There’s a reason why careers that involve hosting events are commonly known to be among the most stressful in the job market. It’s because hosting an event is a logistical juggling act that requires outstanding attention to detail and the ability to multi-task like there are ten of you.
While there are a multitude of factors that go into a successful event, none are as important as the venue. They’re the string that ties together all the décor, music, lighting and catering and, without them, there could be no event at all.
It’s no wonder that selecting a venue can be a challenging, time-consuming and stressful process. But while every type of event – from weddings to banquets to birthday and corporate parties – comes with different requirements, there are some common threads that apply universally.
Here’s how to choose the right venue for your event.
Get in the Mood
Every event begins with conceptualization. Whether it’s a young woman planning her dream wedding, an event planner ideating on a brand launch event or a charity team planning a gala, it starts with a vision of how it will unfold.
Start by deciding your atmosphere and ambiance – is it upscale or casual, intimate or grandiose? Event are effective because they make us feel – for a brand, a cause or a person and the mood and theme are their launchpad.
Venues can be dressed up, but not rebuilt. Be mindful of existing décor, style, and architecture. A gala will require a different style than a birthday party. The more suited the venue is to your event theme, the less decorating it will require.
Planning events on tight timelines is like cutting yourself off at the knees. Popular venues operate on lead times of between 4 to 6 months and you’ll probably need every minute to plan.
Short lead times might mean less preferential times and dates – so you might get your dream outdoor wedding venue on a Thursday in the fall or the perfect company party spot on the Sunday of a long weekend.
Get a Grasp on Capacity and Crowd
Capacity and crowd are important to understand. A banquet might require a large space but picking a venue that’s too big can make even a large event feel sparse and empty.
It’s equally important to pick a venue that will resonate well with your target demographic. If it’s a group of friends getting together for a birthday party, then a more relaxed venue might suit your needs. If your guest list will be comprised of corporate CEOs, you might opt for a higher-end venue.
Location is King
For any type of event, location key – it will affect your turnout. Once you understand your crowd, you can pick a location that considers their convenience.
Will they have to commute in rush hour to get there? Will they be driving, or might they be drinking? Is there parking available, or accessibility to transit and safe rides home?
Except for destination weddings or milestone birthdays, few events will entice guests to go out of their way to attend.
Think Outside the Box
As tough as they are to put on, events are common – both personal and professional – which means it’s important to make yours memorable. Whether it’s a corporate party, a wedding, a banquet or a birthday, everybody wants their event to be enjoyed and remembered.
Some of the best events happen in the most unexpected places so think outside the box.
Layout, Logistics, and Amenities
Although you’ll be finding your venue early in the planning process, it’s also important to have an idea of the activities that will be taking place, the amenities you’ll need and the ideal layout.
If there’s food, does the venue have a kitchen area? Does it provide in-house services like catering, clean-up, tables, chairs and linens and AV? If not, does it offer preferred vendors to eliminate multiple touchpoints in your planning process and ensure proper execution?
When seeking a venue, work with its event coordinator to assess layout and conduct walkthroughs, noting details like the location of outlets and where any AV equipment is – or can be – located. Consider your event’s level or movement and traffic flow and whether you’ll need areas for check-in, green rooms or storage.
Choosing a venue can be challenging but is a vital component in the success of an event. To help make the process easier, iQ Offices offers stylish, modern event venues to accommodate weddings, birthday parties, banquets and corporate gatherings – from 20 guests up to 250.
Our event spaces are equipped with everything from bars and kitchens to TVs, surround sound systems and AV capabilities and our in-house events team will support you through every stage of the process – from preliminary walkthrough to preferred vendors to successful execution.
If you’ve got an event coming up, we’d love to hear from you!