Although it may seem simple to pick the prefect venue for your conference or meeting, there are several things to consider beyond the cost AND before placing your deposit.
From the sound to the parking and everything in between, here are our top tips for choosing the best venue for you.
1. Location, Location, Location
You’ve probably already started looking for a venue within a reasonable distance from your guests’ homes or workplaces. If you have several guests traveling from out of town, consider the distance from the airport, along with traffic and transportation options. Providing guests with a clear map and directions is also helpful
The parking situation at a venue can make or break your final decision. If there is not a close parking lot available, are there usable parking lots nearby? Or consider the following options:
- Uber and Lyft sometimes offer discounts for events. They can even provide a promo code for your attendees.
- Offer valet parking for the event if it’s more upscale.
3. Venue Capacity
- What’s the capacity? Definitely avoid trying to squeeze too many people into one space – never assume how many guests can fit.
- Fire code Not only do you need to abide by the maximum capacity because the venue tells you, but they are also considering safety fire codes.
4. Services and Amenities
- Is a catering kitchen available if there is not an on-site caterer? You can either choose a venue that serves great food or allows you to bring in outside food vendors. People often remember one thing if nothing else at an event: the food. Make it good!
- Are tables, chairs and linens available? You can save money and effort by using what the venue has on hand. If not, most venues have a recommended linen company you can contact.
- Is a setup/clean up crew included? Even if you think you can do it all, you will be so grateful if you have the extra help – especially at the end of the event.
- What about Audio/Visual equipment? This element can be crucial if you have any sort of presentation to share. Be certain to check types of connection cords needed.
5. Floor Plan
While visiting different venues, be sure to get an illustrated floor plan of each, making note of important things such as power outlets, where the caterer could set up, etc.
Things to think about:
- Flow of traffic What areas will be high traffic? Where can you set up registration? How will you arrange the tables so people can easily move about?
- Event activity spaces Do you need a stage? Will you have a bar? How many restrooms are available?
What type of venue are you searching for when it comes to look and feel, AKA ambiance? Are you wanting a grand ballroom? A vintage setting? A modern facility? Should it feel business like or more elegant? Just keep in mind that the decor you bring in can only go so far, so be mindful when making your choice.
Everyone, especially those with special needs, must be able to access the building and its amenities. Closely review your guest list and consider things such as wheelchairs, assistance with getting a meal plate, elevators, etc.
Say what? A low ceiling can make the venue seem cozy, but it will make sound louder if it’s a full house. On the other hand, a large warehouse-style venue can result in echoing. Look for acoustic panels or ask the event coordinator about sound issues.
And there you have it – our top tips on selecting the perfect venue for your event. If you’re in the Kansas City metro area and in search of a venue that has all of the above, be sure to contact us at Ball Conference Center today!