All event planners will agree that selecting a venue for an event is one of the most (if not the most) important tasks in event planning. This is because the selected venue greatly affects the event’s success. Yes, entertainment and cuisine also matter, but the venue is the foundation upon which everything else is built upon. It has the power to influence the experiences of your guests to a great extent; probably more than anything else.
If you haven’t planned events before, the process can be quite hectic and overwhelming. A lot has to be considered before the venue for the event is selected. Some of the most important considerations include budget, the number of guests you expect and the kind of event you are holding. Once you have defined these three things, then you can start scouting for a venue. To help you out with your search, we have put together a list of five things that you should check before committing to a venue. They are:
- Because you are working on a budget, the cost of hiring the venue should not exceed your planned expenditure. Remember that you need to leave enough money to cater for other expenses (such as decorations, food and entertainment) after you have paid for the venue. Look for one that fits into your budget without making too many compromises – of course you’ll have to contend with a few if your budget is really tight.
- Location and parking. The location you choose should be convenient for everyone to get to. Convenience will mean different things depending on the geographic location of the attendees. If they are coming from a limited geographical area, then the venue should be close to their homes or places of work. If most of the attendees will be travelling from out of town, then the event should be hosted near the arrival terminal or near the hotels they will be staying at. If the guests will drive to the location, make sure there is adequate and secure parking at the venue you select.
- Layout options. Different events will require different layouts. Make sure you ask the venue operators whether they have experience with the kind of style and sitting arrangement you desire. Get a floor plan of the facility too so that you can check whether it will be suitable for your requirements.
- Services and amenities included. Check the services that are included with the venue. Do they provide catering, furniture and linen, clean up services and/or audio visual capabilities? It will reduce your work if you can get some of these things at the venue.
- For safety and practical reasons, the venue capacity should match or exceed your expected turn out. If you are unsure of the number of people who will be in attendance, make sure your estimations are not too conservative.
Selecting a good venue for your event can be quite a challenge but with the above guidelines, you can be sure of selecting the best one.