It is possibly true that in this digital age “space” has come to be understood differently. What used to be the sole domain of physical areas like buildings or open parks can now be expanded to the online arena. Nevertheless, the vast majority of events are still physical events and physical events need venues. Let’s dedicate this article to what you should look for when scouting an event venue.
To make this easier we’ll split this into two separate blocks – the first of which is the part where you haven’t decided on a venue yet are still trying to determine whether the space in question is suitable or not, and the other is post-confirmation: where you ascertain what is needed to turn the space into one which can host your killer event.
When choosing a venue there are a few issues you should consider. Obviously, that can be summed up with the question “does it fit your needs?”. We’ve explored many times the issue of having an overarching narrative or theme for your event and it is something you must definitely do. Only when you’ve established your targets and goals can you truly know what your needs are. Once you’ve done that, though, you can scout a venue through these following points:
From a purely technical and logistical perspective, can the venue in question fit the target audience size you have envisioned or is it too big. Too small and all your attendees would be in varying degrees of discomfort and too big can make your event feel under-attended or downright unpopular.
Also make sure that your planned activities can be carried out in the space. Would it for instance need a massive sound system, or would it be an acoustically nightmarish outcome even with the best sound system in the world? Consider these and any other related space issues when looking at the space.
This relates to your theme and the marketing of your event. Make sure these are coherent with each other and you have half your marketing already done for you. An exhibition of transport-related services or heritage, for instance, would be fantastic if held at an abandoned bus terminal or train station but might be a disaster in, say, an abandoned prison. In terms of meaning or purpose, ensure that there is a connection between the event and the venue and this would make it a whole lot more satisfactory for your audience.
Consider also the venue in terms of accessibility. Can your average attendee make it conveniently enough for your event to be well-attended? If your event is mainly catered to a younger crowd for instance, make sure that it is reasonably reachable through public transport. A more upmarket event can be held in a more secluded area and this lends to your event an aura of exclusivity.
And of course, don’t forget that cost plays a large part in any event organization. Don’t blow your budget on an unrealistic venue and ensure that you’re off to a good start overall!
Your committee has sat down and knocked heads and now you’ve finally decided that all-star venue of yours. There are a few things that you still need to check before the event begins.
Check out where all the power sources are and how long your wires, cables or how adequate your equipment needs to be. This will ensure that set up will be smooth and easy and that you will be well-stocked with no cause for emergencies right before the start of the event. This will keep your team in a calm and ready state for a good event operation.
It should be a legal requirement wherever you are in the world that the safety of your guests and your staff is well looked after. Nevertheless, consult with law enforcement authorities and ensure that your event venue has a clear emergency plan and escape routes in the event of fire or other emergencies. Be a responsible event organizer and you will gain credibility both from local authorities and your guests which will earn you many brownie points for future events.
While you should have had more or less a clear idea of how you wanted your event to look like as you were selecting a venue, now that you actually have a place it is important to go into smaller details with regards to the layout. Make specific plans for furniture and other aspects of interior design that will make your event a real looker but one that is also high in functionality.
Keep this in mind also because it will affect crowd flow. There is ironically nothing that makes a crowd angrier than a crowd so make sure you find ways to manage their movement and their personal space. A happy crowd makes a happy event.
A lot of things go into making a successful event but the venue is one of the most important. Find the right one by looking out for all the things mentioned above and you’re well on your way to achieving that success.