Choosing the right venue for your corporate event, training, conference or meeting is vital to your success as much as choosing the speakers and deciding the schedule of sessions. The right venue can make a massive difference to the entire experience.
From deciding on the number of guests you want to invite to setting up budget constraints, there is a lot involved in hosting a professional corporate event. To make it easier for you, we have a checklist that you should consider while looking for corporate event venues in Long Island.
1. Check what’s included
Whenever you approach a venue for a quote and to discuss the activities, make sure to get a clear picture of all possible fees and costs. Ask what is covered in the fee being charged. Are any taxes included?
Are there additional charges for tables, chairs, and linens? Are audiovisual equipment and Wi-Fi included? Some venues provide all-inclusive pricing. Make sure to confirm it.
2. Layout and space
Take a look at the space before to check if it meets your needs. Confirm the capacity limit once. Check if the floor space is flexible. Can you change the rooms later if required? Would you use the full venue or just a part of it? If you want to use outdoor space, check if the entire patio, garden, lawn or the deck are available.
Also, check if the sponsors have any requirements. Have the sponsors requested a separate area? Is Wi-Fi connectivity available? Are there additional charges for using it? Discuss your plans with the operator in advance.
3. Parking, accessibility, and location
If your meeting is being held out of the town, then check if the delegates have easy access to the site. Check if the parking option is available. Are there any charges for arranging alternative transportation? If on-site parking is available, consider reserving the space for the attendees. If not, then it is best to book local taxis, Uber or a shuttle bus.
4. Amenities and services
You need to be careful and not just assume that all venues offer the same kind of inclusions and services. Do not assume that all amenities would be offered to you on demand.
Confirm with the venue owner again if you are opting for additional services like floral arrangements, special catering, IT support, pens and pads, transportation and staging and lighting. Check this link to know about some awesome tips to host an awesome conference: https://www.inc.com/sangram-vajre/7-ways-to-host-an-awesome-conference.html
The décor and ambiance of the venue can set the tone for your event. If it has a serious tone, then make sure to keep the professional image into consideration while choosing the venue. If you want to inspire creativity or want to host team activities, then opt for a place that can accommodate group activities and exude a fun vibe.
If you are hosting a gala or an award ceremony, then an inspiring or elegant venue matters. Everything from the lighting to the furniture style adds to the atmosphere. Do not overlook the acoustics. Check the space for noise issues or for activities happening nearby that can interfere with your plans.
6. Food and Beverage
If you are hosting a lot of people for the event in Long Island, you will have to check what kind of meals and refreshments would be served. Do you want to plan a buffet-style dinner or a sit-down meal? Can the venue take special dietary requests? Check if the food is prepared using fresh ingredients. Also, find out what is the minimum food order and if alcohol would be served at the venue.
If you are hosting a corporate event, then you will obviously require Wi-Fi and AV for demonstrations, video presentations, and slide shows. Also, you will need special lighting, screens, projectors, and microphones. Discuss what is being offered for free and what you need to rent from a vendor. Further, find out if staff support is available. Ask whether charging stations would be provided to the attendees or not.
Certain venues may have restrictions pertaining to videography/photography, outside catering, alcohol use, and decorations. Some do not offer outside space at certain times. Make sure to be clear from the very beginning if you do not want to panic at the last minute.
Would you require any staffing support? Find out what kind of support is provided. Do the staff have enough experience to manage your event? Is there enough security, concierge support and waiting staff available? Can they work overtime? Can they help managing tickets and registrations? Do they manage clean up and setup?
10. Branding and signage
Identify the kind of signage and branding opportunities available at the venue for your meeting or event. Identify your requirements. Check whether they are covered under the contract. Make sure to check specifications and sizing before the event. Check what kind of decoration options are available and permitted at the venue. Ask for recommendations.
While planning an event, consider the budget in mind. This is of the biggest concerns that businesses or planner have. Consider during what time of the year is the event being held. If it is not the peak season, then you can secure exclusive deals with the venue. Make sure to discuss the costs of additional services that you would be using. This will prevent discrepancies at a later stage.
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About the Author
Naomi Donaldson is a 47-year-old Chef who enjoys swimming, writing and football. She lives in Utah together with her daughter.