How to Find a Venue for Your Professional Event

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Preparing to plan a professional event?

Whether you're putting together plans for a conference, a seminar, a trade show, an awards show, or a product launch, there a bunch of keys to ensuring that it's a total success.

You will, of course, need to choose the right time to hold the event. You'll also need to make sure the right people are invited to it. But maybe above all else, you'll need to find the right pro venue to stage your event.

No matter how meticulous you are with regards to mapping out the rest of your event, it'll all be for naught if you don't track down the right venue for it. It's why you should take your time when choosing a venue and keep at it until you land on the ideal one.

Here is how to go about doing it.

Keep Location in Mind When Looking for a Pro Venue

This should almost go without saying. But you should not, under any circumstances, rent a venue for a professional event if it's situated in a place that's going to be difficult for your guests to get to.

If, for example, you're going to be hosting an event in San Francisco, look for an event space that's somewhere within the city limits. If you roam too far outside of San Francisco, you're going to find that many of your guests might skip your event since it won't be convenient for them to get there.

You want to make it as easy as possible for all your guests to make their way to your event. With that in mind, choosing a pro venue that's located in the right place is an absolute must when you're planning out your event.

Make Sure a Venue Offers More Than Enough Parking

Once people show up for your event, are they going to be able to find a place to park?

This might not be a question that you ever consider when you're planning out an event. You'll be so worried about what's inside of a venue that you won't spend a ton of time thinking about what's outside of it.

Find out how many parking spaces are going to be available to your guests on the night of your event. 

The last thing you want is for people to show up at your event and leave when they realize that the parking situation is a nightmare.

Search for a Venue With Enough Space for Everyone on Your Guest List

One of the first things you should ask the owner of an event space when you're meeting with them about their venue is, "What is your capacity?" The capacity will let you know how many people you can fit into a venue at one time.

You should obviously do this for the comfort of your guests. You don't want to try cramming 400 people into a space that's only designed to hold 200 people. It'll lead to people spending the entire night bumping into one another.

It'll also go against all of the fire and safety codes that are in place and could get your event shut down if you're not careful. You want to make sure that the pro venue you pick has a capacity that sits well above the total number of names on your guest list.

See Which Services and Amenities a Venue Offers

There are some venues that will rent you an event space and leave it at that. They won't offer any extra services or amenities, which will leave you to bring in your own vendors to provide them.

But there are also venues that will extend all the services and amenities that you need for your event, either included in the cost of renting the venue or for an additional fee.

Some of the services and amenities that you'll likely need will include:

  • Catering
  • Table, chair, and linen rentals
  • Audio-visual equipment

You might also need someone to help you set up a venue for your event and clean it up once it's over. You should come to an understanding with the owner of an event space as far as which services and amenities they will provide.

Consider the Layout of a Venue When Thinking About Using It

The type of event that you're planning will dictate the type of layout that you'll need inside of a pro venue.

For instance, if you're planning an awards show, you'll need a large stage for performers and presenters. You'll also need plenty of room to put chairs for your audience. This means that a venue with a bunch of smaller rooms isn't going to work for you.

By the same token, if you're holding a seminar that's going to feature different speakers talking to different groups, you might benefit from a venue with a choppy layout. It'll give you an opportunity to send those who attend your event to different areas based on what and who they want to see.

When you walk into a venue for the first time and it's empty, you're going to need to be able to picture your event taking place in it to see if it'll work. It's why it's essential for you to spend time thinking about how you envision your event going before settling on an event space.

Ask a Venue About Their Acoustics

Is there anything worse than spending tons of time and money staging a big event only to have guests complaining about how noisy it is inside? This is something that event planners don't always take into account when planning professional events.

You should speak with an event space owner about the acoustics in their facility and push them to tell you how speakers and music will sound during your event. Poor acoustics can ruin an event and make it impossible for people to enjoy themselves.

You should be especially wary about holding an event in a big, open space like a warehouse. These types of spaces don't always have the best acoustics, and the acoustics can ruin an otherwise great event in some cases.

Check Out the Accessibility of a Venue

A lot of event planners enjoy holding events in older venues that have a ton of history jam-packed into them. These venues often entice guests and get people talking about how lovely they are.

There is one big problem with many older venues, though. They don't always offer the same kinds of accessibility that you'll find in most newer venues. They sometimes haven't gone through the necessary upgrades to make them more accessible.

You want to find a venue that makes it simple for people with mobility issues to get around. A pro venue should have everything from ramps to elevators inside of it to allow for people to maneuver their way around without a problem.

Figure Out If a Venue Fits Into Your Budget

The cost to rent a pro venue is going to depend on dozens of different things. Some of the factors that will impact the price of a venue include:

  • The location of the venue
  • The size of the venue
  • The services and amenities that a venue offers
  • The history of a venue
  • The general appearance of a venue

Prior to looking around at different venues for a professional event, you should find out exactly when you want to rent a venue. This will help you avoid falling in love with a venue only to discover that it's booked on the night you need it.

You should also crunch the numbers and figure out how much you can afford to spend on a venue based on your event budget. It'll allow you to steer clear of finding the perfect venue only to find out that it's out of your price range.

Cost shouldn't be the only thing on your mind when you're shopping around for venues for an event. You don't want to take the cheapest venue you can find and learn first-hand why it was so cheap in the first place.

But you should be open and honest about your event budget from the beginning with venue owners.

They might be able to find ways to work with your budget if it means renting out their venue for your event.

Book the Best Pro Venue for Your Next Professional Event

The pro venue that you choose for your next professional event could ultimately make or break it. 

Choosing the wrong venue could leave people with a bad taste in their mouth once your event ends.

Try to start looking around at various venues at least six months before your event is scheduled to take place. This will give you an opportunity to check out and consider a wide range of options before narrowing your choices down.

Once you find a venue that suits your needs, put down a deposit for it and start planning out the other details of your event. Your venue will establish a strong foundation for your event and get the planning process off to a great start.

Check out the rest of our blog for more tips on planning successful events.

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