Whether you are looking for a venue for a personal event or on behalf of a company, it’s a big decision! I’ve had to do it all my working life and I still find it hard sometimes… especially with the amount of venues we now have to choose from in the UK! January tends to be the time that lots of us are getting venues booked in for events taking place throughout the year, so I thought I’d share some of my wisdom and give you some top tips to remember when making that final venue decision! Even if you are one of those clever people and use a free venue finding service like Eventify, you are still the one that signs on the dotted line, so read on and make sure you’re making the right decision for you or your brand.
It’s an obvious, but important one! Location is key for many reasons but mainly for your guests… where are the majority of them travelling from and will they easily find the venue on their own? A personal favourite that’s great for location is the St Pancras Renaissance, it’s always my first port of call for an event with guests travelling from Europe – the Eurostar drops them right at the front door!
If you’re organising a brand event, then it’s also key to think about what image the location portrays – can you find a clever connection between the location and your brand or the product your showcasing?
2. Guest Journey
This is so important as it’s key to the guests entire event experience; did they have to queue for ages just to get through registration? Did they have to walk for miles between the main plenary and their breakout space? Or did they just see the same four walls all day with not much excitement?! A venue that’s got the guest journey down to a ‘t’ is the London Dungeon, guests are fully immersed in to the theme from the moment they arrive , quickly drop off their coats and bags before grabbing a pre-show drink and are then led on a short tour through London’s dark history. They end up in a Victorian pub where they spend the rest of the evening being entertained by Victorian Landlords whilst eating pub grub –a fluid and immersive journey that will leave a lasting impression on your guests !
Food and drink – the most important factor to consider! (sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it’s absolutely not the presentation content,!) so it’s important to get it right! When deciding on your venue, make sure they can deliver the catering you desire… are the kitchens close to the event space? If it’s a standing event, will there be food stations rather than just passed food? It’s key to use the right caterer for what you need! A venue that uses Moving Venue always get’s my vote… they’re creative, reliable and there’s always LOTS of food and drink to go around, ensuring everyone goes home with a full belly and feeling happy! And trust me, it’s the one thing your guests will remember about the event!
4. Production and AV
This can be important for different reasons; if it’s a conference you’re planning you need to ensure the venue has the right AV capabilities so presentations can be delivered to your required standard. If it’s a product launch, you need to ensure the venue can be transformed to represent the brand from the minute guests arrive. A venue I’d always go to for a big production is 8 Northumberland Avenue, they have amazing in-house lighting systems and their ballroom can be completely transformed to deliver any theme or brand message!
5. Objective of the event
Last but most definitely not least – before signing on the dotting line, go back to the initial planning stage and think why am I planning this event? What is it that the event needs to achieve? This should be the key deciding factor but often gets lost throughout the venue-finding process. Whether you’re looking to thank staff, impress clients or get your brand message across to all guests, sit back and make sure the venue you’re choosing can deliver this. As the organiser, you know your objective and your guests best, so this one’s down to you! You can always get help along the way, Eventify pride themselves on getting to know their clients and/or their brand and ensure this at the forefront when venue-finding and planning events.
So that’s my top five tips to use when choosing an event venue – they’ve helped me to make the right decisions throughout the years, so I hope you find them useful too! Send your next event brief to Eventify and they’ll do all the leg work in finding you the perfect venue and help you make that all-important decision. What’s your go to venue?