Finding the perfect venue for your client’s corporate event can be a stressful process. With so many qualities and limitations to consider, the pressure is on to make a decision that will wow your client and ensure guests have an amazing experience.
We have your guide here on how to find the perfect corporate event venue with our top 6 things to consider during the venue selection process.
1. What is your event budget?
This is the first question you need to ask yourself before you start your search. There is no point considering a venue if it’s way outside of the event’s budget. How much have you been allotted for the event? According to EventMB, 32.8% of event planners have an event spend of less than $100,000. Having a limited event budget will limit your venue selection. That being said, there are still some incredible and unique venues available for a lower price point. Always try and negotiate the price before agreeing on a final number with the venue.
Keep in mind that you should leave some wiggle room in the budget for unexpected expenses or emergencies that may pop up during your planning process, so don’t blow the majority of your event budget on the venue, leaving you with barely anything left to pay for everything else.
2. Who will your guests be?
The next thing you should consider in your venue selection process is who your guests will be. Your #1 job when planning an event is to make your client and their guests incredibly happy. You’ll be one step closer to making that goal a reality if you choose a venue that suits them perfectly and delivers exactly the kind of atmosphere they’re looking for.
For example, if you’re working with a fun-loving, eccentric client, they probably won’t appreciate the mega traditional stately mansion as much as another client would. They would be better suited for a venue that’s action-packed and caters to a younger crowd.
Truly understand your client and their hopes and desires for the event before choosing the venue. It’s the only way to make sure you deliver beyond expectations.
You should also have an accurate idea of how many guests will be attending the event before you start your search since capacity will be another major limiting factor in your choices.
3. Location, location, location
What location would be the best for your guests? If you want to boost event attendance, you need to select the perfect location that’s easy and accessible to everyone, but also interesting enough to draw people to it. For example, we chose Leeds as the home of our annual Conference & Hospitality Show because we’re proud to be based in the North, it’s an easy city to get to from most of the UK, and it also has excellent public transportation. As a cherry on top, Leeds is an exciting city with lots to see and do.
When choosing the venue for your event, pick a spot that’s easily accessible to everyone. Not everybody drives, and event attendees will be especially appreciative if they don’t have to take three trains and two buses to get to the venue.
4. Does the venue have all amenities and services you need?
There is so much that goes into pulling off a successful event including entertainment, A/V, sound, food, bedrooms, etc. Is your prospective venue able to offer all of that for you or have easy links if they don’t? Make sure you have all of these questions sorted beforehand, or else you might find yourself in a sticky situation you can’t get out of come event day…
Having good parking options onsite is important as well. Bad parking options is a huge complaint among event attendees, but it’s something that can be easily forgotten or pushed to the side in the event planning process because sorting out more pressing issues like food or entertainment comes first. But a happy guest means a successful event.
5. Check out the venue’s reputation
Reviews rarely lie. Check out the reviews of the venue online and look to see if they have any testimonials on their website. Unless it’s a brand new venue, be wary if you can’t find any reviews.
Assess how friendly and flexible staff are during the planning process as well. This is probably reflective of what their level of hospitality on the day of the event. If they’re already slow or stressful to deal with during the planning process, they’re likely not going to be of much help come event night.
6. Do a site visit
If you have the opportunity to visit the venues in person before making your choice, do it! You will never get a completely accurate representation of what a venue looks and feels like online. An in-person site visit will give you exactly the kind of insight you need to make an informed decision on your venue choice.
7. Fill your little black book with venue options by attending expos & networking events
The venue selection process can be long and stressful, especially if you’re doing a separate search for every event. Save your time and energy and work on filling out your little black book with unique and special venues beforehand, so you can refer to your list when you have a new client. The best way to fill your little black book with unique venues without individually travelling the whole country to meet them is by attending expos and networking events where they’re exhibiting.
We hold the annual Conference & Hospitality show every year in Leeds where 250+ venues, hotels and event suppliers exhibit on the show floor. Our 10th anniversary CHS19 is coming up soon on April 30th. Tickets are free and you get the VIP treatment all day! Get your free VIP ticket here.
We also host regular Independent Venue Roadshow events around the country where you meet 30 stunning independent hotels and venues in 1-2-1 appointments. Our next one is in Harrogate in June. If you’re a corporate event prof, you can apply to register here.