The process of choosing an event venue for your team can be inundated with complications, as myriad factors have to be considered before booking. Thanks to the infinite directions that you can go with your conference, having a venue requirements checklist can save you time, effort, and the enormous headache of overlooking something critical. Here are some of the crucial aspects of finding an event venue that will be the perfect backdrop for your next corporate retreat.
Capacity and the appropriate amount of space.
Near the top of the venue selection checklist should be the capacity, which is a crucial indicator that will help you find the site that is the ideal size for your team. It’s also more complex than just picking a venue with a capacity that’s larger than your group. On one hand, you absolutely don’t want your team members to feel like they’re cramped into an ill-fitting space, as a conference can quickly feel chaotic if it’s busting at the seams. You also need to make sure the bathrooms have the right capacity to fit your event, especially if your group is on the larger side.
On the other hand, picking a venue that has a capacity way beyond your group total is also not a great starting point for your conference either, as the event might feel less lively than you’re hoping for. Finding the right amount of space for a registration area, appropriate seating arrangement, and a breakaway zone for socializing/networking is key to landing the right venue. Before seriously considering a venue, make sure you know the venue’s capacity along with a reliable estimate of team members who will attend, letting you find the right ratio between attendees and breathing space.
Find the right floor plan for you.
The right floor plan can be extremely advantageous for anyone putting together an offsite conference, with the right meeting space making it easy to integrate your entire slate of activities. Many of the best corporate event venues also offer plenty of versatility within the floor plan, complete with customizable areas and enough open spaces to allow some flexibility into your program. It’s also worth making sure the venue you’re looking at has the right handicap access, as accommodations can be significantly different from one site to the next. While evaluating the floor plan, it’s a good time to make sure the bathrooms are easily accessible, another important part of any venue requirements checklist that is often overlooked.
Cover all the angles when picking a location.
While the right location can make an offsite conference the perfect getaway from the typical work routine, the wrong location can turn off team members before it even begins. If your event is out of town or will include travelers, being an acceptable proximity to the airport (or a relevant train station) is a must. The last thing you want to do is add another lengthy leg to the travel for team members, or to rack up extra transportation bills.
Finding the right location if you have a local company can be a different type of complicated, as there can be multiple factors to consider in venue selection. Though finding a site in a desirable area should be a central goal, a manager also might want to weigh where the site is in relation to where most of the team lives. While you absolutely won’t be able to satisfy everyone, employees will appreciate an effort to avoid a lengthy commute or favoritism. Picking a centrally-located venue with attractive features should send the right message to the team.
Views and vibes.
The ambience of your conference is a crucial element to its success, as we naturally look for new experiences that inspire. A terrific view can be a priceless addition that makes an immediate statement before the conference even begins, which is why many team leaders consider finding a site with a view a crucial part of selecting a venue for an event. If you don’t find the right venue with a great view, does it at least have enough windows and/or an eye-appealing design that will inspire some positive energy?
Ultimately, a relaxed team member enjoying the venue’s surroundings will be more productive, particularly if you make good usage of breaks to explore the nearby features. Team members also tend to appreciate the uniqueness of a venue, as a site filled with creative ideas and options can directly inspire a team’s creative (and productive) spirit. If your site doesn’t have obvious natural advantages to energize the team, you’ll want to spend some time coming up with a unique ambience that does.
Look for hidden costs when determining your price range.
An area to really look through the fine print is the cost, and it’s usually a good idea to have a few questions to ask when booking a venue. Additional costs and hidden fees can catch a team leader who doesn’t look at the details by surprise, although a good venue host will go out of his or her way to avoid any confusion on this front. Still, when looking at things like setup and breakdown time being included or not included in your rental, you’ll want to ensure you’re following the rental terms to keep your event on budget. The same goes the equipment that you’ll be using, as you’ll want to know if the specific equipment you plan to use is covered in your rental quote.
Food, beverages and refreshments.
Though many venues are flexible, many others can have specific rules about what types of food and beverages you can bring onsite. If you are circling a venue that requires you to use a preset list of options, you’ll want to make sure you run all of the numbers to ensure you’re still within your target price range. If you’re going with a venue that does allow outside food, however, remember that choosing the right option can create a buzz in the conference and inspire the type of positive vibes you’re looking for. Having catering or delivery from a local hot spot, preferably with at least some nutritional value, can be a simple way to keep the conference heading in a positive direction. It also can be an easy way to include some input from the rest of the team members.
Is your prospective venue a one-stop shop?
Once your team takes the time and effort to travel to your site, the last thing many team members want to do is move around to other sites during the event. The best conference venues will allow you to do nearly everything right onsite, from team-building activities and presentations to happy hour and meals. After all, the point of renting a great place with exciting features is to stay there long enough to enjoy it, which is why going with a one-stop shop can be the best way to make sure you get your money’s worth. More than just having enough space, it’s also helpful when venues have designated areas that can be used for different activities, allowing for more customization along with easier setup. A multifaceted venue will not only cut down on transportation time to other sites and make planning easier, but it will also provide more of an opportunity to put your own unique flair on the event.
Stuck in planning? Schedule a free consult with one of The Point’s Experience Coordinators. Honesty is our most important policy.