5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Venue for your Corporate Event
Narrowing down your list of venues for that networking function your boss has asked you to organise, the product launch you’ve got to plan, or the annual all-team Christmas cocktail party can be a daunting task. To help you on your way we’ve compiled a list of the key questions you need to ask potential venues before signing away your budget.
1. How many can the venue comfortably fit?
Sometimes the capacity stated on a venue’s website may not reflect what is a comfortable amount of space and what will have your guests packed like sardines to fit them all in. At the venue site inspection, ask about the capacities of previous events and what number would feel comfortable. This number will change depending on whether your guests are seated or standing, and you’ll have to consider the set up of the room and how much space you will need to allocate to a stage, product placement, screen, registration area etc. Ask for a floor plan of the venue to help you with the set up, and then consider how many people you can squeeze in around that set up.
2. What is included in the cost?
You don’t want to blow your budget with any hidden costs that aren’t transparent in your initial quote. Check how much AV hire is, how long room set up and pack down will take and the cost of staff for those hours, whether there is a service charge etc. Most venues will also charge more to hire them out for functions on weekends, public holidays or during peak event season, so if you’re trying to keep to a tight budget take this into consideration. Ask for a clear break down of the total costs incurred so you can allocate your budget correctly.
3. Are there easy transport links and is there anywhere for guests to park?
This will all depend on who you have invited to your event and whether they are willing to travel. If it is an in-house event make sure the venue is close to the office, no one is going to want to trawl halfway across the city to attend a work function after a whole day of work, even if there is the promise of free beer… If your guests are coming from far and wide, check the public transport options nearby the venue and ask the manager if there are any on-site parking facilities or whether they are affiliated with a nearby parking lot.
4. What are your catering options?
Unless you’re hiring somewhere just for the space, most function venues will provide catering or else charge a corkage style fee for bringing in your own food and drink, or alternative food vendors. Ask the venue about the food and beverage packages they offer, and if you haven’t already made up your mind, what they believe would best fit your event, they’ll have plenty of experience in it after all!
5. And one to ask yourself - is this venue on brand?
If your company is known for being extra green, or you’re planning a sustainability conference, make sure you choose a venue that fits with your brand. You’ll want to only work with venues that have a good energy rating, limit their use of non-biodegradables, and donate/compost any leftovers, because if it’s important to your clientele, they will notice all those plastic straws… Similarly, if you’re event is targeted towards a specific market such as the tech market, make sure your chosen venue lives up to the standards they will be expecting from the latest in cutting-edge facilities.