Hosting an event is above all a complex process that involves taking care of every minute detail since even the tiniest components can make a difference. On the other hand, handling the more prominent features needed for a perfect event should always be on top of a priority list. One of the things that have the most influence on everything else related to a particular event is the space where it takes place. Bearing that in mind, finding a suitable event space should be on top of a priority list for any event host out there. This is true whether you are doing all the preparatory work or finding a proper event space is your single task. To help you through the process, here is a list of necessary steps to be taken to find and select that perfect event space available.
Start looking well ahead of the event date
Just like it is the case with any other organizational activity, when you start planning things on time the chances that you will complete the task successfully largely increase. The most renowned and sought after event spaces get booked months ahead, which means that getting one at the last notice is practically impossible unless someone who had already booked cancels. In business and life alike, taking things into your hands and not depending on others is strongly advisable at all times. Therefore, the moment you are informed that it is your responsibility to find the event space is the moment to start thinking about all the activities you need to undergo in order to find that perfect spot. Zero procrastination from the very beginning will widen the choice of available venues, reduces the stress involved with doing things at the last moment, and at the same time highly improve your chances of finding just the one you are hoping to.
Carefully study the guest list
As it was said in the introduction, it is the type of event that dictates the choice of event space the most. The content of your guest list is another important precondition to be closely studied. Why is this so important? For example, if the majority of your guests are people aged between 50 and 60, the hype new club that has minimal techno and trance as its customary playlist and is best known for late-night parties should not be on your event spaces checklist. The same goes for the best jazz and blues venue if your guests are primarily in their early twenties. In summary, study the available date on every individual person that is on your guest list and try to group them according to their importance for the event you are hosting, age and general preferences. Once you have that figured, follow the taste of the prevailing group as closely as possible. This will enable you to narrow the list of suitable event spaces even more and get you even closer to finding that perfect place.
Narrow the search
Once you were trusted with the task of finding a perfect event space, going immediately online to read reviews, at the same time and calling and emailing your friends, acquaintances and fellow event hosts about recommendations would be the wrong way to start working completing it. This can only result in getting lost in the vast amount of information you received and spending eons to process them to filter the useful data. The first thing you need to do before you start looking at available event spaces is to determine the conditions that possible venues need to fulfill in order to be taken into consideration for the upcoming event. Primarily, it is the type of event, the number of guests and their profile, as well as the budget you have available that should be considered as the key features when determining what kind of event space you need and can afford. Therefore, when you are absolutely positive on this data take time to process it and begin the eliminatory process. Once you shortened the list to less than a dozen venues, you are ready to take the next step.
Search online data
All sources of information are welcome at this stage of preparation and the more data you collect and process the better. This is also where your data collection skills start to come to play. Start by checking the reviews online, and, be careful, user reviews can be helpful solely if they are objective. Therefore, don't take them for granted since sometimes they are posted by friends of the owners or people who run the business. Still, if you study them carefully and do some reading between the lines, you will be able to recognize the fake from genuine ones. While you are checking the online reviews take the opportunity to check the available photos, as well. A saying that a picture is worth a thousand words very often proves its value when event spaces are concerned. The posted photos are your visual preview of the place and useful means of shortening the list of event spaces you will visit in person during the next phase of research. Pay attention to all the detail, such as the availability of parking and public transportation convenience since they are equally important for the comfort of your guests as the size of the space and the interior design.
A word of mouth
When it comes to user reviews, nothing compares to talking in person with the people who visited or used a particular event space to host their event. Ask your friends, relatives, neighbors, practically anyone available whether they had any experience with the event spaces you have taken in close consideration. If it is one of the prominent places in your place of residence, you will probably find more than one person. Hopefully, those would also be the people that used the particular event spaces less than a couple of months ago, meaning their memories would still be fresh and valid. The best way to gather as much information as possible in the shortest amount of time would be to arrange a group meeting. It will be a great opportunity to directly compare their experiences and put to balance all favorable and unfavorable reviews all at the same time. Also, this is the best way to get a comprehensive and objective poll from the direct users, which will prove to be immensely important when the time comes to make your final choice. In order to make the best of this meeting and get as much useful information as possible, you should prepare a detailed questionnaire about all the things that interest you about that event space. This will help the participants in the discussion focus on the particular information you need and help them refresh their memory, as well.
Visit the place incognito
Going through all the reviews available online and carefully studying the data you received from the direct conversation you had with people who had personal experience with the places you set your eyes on are extremely valuable resources. They will surely provide a great amount of useful information that will help you shorten the list of suitable event spaces from a starting dozen to three or four or even less. However, all those data you collected are of less value than your personal experience of the place and you should not make a final decision before paying a personal visit to the remaining places on your list. The first visit you undergo should be an incognito one. Go and experience the place as a regular guest, without announcing your presence to venue owners or managers. Make sure you take the opportunity and look for all the details covered by the data you have already collected and double-check if they are still valid. Naturally, pay attention to anything else that may have not been mentioned but seems relevant for the type of event you are hosting. If you like what you see, make an appointment with the people who run the place, if not, just cross them out of your list.
An official visit
If the time has come for an official visit to the venue, you are getting pretty close to making a final choice. This also implies that if there is any detail left to be brushed away it needs to be dealt with momentarily. Scheduling an official visit of the two places that remained on your possible event space list is a final touch of your selection process. It would be best if the visit could take place during a similar event. That way you could see live whether all the features of the venue function flawlessly, which is what you naturally expect to be the case with your event. When you talk to the officials, it is of utmost importance that you are clear in your demands and expectations. What you agree on at this meeting is what you should expect to happen during the event, so nothing should be left unsaid. Also, feel free to ask for some changes and give suggestions particular to your event. If they are reasonable, there is a high chance they will be met and additionally enrich the event. Naturally, put all your demands and expectations on a list that needs to be a part of an official contract you will sign with the representatives of the venue.
Getting to and from the venue
What good is the most perfect event space and all of its features if your guest cannot find it and get to it conveniently? The location of the place and the ease of reaching it are equally important as any other entry on your suitability checklist. Therefore, make sure you check which public transportation lines have stops nearby and whether taxi, Uber or CarGo are easily arranged to and from the location. In the end, what's usually most important is to check the capacity and safety of the parking lot around the event space. The majority of your guests will likely arrive by car and they should be able to park nearby and rest assured that their cars would be safe regardless of the time of the get to and from the event. If the venue does not provide parking lot safety personnel, it would be a smart move that you hired one. It would not cost too much and your guests will certainly appreciate it. The last thing you need after all the hard work you have been doing for the last couple of months is to have to go through the trouble of explaining to your guests why the parking lot was unsecured and their cars got damaged or broken into.
Yes, finding that perfect event space is time-consuming and requires substantial effort due to the number of factors that need to be thoroughly checked before you are certain you made the right choice. Thus, being systematic and punctual is an absolute must throughout the entire process. If you are responsible for a team of people tasked to find the perfect event space, be on top of their activities at all times, supervise and advise them based on the list of activities written above. On the other hand, if you are a sole person responsible for the task, the effort and concentration needed become even larger. However, in that case, the praise and glory for a job well done will entirely be yours, which is a risk well worth taking.
All in all, even though there is a lot of work ahead of you, this kind of task is a great opportunity to gain new experience and meet new people. Make the best of it, do a good job and have fun during the process.
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