Event planners are constantly on the look out for the hottest new event venues that can make a big impact on their guests. As one of the most important decisions you can make for your event, here are some things to think about.
Your venue choice is a much deeper decision than just finding four walls that are priced within your event budget. The venue you choose can have much wider repercussions, even in terms of registrations, final attendance, brand perceptions and impact. Here are 11 ways you can find amazing venues, perfect for your event.
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Think Carefully About Your Criteria
Although it can be exciting to get inspired and fired up by the hippest venue choices out there, try to think about what is really important to you before you start your search. Knowing what the objectives of your event are and the essentials you need from a venue will help you be more focused. Some things may be flexible and matter less but you don’t want to get your heart set on a venue only to find that it can’t accommodate your anticipated guest numbers or has no WiFi. Having a clear idea of what you are looking for can help to crystallize your venue options sooner to find the perfect space.
Avoid the Usual Suspects
There are fantastic venues in every town or city, however some are completely over-utilized to the point that it holds little appeal for serial event-goers. If you want your event to stand out, step away from the options everybody uses time and time again. Be bold and different with your venue choice and find undiscovered gems.
Link Your Company Ethos to Your Venue Choice
Venue selection should be about more than just being within budget, matching room capacity and location. Make sure your choice reflects your vision in every way. For instance, this might be choosing a venue committed to reducing their environmental impact, giving back to the community or supporting young apprentices.
Step Up Your Event Design
Find a venue that can invigorate your meeting design and event objectives. If you are looking for a team away day to brainstorm new ideas, find a venue that offers relaxed seating and a creative and stimulating environment. If you are planning a networking event, find somewhere with space to move around and perhaps a mix of indoor spaces and an outdoor terrace to encourage conversations.
Exploring new venues could also be the trigger to invigorate your event. When you see the potential offered by the different spaces, it may inspire you to reverse the event program, opt for a different room layout or incorporate different facilitation techniques. Don’t be so rigid that you stick to your draft timings or tried and tested format for the day. Instead, if a room offers fantastic sunset views over the city, use this to your advantage and create a drinks reception at that time, to make the most of the unique venue features.
Choosing an unusual venue could be exactly the inspiration your attendees need to register for the event, rather than dismissing it. Give them an extra reason to be there to explore a cool new venue and highlight why it is unique and worth a visit. If they are excited for the opportunity to explore it ahead of the event date, they are also less likely to send apologies, as they won’t want to miss out.
Hire Spaces by the Hour
A full day event isn’t always necessary or what you are looking for. To be tied into a full day hire, when you really only need a place for a few hours, can be frustrating and expensive. Using an alternative venue could give you the flexibility you need to hire specifically for the time required, making it much more cost-effective for your budget.
Widen Your Search
Why not extend your venue search a little further than you have done previously to open up some fresh venue options and potentially widen your catchment area too? Also consider exploring up and coming areas of the city. Often areas of development can be a hotbed of hip places and quirky spaces which are emerging and tipped to be places to watch for the future. Lead the way in terms of being innovative – don’t follow your competitors!
Let the Venue Story Shine Through
Using a non-purpose-built venue, you may discover an interesting back story or the chance for the building to help you to weave a fitting tale. Maybe the building had a chequered history, prior to becoming the venue it is today? Perhaps it can inspire the theme for your event? How about sharing the journey of the locally sourced food served at the event, from local farm to table? Knowledge and interesting facts can help make your event even more memorable, and noteworthy enough to share with others afterwards.
Never Stop Searching
New and exciting venues are always popping up, and event planners pride themselves for being one step ahead. Keep up-to-date, talk to your peers and search online venue marketplaces regularly to find the hottest new properties in the neighborhood. Your clients or boss will thank you for having your finger on the pulse and it can help your projects move faster by always having some great options in mind.
Working with an unconventional venue can be your chance to bring your vision to life, exactly as you picture it, so don’t necessarily be put off by a ‘dry hire’ space or venue without all the fixtures and fittings or luxuries you may have had in the past. If you are truly working with a blank canvas though, think about the extras that you will need and triple check whether the host will provide it or whether it is your responsibility. This could be everything from furniture, to catering equipment, to AV, or even toilet paper!
Don’t Be Confined By Four Walls
Sometimes it could be worth considering an outside location, temporary structure or open air space, such as a roof terrace, as this could create a completely different vibe for your event. Your imagination doesn’t have to be confined by four walls and a roof. Whether you are hosting a social event, performance, launch party or pop-up activation, the perfect backdrop and situation is out there!
As such an integral part of your event, your venue choice shouldn’t be boring. Now, more than ever, your location gives you an opportunity to stand out and really make an impression. Make it your personal event planner mission to find unusual buildings and distance yourself from uninspiring spaces. Your clients, guests and speakers will surely thank you for it!