One of the most common questions we get asked is “How do I find the right location for my event?” Choose a great location and you will be well on your way to an amazing event! Choose a poor location and you could risk putting other aspects of your event out of whack. Here are a few points of consideration that will help you make the best decision on a location for your event:
The size of a venue plays an important role in the success of an event. If a location is too small, your attendees will be uncomfortable because they will not have the freedom to move about as they wish, or worse yet, they may not even be able to get in! If the location is too large, your attendees may feel as though the event is a flop because it wasn’t well-attended, leaving them to surmise whether there was a lack of promotion or a lack of interest. In most cases, you want your event to feel “full” so that it will generate a high level of interest, energy, and excitement allowing your guests to have a great time.
While it would be a perfect scenario for your venue to be centrally located to all your guests, that is not always going to be possible. Convenience and centrality are key factors when choosing a location, but if there is not a suitable location that aligns with your budget, purpose, and theme, then you need to look for the best possible option available. Keep in mind that the distance people will travel will have a very close correlation to the level of excitement that you have generated for the event. Generally speaking, people are willing to drive further for “destination” events (i.e. the wedding a close friend at a scenic location) than they would for a business workshop, banquet, or carnival.
Obviously, if the cost of your venue is higher than what your budget will allow, then you need to either look for a new venue, reallocate expected funds, or determine whether an increase of sponsorships, fees, or other sources may be necessary to ensure the success of the event. You may find that it is a good thing to reconsider your budget to allow for a higher cost venue because it could bring in a larger number of attendees, therefore covering the cost of the budget overrun. If not, keep looking for a venue that provides the environment you’re looking for at a cost that fits within your budget. The next point of consideration, amenities, can also have a significant impact on your cost, so we’ll discuss that next.
While the location of your event can have a huge effect on your budget, not just in the direct cost of renting the location, but because of the amenities included, or lack thereof. You may be able to get a great location at a low cost, but if it doesn’t have the amenities you need, then your overall cost could be significantly higher and could cause you to spend an unnecessary amount of time, frustration, and money to properly hold your event. For example, if you are deciding between two different venues and one of them seems to be a great deal, yet they don’t supply a stage, audio system, projector, screen, or other amenities that are necessary for your event and you end up having to rent or subcontract those items; you may find that a higher cost venue may be a better deal in the long run after considering the additional costs involved.
What type of environment are you trying to create at your event? This question will largely be determined by both your theme and your purpose. It is doubtful that you would want to create a carnival atmosphere in an elegant dining facility, or an elegant banquet environment in a carnival-type venue. This may seem obvious, but on many occasions we have seen the decision on a location made before any thought was ever put into the atmosphere, or “ambience”, that they were trying to create. A great way to find great locations is by doing a Google search for the type of event you are hosting, and don’t just limit the search to your own area. Sometimes looking at other cities, states, or regions may generate ideas for locations that you could consider.
Any time you are looking for a location for an event, you need to always check the ratings through third-party sources. Don’t buy into all the hype that a venue puts out in its marketing materials. They will always portray their location in the best possible light, whether it be through amazing pictures, fancy words, or vague descriptions. Be sure to read reviews from online sources such as Yelp, Facebook, etc., and take the time to contact other companies who have used the venue to see how they liked the food, service, and the type of feedback they received from their guests.
After you’ve reviewed these 6 points and you find that you’re still having a difficult time, or if you want to confirm the decision you have made regarding a location, seek the advice of an experienced event planning company to help you ensure that your event goes as desired. When you take these items into consideration, you will be able to select a great location which will set you up for a great event!
The Carey & Paul Group is one of the Midwest’s largest full service entertainment and event production agencies. Our highly trained team is ready to help you with all or parts of your event planning needs. Our entertainment and events planning team has assisted corporations, unions, clubs, summer camps, parks and recreation departments, schools, festivals, fairs, conventions, conferences and association leaders plan and create awesome and memorable events. Our goal is to put on an awesome event, offer the best in entertainment and event planning services, and make you look good! For more information, please visit www.careyandpaulgroup.com.
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