The Ultimate Event Venue Checklist for Event Planners
Choosing an event venue is a crucial part of planning a corporate event. It takes extreme care and consideration. Fellow corporate event planners share tips on where to start and their venue checklists for events. With an event venue checklist template in hand, you’ll be sure to find the right venue for your corporate event.
Before even looking at event venues, it’s best to start by planning your event budget. The price of renting an event venue will most likely be a substantial part of your budget and must be taken into consideration. You want to make sure you have enough room in your budget for food, entertainment and decorations.
“Depending on the type of event, I recommend spending 10 to 35 percent of your budget on the venue,” says Julia Bendall, Sales & Vendor Manager at Peerspace. “The more that the venue has onsite, the more of your budget you can spend on the venue. There are some great finds out there but it is often that you pay for what you get so it’s worth paying a little extra for a great venue.” If you find a great venue that’s on the high end of your budget, consider being flexible with your event date. Certain days of the week are cheaper to book and can turn a prohibitive venue choice into an attainable option.
When looking at venues, location is the second most important aspect to think about before making a decision. Location can significantly impact the success of your event. Put yourself in the shoes of your guests, both mentally and if you have to, physically. Is your venue accessible? “Make sure you pick a venue that is located near transportation options or has a parking garage nearby,” says Julia.
“Anything that is too out of the way will discourage people from attending.” A conveniently located venue can be the determining factor between a large turnout and an event that flops. Choose a venue that is within reasonable distance from most attendees will be traveling from, whether that means homes, offices, airports or hotels. If distance is an issue or if you serve alcohol at your event, think about offering some free transportation alternatives. Your goal is to make attending your event as easy, safe and enjoyable for your guests as possible.
Finally think about the venue’s aesthetics. You may want something fresh and airy or cozy and small. While architecture can not be altered for your event, some venues offer plenty of flexibility with the design. Moveable walls can create adjacent breakout rooms. Keep in mind that the type of room setup depends on how you’d like attendees to be seated. The same number of guests can require different amounts of total room space based on the type of setup. An event with 50 guests in a reception-style setup requires 1,750 square feet of event space. However with seats in a theater layout, the same group requires just 450 square feet.
Now you know what to look for when selecting an event venue for your corporate venue with the help of an event venue checklist. Cara Kleinhaut, the founder & CEO of Caravents is known for producing events with as many as 10,000 guests. She shares her tried-and-true venue checklist here. Remember that price, location and amenities all weigh into your decision for an event venue. Keep these venue checklists in mind when planning your next corporate event.
After 20 years in the corporate event planning business, Patti Darwin always starts initiates her search by asking herself the following questions. Is this venue size right for the group? Will the event flow well? Where are the bathrooms? Give some thought to guest flow. You want to avoid creating huge bottlenecks in certain spots, for example the bar, the food or the bathroom. You want enough bathrooms that people aren’t waiting in line more than a few minutes. It is also helpful if the bathroom facilities are spaced out around your venue. Have a sense of what types of activities you’ll be including in your corporate event. Get an illustrated floor plan of each venue, and walk through your favorites at least once, making note of important things such as where the outlets are, hallways, and stairwells.
These are other critical questions to ask when choosing an event venue to make certain that everyone can comfortably attend your corporate event. Aside from how many attendees you’ll have at the event, take into account if the venue will be accessible to all people, specifically those with disabilities. As an event organizer, you want the event to be inclusive of all those who attend. If the venue cannot provide an equal experience to all your guests, it may not be the right space for your corporate event. If a potential event venue does not have details on mobility accessibility, then conduct your own tests while wearing an eye patch ear plugs or using a wheelchair. If the venue is large with multiple floors, take note of adequate working elevators that your guests can use.
Next on your event venue checklist are services and amenities the venue offers. Ask yourself if it satisfies the needs of your event. Does the venue have a kitchen and catering staff? Do they have seating or would you need to rent chairs? Is there a setup/breakdown crew? What are their AV capabilities? If so, how is the sound? What are the lighting options? “Whenever picking a venue, I make sure to check what equipment is already available onsite and what the cost will be to bring in anything we may need,” says Julia. “I also take a look at the breakout spaces before choosing venue.” Take some time to meet the venue’s staff and do a walk-through if necessary. If they aren’t professional or nice, it may cause headaches during your event.