Choosing a venue for a corporate event

One of the most important things when organising a corporate event is choosing the appropriate venue. After arranging a few functions, I began to recognize the best venues according to the goal of the event. For instance: A year planning meeting should take place at a conference center, an informal summer party works better outdoors and a CSR activity can take place at a large meeting room where all employees have easy access to it.

But how can I make sure that I have selected the best location for my corporate event? I assure you that it is not rocket science,  but you need to be organized and plan ahead. Just to make sure you understand what I am talking about, I put together a list with a few steps that will help you choosing the best location for your next corporate event:

Goal: What is the goal of the event? Is it a formal year planning meeting or an informal getting together? Ask this question to your manager or the person who appointed you to organise the event. Once you know the goal, it is easier to think about ideal locations.

Dates: Confirm when the event needs to take place, if the dates are flexible or not. This information is extremely important when selecting and booking a venue.

Participants: Ask for a participant list, check their hierarchy at the company and where they are based (in case they need to travel for the event). A list with the names of the attendees will also help you defining the size of your venue.

Budget: Money, money, money… Make sure you know the total budget before choosing a location for your event. This will prevent you from any future surprises and headaches. Imagine if you book a too expensive location and have no money left for catering?

Several offers: Select a few locations based on the goal of the event, number of participants, dates and budget. Contact them by email or phone and ask for a written and detailed offer. Provide all relevant information such as number of participants and conference rooms, technical equipment, catering, etc. If you are not sure about something, go back to your manager or the person who asked you to organise the event and please ask.
Once you receive the offers, visit each location, take pictures, ask the venue manager to show you photos from previous events, ask for suggestions, make sure you feel comfortable at the venue before taking a final decision.

Facilities: Different venues offer different facilities. Some venues will provide their space to rent, catering , decoration and technical equipment,  others only offer their space and you have to figure out how to put the rest all together. Make sure to have the facilities details included in the offer.

Social activities: Will your event be focused 100% in meetings and discussions or will it also include social activities such as team dinners, city tours, award ceremonies, etc? You need to find it out! After that, check if such activities will take place at the same venue or if the group needs to be transferred to a second or third location for social activities. If so, this will involve local transportation.

I always enjoy looking for venues because it is a great opportunity to know different locations and network with people. Just make sure to collect all relevant information before contacting suppliers and everything will run smoothly.

Do you have any suggestions to add to my list? Please share them in the comments section below the post.