10 important factors to consider when searching for venue
Always work to keep the venue cost down to allow more room in your budget for food and beverages and entertainment. Being flexible on the date can be a great negotiating tool as weekdays generally tend to be less expensive than weekends. A good starting point is to check websites like Ogavenue and Venue Compass for price comparison of available venues in Lagos.
The venue location is one of the most important parts in planning an event. A good venue should have convenient transportation access and adequate parking. A convenient location means different things for different events e.g if many attendees will be travelling from out of town or if you are organising multiple events in one day, hosting the event at a venue near the airport or the hotel will be beneficial. Better still, if attendees are being housed at a single location, hosting the event at that hotel mitigates logistical challenges.
Pay special attention to the existing decor inside the venue. Is it stuffy? Dull? Dark? Clean? New? Modern? What style is the architecture and what does the buildings interior convey? If you are holding a gala, you’ll likely need different venue accommodations than you would for an expo. The less the ambiance matches the desired feeling of your event (upscale, high tech, etc.) the more decorating you’ll need to do to make up for it.
- Services and Amenities
In addition to the appearance of the site, it is also important to take into consideration the services and amenities that the venue offers. Consider the following: Does the venue have a kitchen and can it provide catering to your event? Are you free to bring in your own catering vendors. Does it have tables, chairs and linens you can use? If a venue has these items, you can save a great deal of money and effort by using what they have, assuming it matches your theme and ambiance. Does it have AV capabilities? Some venues have a built in audio-visual equipment for you to use, and others will require you to bring that in yourself.
- Capacity and Minimums
As mentioned above, finding a suitable venue for you event is important. Other than that, making sure that the venue location is suitable for the event you are organizing. Because you surely does not want to have a big event in a small venue Because organizing an event with huge number of people in a small space will cause overcrowding. But bear in mind that by organizing it in a huge venue space with average number of people will also make the event feel empty and boring. So size of the venue must be just right! Most venues should have capacity limits for all their rooms/halls. Hence, make sure to aim it slightly lower than the capacity limits to avoid overcrowding. What is the capacity? If you have followed our advice, you already know how many attendees to expect. You will need to know the room capacity of the venues for a few reasons. First, for general and practical reasons, 500 people cannot comfortably fit into a room with a 250-person capacity. And second, there are fire and safety codes that the venue has to abide by.
A venue with a great parking lot is what dreams are made of. If that’s not the case, are there parking lots nearby which attendees can access and use? If there is no parking available, you’re not completely out of luck as you have a few alternatives. You can rent out or reserve nearby parking lots for your attendees and either include the cost in the ticket prices, or have attendees pay when they park.
Even though you’ll be finding your venue early in the event planning process, you’ll still want to have a rough idea of what types of activities you’ll be including, the amenities you’ll require, and the needs of your team and the attendees. While narrowing down your selection, get an illustrated floor plan of each venue, and walk through your favorites at least once, making note of important things such as where the outlets are and where AV equipment is or can be located. The layout and floor plan will greatly affect a few different aspects of your event eg. Flow of traffic. Think about the flow of traffic through your event. The kind of flow you’ll want will be different for each event. What areas will be high traffic at the event? Registration? The auditorium doors? Keep this in mind when choosing your venue, realizing that how you setup the tables and decor will greatly affect this as well. Event activities. If you want to have keynote speakers at your event, you’ll either need a stage, or a spot to place a rented stage. Will you need a demo area? Will there be a bar?
Accessibility refers to the possibility that everyone, especially those with special needs, can access the building and its amenities. Often when novice event planners are touring a venue they forget to consider guests of all ages. Meaning that should your event have a lot of children or babies, check the restrooms for diaper changing stations. If you will have elderly guests, consider finding a venue that has lifts or has minimal stairs.
According to BizBash, some venues wont even do business with you if you dont have insurance. Amy Hallquist-Hamric, president of Hallquist Insurance Agency agrees with BizBash. There are several venues that require a certain amount of liability as well as them named as additional insured for the event. Typically you can ask your general liability insurance agent for this endorsement for your event. It is also a great idea to START EARLY in planning to have this added; as well as to have all of the wording required, address, etc. prior to contacting your agent.
Have you ever attended an event at a venue that was so loud, it was hard to hear others, causing you to strain your hearing and lose your voice, all in one night? That’s caused by poor acoustics. Acoustics is just a fancy word for how sound travels through the venue. A low ceiling will make the venue seem cozy, but it will make it louder if its packed. Alternatively, a large warehouse-style venue will result in echoes, or what architects refer to as reverberation.