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10 Things To Consider When Choosing Your Event Venue

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By Author: Millennium Gate Museum
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Many decisions must be made when organising an event at Georgia history museum Atlanta, but selecting the right venue and location is the one that will have the greatest impact on your event. Everything from the event date to speaker lineups, catering options, and attendee experience is determined by the event venue and location you choose.
Is this a little intimidating? You are not required to feel this way. Here are some pointers on when to make a decision, what to think about, and how to do better.

When to Start Looking for a Venue
The sooner, the better. You can start looking for a venue once you have a good understanding of the three factors listed below: budget, estimated event size, and space requirements.
Book a venue at least 8 months in advance to allow time for other critical tasks such as securing great speakers, creating an event programme and website, beginning ticket sales, engaging with attendees, and more.

What to Look for When Choosing a Location

1. Location
You've probably thought about it already. You may be looking for a venue that is a reasonable distance from ...
... the majority of attendees' homes or places of work for a local event. If many attendees are coming from out of town, a location near the airport or their hotels will be advantageous. In any case, don't forget to factor in traffic, transportation, and parking.

If you want to reduce the likelihood of your attendees being late, provide them with a mobile event app, which is becoming more common these days. Your attendees will feel confident and assured heading into the event with maps, driving directions, and parking/shuttle information at their fingertips. If the venue is on a large campus or institute, using maps with pinned locations can be extremely helpful. Interactive indoor maps will make it easier for attendees to navigate events with exhibitions, posters, or parallel sessions.

2. Parking
Is there a parking lot or valet service at the venue? A venue with a parking lot is the stuff of dreams. If that's not the case, see if there are any nearby parking lots that attendees can use. If there is no parking available, you are not completely out of options; instead, consider the following:

Reserve nearby parking lots for your attendees and either include the cost in the ticket price or charge them when they arrive.
Even if the venue does not provide valet parking, offer it for the event. If the event is upscale, such as a gala, providing a valet may be necessary.

3. Capacity and Minimums
What is the maximum capacity? You'll need to know the venue's room capacity for a few reasons. For starters, a room with a capacity of 250 people cannot comfortably accommodate 500 people (if that is your estimated event size). Second, there are fire and safety codes that the venue must follow.

What are the food and beverage minimums? If your venue serves food and/or beverages and has a minimum food and beverage spending amount (known as a F&B minimum), make sure that previous event F&B records are in line with the minimum. If you estimate significantly more F&B spending than the venue requires, it means you'd be a good customer for them. Negotiate whether they will provide a complimentary service (e.g., upgraded Wi-Fi or A/V support) in exchange for a certain level of spending.

What changes should be made in response to attendee feedback? It is critical to be able to make an informed adjustment for the size of a room or F&B immediately prior to or during your event. You can easily count attendees or collect instant feedback using live polling on an event app, saving you time and money.

4. Contract Flexibility and Force Majeure
As the world has already seen pandemic's uncertainty, it's a good idea to negotiate flexible contract terms with your venue, as your event at Georgia historical museum may be postponed or cancelled due to unforeseen factors. A lockdown order, for example, or a natural disaster may prevent people from attending your event even if they have registered. If the venue has a force majeure clause, see if they can add a COVID-related clause that protects you from losing your entire deposit.

5. Services and Amenities
Is there a kitchen at the venue, and can it provide catering for your event? If this is the case, many venues will waive the facility fee in exchange for a down payment and the cost of food for each attendee. Venues without kitchens may have a partnership with a food provider that you must use, so you should check their food ahead of time. For the best attendee experience, choose a venue that serves great food or allows you to bring in outside food vendors.

6. Layout
Even if you find your venue early in the event planning process, you'll want to have a rough idea of what types of activities you'll include, the amenities you'll need, and the needs of your team and attendees.
Obtain an illustrated floor plan of each venue and walk through your favourites at least once, noting important details such as where the outlets are and where AV equipment is or can be found.
A few different aspects of your event will be greatly influenced by the layout and floor plan.

7. Insurance
Typically, you can obtain this endorsement for your event from your general liability insurance agent. It is also a good idea to START EARLY in planning to have this added, as well as to have all of the required wording, address, and so on, before contacting your agent.

8. Ambiance and Accessibility
Pay close attention to the venue's existing decor. What architectural style is the building, and what message does the interior convey? You'll probably need different venue accommodations for a gala than you would for an expo. The less the ambiance corresponds to the desired feeling of your event (upscale, high tech, etc.), the more decorating you'll need to do to compensate.

The possibility that everyone, especially those with special needs, can access the building and its amenities is referred to as accessibility. You must first understand who your attendees are and what their needs are before you can answer this question.

You'll most likely know if there will be children at your event, but you may not know if there will be people with other special needs. In this case, reviewing recent events hosted by your organisation may provide some insight.

9. Acoustics
Have you ever been to an event where it was difficult to hear others, causing you to strain your hearing and lose your voice all in one night? This is frequently caused by poor acoustics, or how sound travels through the venue. A low ceiling will make the venue appear cosy, but it will be louder if it is full. Alternatively, a large warehouse-style venue will produce echoes, also known as "reverberation" by architects.
Although acoustics will not necessarily make or break your venue choice, there are some things you can do to improve them, such as using patios outside the venue.

10. Flexibility on Event Date
Being flexible about the event date can help you negotiate with venues. They might have some open dates on their calendar that they would like to fill. You are more likely to get discounted pricing if you provide 2-3 date options.

Know more about Millennium Gate Museum, please visit www.thegatemuseum.org.

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