By Daniella Bustamante
Much like every painter needs a canvas, every event planner needs a venue. Thinking through the event needs and objectives is a solid starting point in your search for the right venue. What works for an 800 person conference won’t likely work for a 50 person social event. Though the “perfect” venue is different for each and every event, there are some key areas across the board to think about during the site selection process to ensure you find the right space.
First and foremost, you want to identify how many attendees you can expect. Once you know this, you can better assess the space requirements and pinpoint venues that can accommodate. When considering venue capacities, be mindful of other event components that could alter the capacity, such as staging, table size, a dance floor or food stations.
Layout and flow
Though a venue might be able to accommodate a certain number of people, you also want to be mindful of the room layout and flow. Are there multiple partitions in the space? Split levels? Will the bar location cause crowding? These are all things to consider when selecting a space. Have the space complement your program and agenda. Try and avoid spaces that cause bottlenecks at entrances; the only exception here is if you anticipate attendee arrival to be staggered.
Location, location, location
Location is a key consideration when selecting a perfect event venue. Think about where your attendees are coming from and if the venue is easily accessible to them. Is the venue is centrally located? Accessible by public transportation? Are there parking options nearby? As an event planner, you want to prioritize attendee convenience.
Is it on brand?
Whatever the event may be, you want to ensure that the venue complements the client brand. Take into consideration the venue’s reputation and ambiance and whether that plays a role in the atmosphere you are looking to create. For example, if you are organizing an event for a company that prioritizes the environment, you may want to look at venues that put an emphasis on sustainability and run on Bullfrog Power.
Another area to think about early in the selection process is the flexibility of the venue. In the business of events, there are always last minute changes – whether it be a sudden influx of additional guests or a last minute change in programming. It really makes a difference when you have a venue that makes an effort to adapt and work with you when those changes arise. Ask questions early on. Anticipate where changes may arise, and see what they can do to accommodate.
About the author
Daniella Bustamante is an event coordinator at Managing Matters, where she leads and produces a variety of events ranging from networking socials to large scale conferences. Daniella has worked in different facets of the events industry since 2012, from production and experiential marketing to design and planning.
Daniella is an alumni of Seneca College, where she studied event and media production, along with pursuing post-graduate studies in event and exhibit management and design. She has also studied event design at UK Arts Institution, Central Saint Martins.
Her passion for innovation and the creation of unique experiences is a driving force in all projects she works on.