Why choosing the right venue is so important? And why is one of the most delicate decisions that event professionals have to face? It’s essential to bear in mind that this fundamental decision will determine all the subsequent steps of the event organization: this is the reason why the location can make the difference between success and disaster.
Of course, choosing the right venue is not enough to ensure a good result. It’s also true that even the best event organizer of the world will fail to ensure a good result if the venue is completely wrong. Therefore, which are the main factors to consider when choosing a venue?
The Right Place at the Right Time
The first aspect to take into account concerns the position. In order to choose the best place to set the event, we have to know our audience by heart. A deep knowledge of your target audience will help you make the right decision. Just try to answer these simple questions:
- Are we speaking to wealthy business people or to university students?
- It is reasonable to think that the majority of the attendees will get to the place by car or we should find a place with a good public transportation service?
- If we choose a beautiful location in the middle of nowhere, should we provide a shuttle service to allow participants to get to the venue?
- If the location doesn’t include its own catering service, how can we organize refreshment supplies?
What is clear is that all the options are likely to have a profound impact on our event budget.
The first question that you should ask yourself is: “How many attendees are you expecting?” Obviously, you don’t want to waste your money by booking a venue that can accommodate 1,000 attendees if you are only expecting 500 (or vice versa).
If you are planning to organize a paid event, your budget must be balanced with a profit forecast. This forecast must be divided in half. Do you expect to attract 1,ooo attendees? Balance the expenses in order to covered them with the half portion of your expected audience (in the example 500) and then choose a location with capacity to accommodate 1,000 people, but it can also seem full with half. How? Furniture power! Is often possible to choose between different settings, adding or removing panels, tables, seats and room dividers.
A good strategy, if you are not sure about the real attendance, is to set up the local at the minimum of its capacity and, if you need more space, move or take some pieces of furniture away (such as sofas, tables and chairs).
The Right Atmosphere
It is vital that the place that will host the event is in keeping with the spirit of the initiative. Why this? Because at the end of the event, the attendees will remember the feelings and the sensations they had during the event.
The venue is a valuable ally to create the atmosphere but, to exploit the full potential, you must have a deep knowledge of the area. Bear in mind that the beauty and practicality of the structure are important, but the way in which the structure is perceived is even more important.