Venue Selection & Management
It is certain that your event’s success relies on your selection of the venue, the overall vibe, the food & beverage quality, and in many cases the attendees you will have at your event.
At Instinct we work together with the top venues in Australia, in order to create & deliver excellent event experiences for our clients and their guests. Ask us which venue will suit your event the best, and how we can relieve the pain of venue selection.
Venue selection – Factors to consider when selecting an event venue
- Reputation of the venue and your event
- Guests convenience
- Parking & transport accessibility
- Capacity & minimums
- Service & amenities
- Location, location, location
- Space specifications
Cost & Budgets
The price of venue hire combined with food & beverage packages on offer is forefront in the selection process. It must work within your budget while also meeting the needs of your guests.
It is important to consider spaces like the pre-function area, your exhibition space (if required), performers’ green rooms, placement of sound system, speakers (like MCs), bands and other entertainment. Also consider the load in/bump out facilities, times of access to loading docks, the availability of your space pre-event and the technical capabilities of the venue (re: electrical, AV, staging, lighting, staging, sound etc). It’s also important to think about what access there is for disabled or handicapped guests.
Location, location, location
Where your venue is located will need to be easily accessible for all your guests, staff or performers. In most cases, a central location is your best bet. You will want accessible parking or close proximity to public transport or your attendance may suffer.
Timing is key; having the right venue at the wrong time is useless. Events have to be run at just the right time, to avoid conflicting with other happenings or interests that draw your target audience away. It is crucial that the venue offers your event the time it needs for all event logistics, including load in of all theming and decor, styling, set design elements, technical production, performer load ins as well as appropriate sound check and rehearsals. Make sure all of this is available & suitable for your event prior to entering into contract with the venue.
The general vibe of any venue is vitally important. Consider carefully the style and design of the building and it’s interior. What does it say to your guests? When throwing a gala dinner the building’s requirements will be very different to a seminar, expo or conference. The better the design and style of the venue, the less “tszujing up” you need to do.
Service & Amenities
A massive thing to consider when selecting a venue are the amenities. Service includes customer service staff, the number of staff the venue is providing (relative to guest numbers).
Make sure you’re clear on what is and what isn’t included!
How much do they charge to turn the building lights on if at all? Are the stage and dance floor included? What about table linen and chair covers? Do they have recommended, affordable suppliers who can help you put this together?
Make sure you check out the technical production caveats. If you are not careful, ignoring these can basically mean throwing money away.
Capacity & minimums
Comfort is key, how many people will your venue hold without getting crowded? Will this allow for a dance floor and stage? Bear in mind the venue will make money by providing food & beverages. , As the event planner your guests’ experience and (more importantly) safety is your responsibility.
Research the F&B minimums for the venue, ask what point the venue hire gets waived, what is the threshold, and what happens if the numbers you planned for don’t eventuate?
Always under commit, then add on later if required. Check the minimum number of guests that you can have this “deal” for, then as your numbers are confirmed you can add if required. Don’t forget; Get everything in writing!
Creative concept planning is important prior to selecting your venue. If you want certain elements included in your event, then the venue will need to support these criteria. It is pointless organising a casino night on floor 5 of a building with no elevator/lift. In case you’re wondering, gaming tables can’t be hauled up that many stairs.
Think about how many guests you want in attendance and make sure your venue allows easy movement and flow throughout the whole event. Grid lock makes everyone uncomfortable, and makes your guests want to leave; plain and simple.
If you’re considering live entertainment such as a cover band, speakers, comedians, or other performers you’ll need a stage which provides clear lines of sight to all guests. Will the venue supply a stage? Is there a dance floor?
This is clear cut; make sure they have Public Liability Insurance as standard (covering all aspects of your event). Ask for copies of their certificate of currency and Policy Disclosure Statement. If they don’t have any or refuse to cooperate, you don’t want them.
It’s a tale as old as time and I’m sure you’ve been to events where the speaker or presenter is inaudible thanks to terrible acoustics in the room. Reflective, boomy and painful. Speakers will then yell desperately, trying to be heard at the back of the room. Bands will get uncomfortably loud (unintentionally and with no effort). Think about the essence of your event, what kind of sound are you going for (speakers, music, presentations, media etc) and thoroughly consider these details before you select your venue.
Instinct has experience dealing with a multitude of issues in our time trying to correct issues intrinsically woven into a room. Talk to us about your venue before you go ahead!
Maybe the venue has everything you want and seems totally perfect, but if you have to share it with other groups who may not resonate with the message your event is delivering, chances are you have the wrong venue.
Consider your out-of-towner guests, how close is it to hotels? What about the airport, or other transport options? What is the travel time to and from these places?
Reputation of the venue and your event
Consult with other event planners and professional event managers, clientele, customers, friends and colleagues… anybody who has a reliable ear and will share their experiences with the venue you have in mind. Read as many reviews and forums as you can. Each venue has it’s own unique idiosyncrasies. They have their own management style, customer service ethic, and team who deliver this all.
Here at Instinct we deal with hundreds of venues on a monthly basis for our clients. We know the drill inside and out (be it good or bad). Talk to us before you book your venue!
For more hot tips on selecting event venues, click here.