Picking the Right Venue: There Are More Factors to Consider Than You Might Think
Picking the right venue can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Everyone’s goal is to get attendees excited about their upcoming trade show. What better way to do that than picking an awesome location? Keep these tips in mind and you’ll have everyone counting down the days until your next event.
The Matter of Perspective
Let’s put this in perspective. There’s no event without a venue. But a lot of people make the mistake of picking a venue and then building their event around it. If the venue doesn’t work from the start, it’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, think about the type of event you want to hold, define your key priorities and then pick a location that meets as many of those needs as possible.
Size, budget, intended timeline and reasons for holding the event are all factors that play into this decision. Once you have a clear idea of what these are, judging venues will become much easier and will eliminate any unrealistic options.
Meeting the Challenges of Today and the Demands of Tomorrow
A lot of us like to focus on the present, especially when we’re under the stress of planning our next big event. But another thing to consider when picking a venue is if that location can handle growth in the future. Growth is a good problem to have, so taking that into consideration can help you provide a consistent venue for attendees to look forward to each year.
Exhibitors and attendees can tire of events constantly changing locations. When planning, think where you plan to be in the next five years. Can this venue grow with you?
Location, Location, Location
Who doesn’t love an awesome location? The added bonus of picking a venue with a nice surrounding area, lots of attractions, entertainment opportunities and other points of interest will help send your event over the edge. Making it worthwhile for those attendees that have to travel into town will boost excitement for your event. People love attending events in cool places like Las Vegas, New York, San Diego or Chicago because of the fun they can have after hours.
Additionally, think about the venue from the perspective of people who actually live in that city. Will the travel distance mean traffic is going to be a problem? What are the parking options like? Is there convenient public transportation? Considering questions like these, no matter how minor they seem, will help you in the selection process.
It's All in the Layout
No one likes a traffic jam and these can happen if the layout of your venue isn’t flowing correctly. Think about the number of attendees and how many breakout sessions you will have. How many booths will be exhibiting? How far are the hotel rooms from the meeting or exhibit hall? Where will food service, registration, and lounges be? Review as many scenarios as you can think of before making your final decision to avoid any congestion.
Certain venues, by design, will have areas prone to higher traffic than others. The auditorium doors will obviously be busier than the far corners of the room, for example. But based on what you're working with, this is something you can use to your advantage.
Take a Final Inspection
So you’ve narrowed it down to two or three amazing venues. Now what? Taking a final site inspection of each venue walking through each venue with a checklist of what each must have to be able to properly house your trade show. Here’s a downloadable venue checklist from Corbin Ball that an event planner should not be without.