When the time comes to schedule, organize, and manage an event, there will be an unlimited number of questions running through your mind. While every question deserves an answer, there is one you have to deal with before the rest: which venue is best for your event?
You can’t do much until you answer this question. After all, attendees want to know where the event is taking place, as this may help them decide if they will attend.
A variety of details deserve your attention when choosing an event venue. These include:
- Size of the venue
- Number of attendees
- Features and amenities
If you are planning an event in a big city, such as Las Vegas or Chicago, you will have plenty of options in regards to venues.
How many Attendees are you Expecting?
This is the first question that will lead you down the right path. You don’t want to book a venue that can accommodate 10,000 attendees if you are only expecting 1,000 (or vice versa). Not only are you wasting money, but all the extra space will go unused.
It goes without saying that you don’t know the exact number of people who will attend. However, it is safe to assume that you have a target number in mind. This is good enough when it comes time to search for a venue. Take a look into current ticket sales to get a general idea and see if it aligns with prior attendance goals.
What is the Scope of the Event?
Early on, it makes sense to create a basic outline and agenda that details what will take place during the course of the event. Will you have speakers on stage at all times of the day? Do you need floor space for vendors to display their products? Are you looking for a large, open area where people can converse?
The more information, the better. Small details can make or break the event, for example not having enough bathrooms, parking, etc.
Go Big or Go Small?
Once the details listed above are taken care of, it is time to move on. When doing so, here is the one word that will continually cross your mind: size.
Let’s start out by looking at two of the best options for large events, such as those with thousands of attendees: Convention centers or a hotel with conference space
Take the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for instance. Every year, it is home to some of the largest events in the Steel City. With 1.5 million square feet and 53 meeting rooms, it is big enough to hold even the largest events.
If that is too big, consider a hotel with dedicated conference space. For example, the Orlando World Center Marriott has hosted many meetings and events over the years. It’s a bit smaller than the largest convention centers, but still features 450,000 square feet of total event space, along with 92 event rooms.
I don’t need that much space! No worries, you still have plenty of options. If your event is small, in the 100 to 1,000 guest range, check out some of the hotels in your target city.
Even if a hotel has enough space to accommodate a larger audience, you don’t need to book it all. Maybe you only need one or two event rooms to accommodate your group. Most hotels are flexible, as they want to attract events to generate revenue. Tell them what you need, and it is likely that they can make something work.
For small events, those with fewer than 100 guests, a local chamber of commerce may be able to provide assistance. Many chambers have available meeting space, with some bigger than others. Co-working spaces in larger settings are usually a low cost option.
Tip: you may need to be a member to book the venue for an upcoming event.