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What should you consider when searching for event venues in 2024

One thing that is always seems to be a key issue for many is finding the right venue for their calendar of events.

Searching for the perfect venue for your event needs careful consideration of various factors, all working together to ensure a successful and memorable experience for you and your guests.

A recent poll we ran a week ago, shows that venue searching is top of the agenda for many this year.

So, here are some tips to help you in your venue search;

1. Define Your Event Needs:

– Clearly outline the purpose, theme, and requirements of your event, not just what you want to achieve with your event, but how you want your guests to think and feel (you’ll be amazed at how much the venue you select will support you to achieve your event vision).

– Determine the number of attendees, layout of the rooms, preferred date, and duration of the event.

– Think about what level of event production and entertainment you are looking for as this will need to be factored in right from the start.

– Also consider set up and break down time, many forget about this and it is an essential part, especially if you are looking at events that require stage sets etc.

2. Set a Budget:

– Establish a budget for the venue, keeping in mind other associated costs like catering, decorations, entertainment and AV equipment. It’s important to also factor in a contingency for your budget, even the best planned events can have unplanned costs crop up from time to time.

3. Consider Location:

– Choose a location that is convenient for your attendees in terms of accessibility and proximity to public transportation.

– If your event venue is going to be off the beaten track then ensure you can provide a robust transport plan for your attendees along with the merits for hosting the event in a remote place.

– If it’s a destination event, ensure there are nearby hotels and amenities available for your guests.

Dinner Platform 9 34s - Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden - The Making of ‘Harry Potter’ Tour
Vegan food

4. Venue Capacity:

– Ensure the venue can comfortably accommodate your expected number of guests along with any additional room needed for staging/production and entertainment if required for your event.

– Consider both seating and standing capacities, as well as any special requirements for your event type.

5. Facilities and Amenities:

– Assess the facilities provided by the venue, including audio-visual equipment, Wi-Fi, parking, and catering options, its important to understand if there are any additional external requirements such as AV/production support is needed or if the venue can accommodate all of your needs.

– Check for accessibility features, such as ramps and elevators.

6. Ambiance and Style:

– Ensure the venue’s aesthetic aligns with the theme and tone of your event.

– Consider the ambiance, lighting, decor and overall atmosphere that may be required to transform the room. If its an all day and night event, how you will change the look and feel whatever time of the day.

7. Availability and Flexibility:

– Check the availability of your preferred date and time.

– Inquire about the venue’s policies regarding setup and teardown times.

8. Visit Potential Venues:

– Schedule site visits to shortlisted venues to get a first-hand look at the space.

– Pay attention to the condition of the facilities, cleanliness, and overall maintenance.

9. Review Contracts and Policies:

– Carefully review the venue’s contract, including cancellation policies, deposit requirements, and any restrictions.

– Clarify any uncertainties with the venue manager.

11. Consider Tech Requirements:

– If your event involves presentations or performances, ensure the venue has the necessary audio-visual equipment and technical support. If not, enquire if you are able to bring in your own AV and Production teams.

12. Permits and Regulations:

– Confirm that the venue complies with local regulations and obtain any necessary permits for your event.

13. Plan for Contingencies:

– Enquire about backup plans in case of unexpected issues, such as technical failures or weather-related concerns. What flexibility does the venue have for any act of god related events?

Getting the right dietary requirements for your attendees should be top priority

14. Catering:

– It is important to understand what catering requirements would be needed for your event. Is there a particular theme, what percentage of your attendees will have special dietary requirements.

– Depending on your event size and requirement, some venues will offer a ‘tasting session’ pre-event.

15. Enlist the support of a venue finding agency:

– Any events agency who support their clients with venue searches and event support will tell you, lack of time and sometimes resource are the key factors as to why clients turn to them time after time.

– Working with an events agency will not only give you back valuable time back, they will also have strong working relationships with many venues, enabling a strong position for you to negotiate the best rates and agreements.

– The events agency you instruct to support you should have your requirements at the heart of their search, they should have a very good understanding of your requirements and provide you with a number of options to select, along with accompanying you to the site visits.

– The support shouldn’t really stop once the contract is signed, can the events agency guide and support you with entertainment, production, providing support on the day? Any agency worth working with, should be in a position to support you wholeheartedly with all of your events needs if required.

I hope you’ve found this information useful for your 2024 event planning.

As always, should you have any event support and venue finding requirements, you know where the Sheer Edge team are!

email: hello@sheeredge.co.uk or call us: 0330 223 3176