Whatever stage you are at in your speaking business right now, at some point you will want to run your own event I’m sure. A key element of hosting an event is choosing the right venue that best fits the requirements for your event.

I wrote some time ago about hosting smaller client gatherings but for this post I want to look at larger scale events… seminars, workshops or maybe even an exhibition.

So how do you choose the best venue?

Clearly budget comes into play here… I’m sure you’d love to host a magnificent event at the swankiest hotel in town… but your financial situation may not be sufficient to grant your wish… yet.

So, your first objective is to work out your overall budget… how much you have to spend in total… and which proportion can be allocated to the venue.

Once you’ve established the financials, the next step is to start looking around at venues that are able to host the numbers you plan to invite. You can do this by;

  • Asking your contacts for recommendations to venues they have used previously
  • Looking online to find details of where events of a similar size have been hosted in your area
  • Searching venue directories and making calls to the individual venues

Create a brief

ChecklistAt Shift, before we approach any venues for our events we prepare a full brief of our requirements. We do this so the venue can clarify they are able to deliver everything we need but also because it saves time for both parties.

It makes sense because if you think about it, you could find the perfect venue in the perfect location then when you get to confirming the smaller details, discover that they cannot deliver. For example, if you (as we do) require a space where you can be as noisy as you wish without disturbing others… the venue being the right size or able to provide everything except that one element won’t be the right choice.

Choosing a venue for your event takes some time and effort so you want to make sure a venue can tick all the boxes before you commit to the next stage… the personal visit.

Visiting the venue

I’d recommend you narrow down your selection to no more than three venues before you opt to pay them a visit. Set aside the time beforehand for you (or your VA) to call your original choices individually to ask the preliminary questions then book appointments to see three of those who exactly fit the bill… on paper at least.

I’d strongly suggest that before you go along for the visit; make sure you have a good idea in your mind of Chairsyour preferred room layout…

  • Where will the stage be positioned?
  • How will the seats be set out?
  • Where will your laptop and projector be located?
  • Do you need space at the sides and/or back of the room to display your products?

When you arrive at the venue:

Make sure the space can accommodate your layout. Check the position of the power supply… is it conveniently located for your stage or will you need extension leads… and if so, does the venue supply them?

  • Do you require a microphone and if so, does the venue have your preferred style of microphone available?
  • Is the room air conditioned… is it controlled centrally or are you able to adjust the temperature if necessary?
  • Do the seats fit in your optimal layout?
  • Is there space for any tables you need?
  • Can the lighting be adjusted to suit?

Walk around the space… look at it from your perspective of being on stage and also from where your audience will be seated.

The finer details

When you’ve clarified that the venue can accommodate all of your requirements, ensure you are given a comprehensive quotation before making any final decisions. Double check the quotation details against your original brief to make sure nothing has been missed off.

CoffeeIf you haven’t already, make sure you are clear on whether their charging policy is per room or per head as this can vary between venues. Watch out for little costs added that can amount to a larger unexpected amount… refreshments is one such example… a couple of bucks for tea and coffee sounds small until you realise you need to multiply that figure by 100 attendees!

However short of time you are, I highly recommend you are diligent during this process because once you arrive to host your event, any small details which have been overlooked may not be resolvable on the day… it’s always preferable to iron out any potential disasters as far in advance as possible.

This week sees the start of my Presentation Secrets events in London where you can spend an intensive day with me learning how to leverage speaking to grow your business. The first two dates are now sold out but there are a handful of places left for Friday 25th May.

At the end of last week we made a decision to add an extra date to the tour so if you haven’t yet booked; you now have the choice of coming along on Friday 25th May or Saturday 26th May.

GO HERE for more information and to book your place today

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