When searching for your next event venue, think like an event planner and concentrate on three overall aspects— accessibility, functionality and ambiance.
These three elements are the foundations that can support every other carefully constructed piece of your plan.
Breaking down your venue planning into three categories will help you catch missing elements; sharpen up your expectations; and ensure everything is in place for the big night. Once your expectations are defined for each category, you can begin digging into the questions that will complete the plan and lead you to the perfect venue.
Getting to the Venue and Getting In
Above all else, the first step to a profitable night of fundraising is getting your supporters to the event. When you evaluate your choices consider these elements.
- Location—Is the venue easy to get to? Is it well advertised and can be found on maps, both traditional and online? What businesses, hotels and restaurants are located nearby?
- Parking and Transportation Options—Is parking available and is there enough space to accommodate all the guests, contractors and deliveries that will be arriving? Are public transportation options available nearby?
- Guests’ Requirements—Once you’ve got your guests on the property are their physical needs met? Are the bathrooms wheelchair-accessible? Are entryway ramps and elevators available?
- Capacity Requirements—Is the venue too small, is it too big, or is it just right for the number of guests you are expecting? Are there enough breakout rooms available on-site?
Taking the Technicalities to Task
Pulling off a successful fundraiser takes a lot of wizardry behind the scenes that should come off seamlessly for your guests. Make sure to take a close look at:
- Contracts—Have you received a contract or agreement from the venue and all outside contractors who will be working on the space? Are the specifications spelled out in the contracts? Are the costs associated with the work clearly stated? Have you reviewed the venue’s policies and fully understand them?
- Schedules—How much time leading up to the event do you need to be on-site at the venue? Are the vendors scheduled at the appropriate times? How early are you allowed to set up and how much time is there for clean up?
- Insurance—What does the insurance cover—the venue only or does it also cover personal injury that occurs on the property? Are you clear on the specifics of the covered activities?
- Technical Requirements—Does the venue have the necessary Internet convertibility you’ll require? Do they offer audio-visual support? Are outside vendors welcome? Can last minute changes be made as the need arises?
Setting the Tone of the Night
Create the right environment for your event with a venue that is inviting and adapted to your team’s specific needs.
- Layout—Is there enough space for movement around the venue? Are there spaces for all the activities of the night, including check-in and checkout areas? Can your equipment be easily moved from room to room when needed?
- Services and Amenities—Does catering offer meals for special diets? Is there a loading area or back door service people should use? Is staff on hand to help with set up and tear down?
- Special Considerations—If your event to be held outside, do you need special equipment to handle the weather? Will there be other events happening at the same time? Will signage be made to direct guests?
- Ambiance—Does the venue support the theme of the night? Can changes be made to lighting and other equipment throughout the night to support the different activities? What will the service people be wearing?
Ease your planning anxieties by breaking your plan down to its foundations to reveal weak spots and missing pieces, and you’ll find your fundraiser is complete with the accessibility, functionality and ambiance your carefully created plan requires.