About the author:
Jeff Caldwell is Brand Manager of Litchfield Landscape Elements in Carrollton, GA. Accepting shelter design challenges from designers, landscape architects, and architects around the world, Litchfield Landscape Elements creates custom shelters, gazebos and pergolas specific to your outdoor needs.
Quick — you’re about to organize a huge shindig or professional gathering, but you haven’t found a location to hold the event! What do you do? Although you’d love to impress your attendees, you haven’t got a clue how to choose an appropriate venue.
Take a deep breath and relax. Picking the perfect place for your private or corporate event is as easy as making a simple checklist and going through it. Here are the main points you’ll need to focus on in order to make your gathering a success.
Define Your Event by Considering Your Attendees
Think about what kind of event you’re going to host and the needs of those who’ll be participating. Will people have to drive long distances or fly into town to attend? Is your event going to span more than one day? The answers to these questions can help you decide whether you should select a venue that’s close to lodgings or dining establishments.
Other important considerations include timing and overall duration. Your guests are certain to become hungry and tired after a while, especially if they have to do a lot of walking or socializing. While these aren’t unmanageable problems during shorter gatherings, you may still prefer a venue that offers on-site accommodations.
Matching Amenities to Your Guests’ Needs
Once you’ve identified pertinent attendee needs, check on the amenities available at each potential location, but don’t limit yourself. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, for instance, find out about local dining, shopping and lodging options. Choosing a venue within walking distance of such conveniences can make it much easier to schedule multi-day events. When combined with outdoor shelters or local resources, like nearby parks and entertainment, a minimalistic venue can become the scene of an unforgettable gathering.
Ensuring the Location Can Support Your Schedule
Of course, you’re also responsible for the actual activities that will occur during the event. Your venue must be able to accommodate lectures, speeches, dances, banquets or anything else you need to make the overall gathering enjoyable.
So, how can you tell if your proposed location is suitable? In most cases, the easiest way to get a good feel for what you’ll be able to do with the place is to check it out in person. While two competing venues may seem to be comparable on paper, touring them yourself will make it much easier to choose something you feel comfortable planning around.
The Value of Close Inspection
You should also take advantage of your inspections by comparing each venue’s listed amenities with what you actually see. For instance, it’s not enough to simply have audio-visual equipment of uncertain quality on hand; you need to ensure that the cables, connectors and devices are current enough to meet your standards. Similarly, you should inspect critical fixtures, such as outlets and lighting.
Be certain the space can create the aesthetic effect or impression you want to promote. True, some of your attendees will be considerate enough not to blame you and your organization for the patchy wallpaper or shabby decor, but can you say the same for your international business partners? If you plan on dressing to impress, then your venue ought to do the same.
Distinguishing Price Factors
Finally, remember that venue pricing isn’t just about space rental costs. Most venues work on a contractual basis, and if you’re careless about the details, you may be confronted with additional expenses or unreasonable fees.
Be certain to ask about special rate availabilities for repeat events and investigate whether you’d pay less during other timeframes. Even if you’re dead set on a date, learning more about your options may help you gain more bargaining power and make a smarter choice for future events. Good luck planning!