Do you have a corporate or business event coming up? Choosing the right venue for your event is crucial for a successful gathering of colleagues and business associates. Learn what to look for in an event venue with this quick guide.

Type of Venue

There are a number of different types of event venue. The type you choose will depend on the size of your gathering, the activities you wish to provide, the style and tone of the event, the services offered by the venue and various geographical constraints that impact on member attendance. Types of venue include:

  • Conference Centres – purpose-built for hosting conferences, generally well supplied with necessary equipment and facilities, often in convenient or attractive locations.
  • Convention Centres – larger venues catering for corporate or industry functions.
  • Retreats – event venues that offer varied down-time activities and on-site leisure facilities.
  • Hotels – many hotels provide well equipped event areas. With their on-site accommodation and a range of seating capacities, hotels are an excellent option when out of town travel is required.

Assessing a Venue

When arranging an event it is essential that you make site visits to a shortlist of potential venues. Some of the things you should check during your visit are:

Space

Obviously you need a venue large enough to hold all your attendees, but think of it from the other direction as well. Hiring a cavernous venue for only 15 people is not only a waste of money, but is likely to make the attendees feel uncomfortable and devalued.

Catering

One of the things event patrons look forward to is good food. Disappointing them in this area will have a lasting negative effect on their memory of the occasion. Check that your venue provides catering. If they do, is it of a sufficiently high standard? Will the style of food and presentation suit the mood of your event? Can they cater for dietary restrictions?

If the venue does not provide on-site catering do they allow external caterers to operate on the promises? Are there adequate facilities for preparation, storage and serving?

Venue Condition

An event often influences how the public and business associates view your company. Will your venue create a favourable impression? Are the furnishings clean and in good condition? Is the event area quiet and free of distractions? Are there sufficient rest-room facilities? Are there enough creature-comforts to impress your attendees? Is there a “green room” in which your guest speakers can await their turn on the podium?

Reputation

An event venue is not just a building and a physical location, it’s the staff who run it as well. Ask around, does the venue have a good reputation for service? Are they flexible in dealing with requests? Is their conference manager properly experienced? How will you be treated?

Venue Facilities

Consider the nuts and bolts of running your event. Will your venue allow you to display promotional banners and signage? Will they provide a concierge or help desk? Is there an on-site business centre? Can you adjust seating, table and room layout to suit your preferences?

Audiovisual Needs

What event these days doesn’t make use of electronic presentation aids? Some of the things you should look for in a venue are:

  • PA system and microphones.
  • Broadband internet access.
  • Data-show projectors.
  • Flat screen monitors.
  • Overhead projectors.
  • Sufficient power outlets.
  • An a/v control booth.
  • Whiteboards.
  • Lighting rigs.

A Successful Event

By making site visits, doing your research and working through a checklist of essential facilities, equipment and services you’ll choose a venue for your event that offers an outstanding experience for organisers and attendees alike.

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