I’ve looked before at the key ideas when planning a conference and how research is key. There is a huge list of things to consider especially when it comes to pricing and what delegates will expect to be included. Many of us have great ideas for events that can easily run alongside our business and what we do daily, but venues play a massive role in the success or failure of an event.
4 Things To Consider When Booking An Event Venue:
Your Event Budget:
Knowing your own budget is really important. You don’t want your ideal venue to make the ticket price too high canceling out your target audience. Start by making a list of what you need from a venue. These questions can help you get some clarity :
- How many people you’d like to attend? Is this a small event or a large conference gathering?
- This followed by a rough idea of the ticket price. How much do you anticipate the tickets being? What do similar events sell for? How much profit would you ideally like to make (I know it’s not very English but you need to be paid for all your hard work!)?
- You will need to consider a break-even point, roughly how many tickets you need to sell in order to cover the costs of the event. Think logically too if you plan for 50 tickets and only sell 25 but your break-even point is 30 this isn’t going to be viable.
- This will give you a basic idea of how much budget you will have for a venue. When visiting venues make sure you know what is included in the price and what are extras, VAT, etc … you don’t want to sign a contract and then find added extras. (see more below in Service paragraph)
Your Event Location:
Think about your ideal attendee/delegate.
- Where are they located and how will they get to the venue?
- Does the conference event venue have good travel networks? Trains, buses, airports, adequate parking. Nobody wants to drive for 3 hours and then not be able to park near the venue or find that the venue has a parking charge and they have no small change.
These are the things as a delegate I would be considering before booking an event ticket myself, so ensure you take the time to think like your “delegate” and check with your network.
- Does the venue your suggesting work?
- Could they see any issues?
Sometimes you cannot see the wood for the trees when you work on a project so always ask your network – hey that’s why you develop one. You might even consider needing overnight stay options and if so can this be included as an add on to ticket prices at a reduced rate, meaning the delegate didn’t need to source their own accommodation.
Size of the Your Event Venue:
The maximum capacity size will play a huge factor in the feel of the event if you intend to sell 50 tickets and the venue holds 350 the space will be far too big. A big space can give off a sense of under-attending, on the other hand too small and the place will feel overwhelming and crowded neither of these an atmosphere you want to promote.
Event Venue Included Services:
As mentioned in the budget be clear about what is included in the venue costs. Don’t take for granted things like refreshments and WIFI are included. Most delegates/attendees will expect free WIFI and refreshments as standard. I held an event once where the WIFI was £5 per person! Not ideal and I didn’t realise until it was too late.
Also, providing free WIFI turns your delegates/attendees into your marketing team. Consider how many people will be live-tweeting or sharing content on Facebook, Instagram throughout the day, this wil become a drain on batteries, therefore ensure there are power points or recharging stations available. I’ve been to conferences before where GIF Photobooth with Boomerangs has been in attendance. You get animated GIFs that you can share across your social media channels with corresponding hashtags but also the four-component photos of the GIF printed in typical photo booth style. Who doesn’t love a quirky keepsake from an event? Could your venue accommodate this?
- If you are holding workshops/seminars and need AV equipment is this included in the venue fee?
- Does the venue hold enough tables and chairs or do these need to be hired in?
- Refreshments and food what is available? Where is it coming from, can they cater to various dietary requirements, and how does all of this affect the venue price?
There is a lot to be considered when organising events and the venue is key, however, this doesn’t even take into account the actual schedule of the day. Speakers and workshops, you may need to even create this content yourself.
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