When planning your event, its success, in part, is dependent on the venue. So when trying to determine your location, careful consideration should be given to where the event will be held.
Although, budget is always a factor there are other important elements that should be taken into account. Here’s a checklist of some of the things our team likes to consider.
- Suitability. Every client and every event is different. When brainstorming a list of potential sites or spaces a good place to start is asking…Does the venue suit the company’s image? Does it align with their products, services and target audience? Theme?
For example, on February 5th we were one of the partners with Lincoln when they launched their new Lincoln MKX. The event was held at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this unique venue but it’s modern, world- class and sophisticated so it’s a good fit with a premium brand such as Lincoln, the company and target market.
- Size. Is the space big enough to accommodate your guest list? It can be very unpleasant to attend an event where guests are packed in like sardines or, on the flip side, if your event is small and intimate and there’s eight people milling around a room meant to accommodate 100. Neither of these situations is conducive to creating the ideal atmosphere. The Gardiner is Canada’s national ceramics museum and this beautifully intimate space was perfect to introduce a small group of media to the vehicle before the Lincoln MKX debuts at the Canadian Auto Show later this month.
Another factor, if you’re event is a product launch and your product is a vehicle… there are probably some logistics to be considered! For all events try as best possible to anticipate potential hiccups (I know, I know, easier said than done and not always a guarantee you’ll be without some excitement on the big day) but it’s so much easier to resolve them prior to launch day or it may mean eliminating a potential venue because it cannot fulfill your logistical requirements. For example, we also needed a separate space for our guests to make their own gourmet chocolates and the Gardiner was able to accommodate this or perhaps, you require smaller break out rooms for your event—there are lots of factors to consider. BTW…the chocolates were delicious!
- Layout. How is the room set-up? Is there a place for signage? Banners? An area suitable to welcome media and other guests? If you are relying on technology is the room set up in such a way that participants have a clear view of the presentation—there is nothing more frustrating for participants if they cannot see (or hear) rather than engage them— you’ve lost them.
When we launched the MKX the space was set up in such a way that participants could gather around the vehicle for the unveiling providing everyone with a clear view when the black cover draped over the Lincoln was removed. Once removed, even though the space was small there was enough from for media and guests to comfortably circulate and of course jump inside the car to experience first-hand the luxurious comfort of those leather seats.
- Services. Ensure you know all of the services a venue provides. This may range from in-house catering, ventilation and temperature control, coat check, stationary, whiteboards, access to parking and public transit, wheelchair accessibility, podium to audio visual requirements.
Although, we are a technology driven society it’s best not to take it for granted that a venue will have everything a client will need; so be sure to inquire if a venue has its own AV department and equipment or do you have to bring in our own? Items to consider include:
- PA system and microphones
- Data-show projectors
- Flat screen monitors
- Overhead projectors
- Sufficient power outlets
- An AV control booth
- Lighting rigs
- Is there WIFI Intent access?
Lastly, and most important always, always, check prior to event day that all of the AV equipment and sound system functions properly—don’t forget to check all cords and plugs.
- Site check. To avoid event disaster on everyone’s venue checklist a visit to the site is a must. I cannot emphasis enough the importance of a site check because this helps to eliminate any surprises by allowing you to identify what could be a potential problem(s) and tackle it prior to the big day. Moreover, a site check will give you a visual that will help you create the experience your client wants and provide you with a clear picture of how the event will roll out.
- Availability. When you find a space that meets all your criteria the question that has all event managers crossing their fingers in anticipation….is the space available? Hopefully it will be.
I hope you find this checklist helpful. The thought I’d like to leave you with is this…when event day finally comes along, try to relax (try), smile and enjoy that all your hard work has come to fruition! Best of luck!
Do you have any venue selection tips you’d like to share?