#1 Plan Ahead
As with all types of planning, event planning takes time—in fact, a lot more than you think. Picking a right venue alone is time-consuming, and getting it on the date you want is already difficult enough, not to mention all the negotiations and other arrangements in addition to venue choice.
Allow at least 5 months from planning to implementation to adjustment. Giving yourself more time can make you more flexible with the unexpected. It is particularly important to devote more attention to venue choice, since picking a venue is crucial in making or breaking your event.
An event space is not just a blank canvas to gather people around; it is also a destination where people get inspired by and interact with others.
#2 Identify the Specifics
Don’t put on a “one-size-fits-all” event. Each event is special in its own right and has its own purpose to serve. Before you begin your venue search in earnest, you should pin down the specifics:
- Type of Event – Is your event a casual meetup for people to mingle around and get to know each other or an informational briefing, like a product launch that involves learning new knowledge? Since certain types of events require a different type of setting, knowing what your event is supposed to accomplish can help you determine what features you need in a venue, which should help you narrow your search.
- Number of Attendees – Use surveys, live polling, or event apps before the event to get an idea of how many people you should expect. Having too many people cramped in a place or too much empty space reflects bad planning and organizational skills. This can considerably compromise the quality of your event and may risk damaging your brand image and reputation!
- Budget – The costs of putting on an event can vary widely, so you should determine how much you can allocate for event space before you plan your event. Calculate the venue-related expenses, like facility costs, catering, staffing expenses, and equipment rentals.
#3 Pick a Convenient Spot
Selecting a venue location that is easily accessible to most, if not all, will drive attendance to your event. Take some time to consider how your attendees will get there and back. Does the venue have a parking lot or provide other parking options? Are there public transportations for those without vehicles?
Make sure you don’t just give the address but also the details on how to get to the venue like a map, bus numbers, or public transit station and exit names.
#4 Search for the Specifics
With all the details ready, you can start your search by looking at the below criteria to decide the value of the venue.
Services and Amenities
- Does the venue provide additional services like catering, floral arrangements, table, chairs, and linens?
- Does the venue have a set-up and clean-up crew?
- Does the venue have particular restrictions on which vendors you can use?
- Acoustics – This element is especially important when you have keynote speakers or live performances. You don’t want your audience to experience so much noise that they lose their voice and hearing. Conversely, a venue without proper amplification equipment may leave some audience members unable to hear any speakers.
- Lighting – Is the lighting too bright or too dark? Either one will decrease audience engagement. According to environmental psychologist Sally Augustin, warm white light (between 2,700 and 3,000 degrees Kelvin) is best for boosting interaction and productivity in events.
- Space Layout – Is there enough space for attendees to stretch and walk around during breaks? Also, avoid visual clutter that distracts your audience!
#5 Schedule a Venue Visit
Now that you have found your event type, received quotes, and compared multiple venues, you probably have one or two potential venues that match your needs. Now is the time to schedule a venue visit before you make your final decision. Pictures can be extremely helpful, but nothing gives you a better perspective on how well people will flow through the space than actually being in that place to see it yourself.
Site inspection is also important before the event starts in order to make final adjustments. Ask for a tour of the venue from parking to the entrance to bathrooms to see how your attendees will feel once they step foot in the venue.
Conveniently located in Hong Kong’s Central district, Eaton House prides itself on long-standing event expertise and experienced personnel in event management. Whether it is a cocktail reception, product launch, or wedding, contact us today to learn how we can work together to make it a smashing success!