As any experienced event planner will tell you, the one decision you make that has the biggest impact on your budget and overall event experience is the choice of venue.

And it’s not just the “feel” attendees will get at your chosen location. Be sure you’re comparing apples to apples…

  1. What is included in the price?

Typically, a venue will have control of a few key pieces of your event puzzle. Catering, technology (think wi-fi strength/coverage) and audio/visual (equipment, lighting, etc). No matter what type of event you’re planning, this has a major affect on your budget.

  1. Consider outside expenses for attendees.

Is the venue a hotel, and does it have enough rooms for all attendees? Are there a range of hotel options nearby? Will attendees have to determine transportation to/from the venue? How easy is it to get around the venue area (on foot, in traffic, by public transit)? These are just a few of the things you should consider when figuring overall cost for the site. Attendees appreciate when events have options that can fit in their personal budgets.

  1. Are there other events happening nearby at the same time?
    If your event can be flexible, that helps to get you the best possible deal when negotiating with venues. If there are several events happening in town at the same time, or if it’s high season, venues are more reluctant to discount any aspect of the overall offer because they know they’re in demand. Conversely, venues tend to be more flexible in price or other areas when they feel pressured during slower times.
  1. Accurately value your event.

Hopefully you’ve kept accurate records from previous years. Registrations, attendance totals, and room nights are all vital information when it comes time to negotiate with your selected venue. It’s also great information to have when talking with your top few venue choices, to get the best price you can at the best venue.

  1. Keep the goal of the event in mind.

Different types of events require different venues. Is it a quick business meeting or is it a more leisurely experience? One might require being close to airports or other transportation, while the other might allow for shuttles or even access to activities and entertainment by foot. Once you understand what the event requires in their venue, it can help narrow down the choices so no matter which one you choose will be just right.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. Managing needs and wants is an art. So many things go into creating a successful event, it’s hard to nail them all down on paper.

10 thoughts on “5 Venue Selection Tips for Event Planners

  1. Planning an event can be a very difficult thing to do and finding a venue seems like it would be the hardest part. I liked your tip about seeing what is included in the price. Knowing if the things included are tables, chairs, table coverings, or food can make planning the rest of the event a lot easier.

  2. Good advice to consider outside expenses to your guests. You don’t want your venue to be so far away that everyone decides it’s easier to just not go. Thanks for the advice!

  3. I really appreciate all of this advice on selecting the right venue for your event! In my opinion, the fifth point is the most important out of all of them. Not only does it ensure that the event will go smoothly, but I also think that it will help make sure that the atmosphere will match that of the event. If you’re doing something casual, it might be off-putting to the attendees.

  4. I think the biggest thing to consider when choosing a venue for an event is the audio/visual capabilities. I can’t think of any event that I have gone to where speakers and microphones weren’t used. So, it is good to know whether you will have to bring your own equipment or if that will be handled by the venue.

  5. The goal of the event should definitely be the focus. I will have to keep this in mind as I am looking at my options for venues. Do you have any tips for choosing an audio visual company? I want to make sure that I find a really high quality one!

  6. Whether you are planning a business meeting, party or networking event all of these tips are hugely important! Thanks for the advice – will utilise it for my future events!

  7. I like what this article recommends about considering what all is included in the venue deal and whether or not you need to hire external AV or catering. It makes sense that it could be good to get an idea of what’s included so if you do need to hire 3rd party audio visual, they have sufficient time to prepare. It’s something to remember for any event as being unprepared might lead to some problems.

  8. I think it is good to remember that even if the event has lighting available, there is usually the option to bring your own lighting. It might be smart to check with the venue to ensure that they have enough electricity to run the equipment. This might affect your budget, and they may charge you more or less for not using their equipment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *