Location, location, location! A HUGE factor in organizing a successful event is finding the perfect venue. However, the hunt for an event space can actually be a long and exhaustive process. ABCey is here to help with ideas on how you can conduct a site selection for your next event!
1. Needs Assessment
The first step in selecting a venue for your upcoming event is to develop an exhaustive list of selection criteria. You should always start with creating an overall estimated budget for your event that identifies all expenses and offsets. It’s important to know your overall budget BEFORE selecting a venue. Thus, it’s extremely crucial to communicate with your clients and figure out what they need in terms of location, cost, capacity, and so on.
2. Get Organized!
After figuring out what your client wants, it’s time to develop a list of potential venues. You can come up with a list of up to 10 event spaces (anything more than that will be overwhelming), and eventually narrow it down to 3. We suggest creating a google spreadsheet to keep your ideas organized, or any event software of your choice! Make sure to include important details such as location, pricing, capacity, and contact information, and pros and cons!
Many important details such as contact number and pricing can be found on the venue website. Other than that, Google Maps and Yelp are great tools to see the site and acquire information such as location and venue ratings.
3. Create a Visual Presentation
After organizing your spreadsheet, make a visual presentation for each event space. You can put up a few images and talk about why a particular venue is a good fit. You can then go ahead and present the powerpoint to your client and wait for them to narrow down the list for you.
4. Plan Site Visits
Once you have presented your Powerpoint or other presentation to your client, you will then need to go visit the venues. Seeing them in person is much different than anything you can find online. You should offer for your client to join along, but if they can’t you will need to visit them on your own. Be sure to take lots of pics and vids!
5. Time to Make A Final Decision
After visiting all of the venues, you should have a great idea of each event space and be able to picture if your event theme works within the parameters of the space. You can then talk to your clients and show them pictures and videos of each venue to help them make a final decision!
If you’re interested in learning more about events we’ve done for otherSan Francisco startups or other fortune 500 companies, click here.
Site selection for events can be a challenging and tedious process. However, by accomplishing the right steps, you can find the best venue for your client. ABCey has curated a list of tips for a smooth site selection process that we use to pick the perfect venue!
Make an Initial List of Sites
The first step in our site selection process is doing a general brainstorm of sites that seem to fit the needs of the client. Consider the location, number of guests, and venue-type when compiling the list. Leave no stone unturned and make sure you’re getting a variety of different venues. This makes your client feel like they have options and will show them that you’ve considered everything.
Create a Master Spreadsheet for Your Client
After making an initial list of sites, create a master spreadsheet with a Site Selection tab. This should incorporate all the venues you found and important information about each venue, including pros and cons. For each site, include information on availability, contacts, venue size, location, pricing, and information about the space. Make sure the client can quickly and easily see what the venue has to offer!
Put Together a Style Guide
After the master spreadsheet has been shared with your client, it’s helpful to make a style guide with the key information and images for each of your top picks.
Send an RFP to all of Your Top Venues
An RFP (request for proposal) allows you to easily communicate your event needs to outside vendors. By sending your RFP to the various venues you’re considering, you can get a clearer idea about the availability and pricing for each site. This will help you narrow down your choices. Here are some tips on creating the perfect RFP!
Set Up a Review With Your Client
The next step is setting up a time to chat with your client over the phone or in person to go through each venue. From there, you’ll be able to get a better sense of which sites you can eliminate and which ones are worth visiting in-person.
Go on Site Visits to Check Out Top Venues
Once you and your client have picked your favorite venues, make sure to visit them in-person. This can help you decide if they’re the right fit for your event. There’s no better way to get a sense of the venue and their ability to meet your needs then to set foot on the actual grounds!
Make Your Final Decision
Hopefully the in-person site visits will help you identify your absolute top venues, so you can decide on the one you want to go with. Once you accomplish this, you can start working on the fun stuff, like figuring out event decor and can move forward with your chosen venue!