4 Things to Consider Before Starting the Site Selection Process

Earlier today one of our clients called us gitty with excitement about a venue they thought would be perfect for their gala next spring. They asked that we contact the venue to get rates and check availability for their desired date. I told them that the venue sounded great, and that I would call to get the particulars and report back. Here’s the problem, their “dream” venue can’t accommodate our anticipated 400 person guest count for a seated dinner and live auction.  The venue can only accommodate 250 max for a seated dinner. While finding the ideal venue for your next event is extremely important, selecting the perfect venue requires more than a pretty space adorned with beautiful chandeliers.

Before jumping feet first into the site selection process, we’ve outlined four things you should consider before securing the venue for your next event. 

1. BUDGET

In many cases, a great venue can cost as much as fifty percent of your overall budget. That’s a decent chunk of change! Know what you are willing and able to spend before you start the site selection process. Putting numbers on paper before you see the fantastic panoramic views or wonderful gardens can help to keep things in perspective and help you to stick to your budget. Use those numbers to determine what you are willing to spend on a venue. (For more information on budgeting for your event, click here.)

2. LOCATION

A great venue in the perfect location might be hard to find. If you find that the great space you’ve dreamed of for your event is not ideal in terms of its location, you may need to evaluate the pros and cons of a few spaces. Consider a variety of factors when making this determination. Is the venue easily accessible to guests traveling from out of town? How close is the venue to the airport or public transit? Is it easy to get a taxi or rideshare near the venue? All of these questions are vital to the site selection process.

3. VENUE SPECS

A venue is meant to accommodate your event, so be sure it’s able to meet your specifications. Does the facility have enough space for all of your guests? Will your event require multiple spaces, and can the site make that happen? How easy or difficult will it be for unloading of rentals, props, and audiovisual equipment? Will load-in and load-out be challenging for vendors? These seemingly small details can make or break an event.

4. EVENT THEME

Chances are, you have already fallen in love with a great event theme. Some venues naturally lend themselves to certain themes. Before selecting a site for your event, consider and discuss how your theme will fit. If you are hosting a corporate event for a high-end cosmetics brand, for instance, a rustic barn might not be the ideal venue. A glitzy hotel or chic salon, however, might be right for your desired vibe. When you select your theme, outline the key emotions or ideas you want to drive home. Work to find a venue that corresponds to those, and things should fit together beautifully!

We hope these four tips help you as you prepare to find the perfect venue for your next event.

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  • Lindsay BishopMay 9, 2018 - 2:15 PM

    Such great advice for couples and companies looking for venues! As a planner, one of the hardest things is working with a client who’s already booked a venue that’s all wrong for them, and it happens all too often. Thanks for writing such an informative article!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel RiceMay 15, 2018 - 11:50 AM

    Yes! all of this!!! EVery time I take a client to select a venue, they have grandiose dreams for places that sadly are just not logistically possible or don’t fit within their theme, location, budget etc. This is such great valuable knowledge for clients to know right off the bat. You’ll have to sacrifice something to get your perfect venue sometimes!! ReplyCancel

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