Is it possible to run data-driven venue search?
A paramount element of organizing an event is a venue search. It should result in finding the most suitable and appropriate venue regarding the requirements of the particular event you are organizing. Have you ever wondered how you can use data for the venue search?
The database of information and parameters can be a solid foundation on which you will build the success of your event-related organizational actions. However, at the very beginning, you need to determine the general framework of the planned event.
‘How to find my perfect venue?’, or what you must consider running a successful venue search?
If you plan to organize an event, first you should consider the basic issues. There are ten main factors that can influence the choice of the best venue for your event. Note that, you mustn’t take anything for granted or follow only on your gut-feeling. You can rely on solid data while looking for a perfect event venue.
What you must consider answering the question ‘How to find my perfect venue?’
#1 Venue location
While you run a venue search to find the best place to throw an event, the location is probably the most important determinant. In case your event is local, the most reasonable choice will be the location where most participants will be close to home or work. It will give them more motivation to arrive and they won’t waste their time in traffic.
When it comes to events gathering guests from other cities or even countries, it is worth choosing the place that is close to the main communication routes and the accommodation base. Efficient control of event management logistics is a key.
#2 Parking spots
When choosing a venue for an unforgettable event, you can not omit the parking facilities. I guess there is nothing more frustrating than the lack of free parking space, especially when you are in a hurry. To save the participants of your event form this misery, you need to ensure that next to the venue, there is an adequate number of parking spots (adjusted to the planned number of participants).
#3 Venue capacity & food
These are quite obvious issues, so obvious that you can … forget about them. When choosing a conference room, hall or another venue, you should make sure twice if it will accommodate all participants. It is worth taking care of a certain reserve. It is better to pay for a few unused places than to run out of them. It also applies when it comes to catering – a perfect situation is when you have the exact number of meals you need for your guests. However, since there might occur some unexpected situations, it is better to have a few servings more.
#4 Equipment & additional amenities
It is important that there is an infrastructure appropriate for the event’s purpose in the venue that you intend to rent. No less important is the right number of chairs and the availability of audiovisual equipment, which is now an essential element of any event. As an addition, you can look for the presence of the kitchen or cleaning crew.
#5 Venue plan appropriate for the agenda
Knowing the agenda of events is very important during the venue search. For example, you need to know on which floor to plan one prelection, and on which others to avoid problems with access to the equipment. Knowing the venue plan also allows for the efficient management of the event participants’ traffic.
#6 Venue appearance
The choice of venue should take into account the theme of the event. Otherwise, there will be dissonance that will disrupt the participants’ attention. For instance, trade fairs for students organized in the red-carpet venue can send mixed signals. In addition, the venue plan might not be suitable to realize the event’s goal.
#7 Venue safety & insurance
Providing the appropriate level of security is an extremely important aspect of choosing the right place for your event. It is also important that the participants themselves feel safe. Lack of this comfort may result in negative feelings and influence the low rating of the event. In addition, it’s worth to take care of the insurance policy of the event. It can get you out of (financial) trouble in case anything bad happens.
#8 Venue accessibility
You must keep in mind that participants of your event may have mobility problems, for example. Therefore, the place of the event should be adapted to this circumstance. We are talking here about things like wheelchair ramps or markings for blind people.
#9 Venue acoustics
Some events, one more than the other, have a lot of speeches or a lot of audiovisual materials. If yours is the one, you need to consider the acoustic conditions of the venue. Difficulties in understanding the messages may result in discouraging participants from participating in the next edition of the event. And you definitely want to avoid it.
#10 Venue cost and availability
The last but certainly not the least important aspect of choosing the right place for the event are the costs, as well as the possibility of changing the date if necessary. When estimating event management budget, you must consider the venue cost in reference to its quality. Being cheap does not always pays off. If you are not sure about the event date yet, consider the option of booking several dates. For example for a one-day event book three consecutive dates and pick one as soon as all key-notes confirm their preferences.
BONUS: #11 Extras
Some venues have awesome features like for example sauna, bar, or extremely large space where you can organize a chill zone. This will become extremely helpful if you plan to astonish and bedazzle your guests. If the venue has at least the part of what you need i.e. gaming stations, games, boxing ring or any other razzle-dazzle – you’re halfway home. Otherwise, you’ll have to look for a place where you can put your equipment.
How can you define venue search filters?
You already know the basic factors to consider when choosing a place for an event. Now it is worth thinking about data that should be analyzed in relation to these factors.
Parameter #1: Number of guests and their characteristics
The number of potential participants of the event is absolutely the basic parameter that you need to analyze. You can do this by examining the history or previous editions of the event, or similar events that someone else has organized. Also, check if there are any colliding events in the same area at the same time. This will also become handy while calculating event ticket prices. You can read more about it in our handbook Calculating event ticket prices 101.
You can not ignore the demographics of participants. That includes the age, sex, education, level of income. In a word – socio-demographic attributes. It will affect the type of the venue that you will pick for the event. Knowing your target audience is also a key to organize a successful event.
Parameter #2: Form of an event
The style and form of the event (conference, gala, fairs, and so on) are an important parameter that influences the choice of venue location, especially when it comes to its plan and organization of space. This is somewhat one of the prerequisites. Without determining the nature of the event, you can not choose an appropriate place for the event. For example, if you organize a film noir-themed event for movie lovers pick a theatre over the expo arena. See? More suitable and related.
Parameter # 3: Planned attractions
Attractions during the event are enforced by specific infrastructure standards. This parameter applies to both the space and its location (e.g. whether there must be access to fresh air) as well as the venue equipment. Of course, the number of attractions also has an impact on the cost and event management budget planning.
Parameter #4: Weather, time of day
If you are planning an outdoor event, you can not omit such input data as the time of day, forecast weather and the season. This is a very shaky parameter. For obvious reasons, the part with the weather forecast is difficult to estimate. The other parameters are obvious and set from the very beginning. However, you can help attendees to prepare for the specific conditions. If there’s a chance of rainy weather on the day ‘zero’, send them a notification with an app like Eventory to take umbrellas. Or if there’s a specific temperature in the venue, for example, it is air-conditioned and the event takes place in summer, you can inform them too.
Parameter #5: Know-how and previous experience
An extremely valuable parameter and the data set is an experience. There is nothing more instructive than own mistakes and wrong decisions. It also applies to the previous experience with the venue. You can easily track the history of good and bad events that were hosted there. It will give you an idea of what kinds of events the venue is suitable for. Always look for the photos taken during past events, and if you can, visit the venue by yourself. It’s the best way to verify if it’s suitable for your needs.
As for your own experience, if you organize an event once, you have relatively easy access to statistics that can become the basis for planning the next edition. In this way, you can avoid shortcomings that have occurred in the past and record organizational progress.
There is only one condition. You must somehow collect, store and analyze the data. So even if you run an experimental hackathon for the local community of developers, use tools like Eventory, to gather all necessary information in one place in a unified form.
The system can help you plan the event in a comprehensive way, taking into account many aspects and factors. For example, the issues of event management logistics. It will save you a lot of time, energy and … a headache. Answering the question of ‘how to find my perfect venue’ will be a matter of seconds!
And what are your experiences in this matter? Would you add something to the list?