7 KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR VENUE
Choosing the right venue for your event is half the battle won. Having the right venue is very important in setting the tone and creating the right atmosphere or ambience for your guests. When choosing the venue for your upcoming event, always bear in mind that it should first fit with your overall event theme and corporate image. Although not exhaustive, if you ask these 7 key questions before choosing your venue, you can’t go far wrong
1) Does the image of the venue fit into your event theme or your corporate image?
I can’t emphasise this enough. If you are having a Carribean Beach Party for example, it will be more appropriate to hold it at the beach or at a hotel location near a beach. Sure you can hold it at your office, but no matter how much decoration you put, it still won’t match the real “beach atmosphere” outdoors by the sea. Also, if you are holding a grand anniversary celebration and will be inviting your clients or prospective clients, you can’t be holding the event at 3-star hotel location away from town. The image of the venue or hotel must fit to your corporate image or at least the image that you want to project.
2) Does the venue has the size & capacity to house your audience and the proposed activities?
Some venues maybe grand and beautiful and all that, but they may not have the size to accommodate the number of guests that you want to invite. Make sure too that they have enough space for your programme or entertainment to take place. If you are holding a pre-dinner, cocktail reception, then the venue must at least have a nice foyer for your guests to mingle before being ushered into the ballroom for dinner. Or if you are organising a conference and has table-booths display, then the venue must have an area just outside the main conference room so that its easy for the guests to visit the booths. No point in placing the booths in one of the rooms “somewhere” in the hotel – it will not be convenient for people to go there.
3) Is the venue rep or site staff easy to reach and accommodating to your needs?
If there is one pet peeve I have about working with venues is this: venue reps or site staff which are uncontactable or dragging their feet when it comes to accommodating to any event requests onsite. Customer service is important when choosing the venue you work with. When the staff take ages to change a torn table cloth or made a face when asked to re-arrange the sitting arrangements, I make a mental note NOT to hire this venue for my next event. So the service provided by the venue staff is also important in determining your choice of location. If you decide to choose a non-hotel venue especially, remember that logistic support may not be forthcoming and you may have to incurr additional costs to have your own support team on standby.
4) Does the cost of the venue fit within your budget?
This is obvious if you don’t have much budget to work with. If it is too expensive for you, then you must look for an alternative venue. If however, it is an event which you feel can also benefit the venue owner – then don’t hesitate to ask for a partnership agreement or venue sponsorship. You must have a plan for this though, as not all venue owners are open to the idea of sponsorship – its not
impossible and I have done it many times before 🙂
5) If its an outdoor site, is there an indoor alternative in case of bad weather?
If you are planning to have an outdoor event -“die, die must have!” then it is safer for you to hire a venue that has an indoor alternative in case of bad weather – and it must not already been booked by another party! Of course there’s the good ol’ tentages but they can be costly depending on how big or complex you want them to be. So bear these in mind before deciding.
6) Is the venue easy to find and highly accessible via public transport?
If you are not arranging transport for your guests, then its best that the venue you chose to be near public transport or easily accessible to most people. If you are arranging for transport or at least a bus shuttle service from the nearest train station/subway, then make sure you communicate this well on your
invitation card to your guests so that they are more likely to go to your event. Too far-off location can be a put-off for some guests, so bear these in mind.
7) Is parking provided free to the organisers and guests? If not, what are their charges?
Some venues do provide free carpark passes based on the minimum number of guaranteed guests so remember to ask them for it. Some venues may have limited parking in their area, so if you are not arranging for transport and many of guests may be driving there, its good to choose a location that has plenty of parking spaces or one that is not too far from your venue. Remember that most venues even though they charge for parking – they may offer a discount or a rebate for your guests. Remember as organisers, you may have to spend long hours at the venue and the cost can kill you if you are not careful, so remember to choose a venue that provide at least free parking to the organisers 🙂
©2010 Maya Kuchit-Desjarlais, Convention Links (S) Pte Ltd
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Villa Enrique @ Dempsey Hill
This is a cosy place ideal for an intimate group of 30 to 50 guests.
Though the space is big enough to accommodate more than 100 standing guests!
Its got great ambience and at night with its romantic lights flickering, Villa Enrique is definitely more than just a restaurant.
Its relatively spacious alfresco dining area outside the restaurant can be used for a pre-dinner cocktail reception. Add some LIVE spanish music and flamenco dancers and wala! you can have your spanish theme party right here 🙂
If you would like us to manage your events and meetings for you, please email us.