibition stand or pop-up banner, it can be handy to bring these inside without struggling up the stairs, or without lugging them from a car park a ten minute walk away!