The venue. It’s the bread and butter of event planning, but it can often be one of the toughest choices to make - especially since it often has to be booked before you start selling tickets. Whether you’ve already got somewhere in mind or don’t know where to start, here are some of the most important things you can do to make the venue booking process as painless as possible.
Save the Date
As well as looking at whether certain event spaces will be free then, you need to consider whether each possible location will ramp its prices up in peak seasons - some places will be more seasonally affected than others. Weekdays are usually cheaper than weekends, but the chances are your delegates won’t want to give up a weekend to attend a seminar or conference.
Look out for the pennies
You should already have an idea of your budget, though this is likely to be affected by the number of attendees you attract. Start with a ballpark price range that potential venues should fit, and then look for flexibility if your plans have to change. Consider using online conference registration software to keep accurate records of how much revenue you’ve generated and what your attendance is likely to be.
X marks the spot
Delegates will inevitably have to travel to your event, so make it as easy as possible. Look up the different locations on a map, run them through public transport journey planners, make sure there are at least two modes of transport by which the venue is easily accessible. The best events can fall flat if no-one can reach them.
Make a list of everything you could possibly need for your event, and use it as a checklist when you weigh up your options. If you’re likely to need any support, then make sure the management are flexible enough to provide it - for example, if you’re using audio-visual equipment, will you be able to operate it or will you need technical support?
Don’t just trust the venue
It sounds obvious, but don’t rely solely on glossy brochures from the venue. Look at reviews online, check just how close it really is to the city centre with a different map, and of course, go and visit. Many a good event has been foiled by flaws that weren’t mentioned in the marketing materials.