finding venues

Finding venues for your events can be a challenging and time-consuming process. While AttendStar’s soon to be launched Venue Directory can help you in finding venues for your events, you still need to do some research to find the perfect place. Following are some of the most important factors to consider when you’re looking for event venues.

Finding Venues that Fit Your Budget

The first thing you need to think about is your overall budget. Write out a list of requirements and expected costs for each one before you start finding venues to add to your list of potential options.

1. Price

What is the overall fee to hold your event at the venue you’re researching? Keep in mind, you can usually negotiate fees, so be prepared to have some specific discussions about how to get the price down before you discount a venue entirely because they quote a high price.

2. Extras included or additional

Be careful of what the price includes. Many venues price a variety of things you’ll need to hold a successful event separately, so you need to be sure the price they quote includes everything your event requires. Things like equipment, WiFi, food, beverages, staff, and more may all cost extra. When comparing venues, always use the all-in cost.

3. Insurance

Does the venue have adequate insurance? Do you? Some venues require that you provide all or part of the insurance, so be sure to ask about it up front.

Finding Venues that Match Your Event

The venue you choose should match the tone of your event and your event brand.

4. Ambiance

The ambiance of a venue directly reflects on your event. Consider whether you need a venue that communicates high quality and luxury or comfort and casualness. Do you need a venue that is very corporate or has a small business feel? Does your event need a high-tech modern venue or a more traditional one? Ambiance matters, so do a thorough site visit to evaluate it.

5. Capacity and Size

Of course, the venue must be the right size for your event, but dig deeper than building or room capacity. Think about how much space you want people to have and what equipment you’ll need. Rooms and venues can get crowded very quickly!

6. Layout

How easy will it be for people to move around the venue? Are things like bathrooms and device charging stations conveniently located? If attendees will be seated, is there a comfortable amount of space between chairs? You don’t want attendees to feel trapped, so think about the layout of each venue that you visit.

7. Furniture and Accessories

Does the venue provide all of the furniture and accessories you’ll need like tables, chairs, tablecloths, and so on? If a venue provides the furniture and accessories, make sure the quality is adequate. You don’t want attendees to sit at tables covered in tablecloths with holes or stains.

8. Staff

Make sure the venue provides the staffing you require for your event, and of course, confirm any fees that using their staff may add to your price. Find out how the staff will be dressed, how experienced they are, and exactly what services they’ll provide.

9. Food and Beverages

If the venue provides food and beverages, make sure an adequate amount is provided and the quality matches your event. For example, you don’t want to hold an event with a luxury tone and serve low quality food and drinks.

Finding Venues that Have the Right Equipment and Technology

Without adequate equipment and technology, your event could fail, so thoroughly research what the venue provides early in the evaluation process.

10. Staging, Rigging, Etc.

If you need a stage with lights and cameras, make sure the venue has adequate equipment for staging, rigging, and so on.

11. Electrical Power

Some events use a lot more power than others, so check with each venue you research and confirm what power is included and if there are any fees for power needs that exceed the included amount. For example, expos and trade shows typically have additional power requirements for trade show floors, keynote stages, breakout session rooms, and more.

12. Acoustics and Sound

The acoustics and sound in the venue affect whether or not attendees can hear speakers, music, announcements, and so on. Don’t hesitate to test sound and acoustics during your venue site visits to ensure they’ll be adequate for your event.

13. Lighting

Whether your event is a concert, a trade show, a small training class, or anything in between, lighting matters to the success of your event. Talk to the venue about all of the different lighting needs for your event and make sure they can deliver what you need.

14. Equipment like Projection Screens, Cameras, etc.

Ask each venue what they provide in terms of equipment and if there are any additional fees required to use that equipment. Things like projection screens, cameras, lights, and furniture can be expensive to bring yourself, so compare the price of using the venue’s, bringing your own, or renting from a third party.

15. WiFi

WiFi is a requirement at most events today. Everyone from event managers and sponsors to attendees and the media need WiFi during events. It’s critical that the venue you choose provides adequate WiFi connectivity for all of your attendees and workers in addition to anyone else who is at the venue on the day of your event. Also, ask about any additional fees related to WiFi access during the event setup, throughout the event, and after the event during take-down.

Finding Venues that Meet Your Attendees’ Needs

Event attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors also have needs that you need consider when finding venues.

16. Location

The location of the venue could affect whether or not people will even think about coming to your event. Make sure it’s easy to get to!

17. Parking

It should be easy (and preferably free) for people to park at your event. If it’s not free, let them know in advance so there aren’t any surprises and unhappy attendees on the day of the event.

18. Accessibility

There are two types of accessibility to consider when finding venues for your events. First, the venue must meet all of the requirements in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Second, the venue should be accessible not just during the event but also leading up to it for set up and testing and after the event for take-down. Make sure the venue you choose offers enough time to set everything up and take it all back down without charging you extra fees.

Finding Venues that Help Your Event Be Successful

In the every-changing world of events, flexibility and support are extremely important!

19. Flexible

Review the venue contract and confirm that they’re willing to change things that don’t apply to your event. You don’t want to pay for things that you won’t use. Ideally, choose a venue that is willing to make adjustments as needed. Things change often in the event world, and you need a flexible venue that understands this reality.

20. Support

How accessible are the venue staff members? If you call with a question, do they respond quickly? Can you count on them to help you so your event will run smoothly – from the time you sign the contract through the event day? Things will go wrong, and you need a venue that will help you solve problems as they arise.

Key Takeaways for Finding Venues for Your Next Event

Finding venues for events takes time. You need to do your research, conduct site visits, and compare venues closely before making a final decision. Use the 20 factors discussed in this article during your evaluations, and you’ll find the best venue for your next event!

Subscribe to the AttendStar newsletter using the form in the sidebar so you know when the Venue Directory launches! And if you need help with finding venues, online ticket selling, or event marketing, call AttendStar at 615-223-1973 or submit the contact form to get started.