If you’re planning an event, do you keep it on-site (say the hotel ballroom, for example) or do you take a group off-site for a unique venue? That’s a common question that meeting planners address during the planning stages. These event planning tips are designed to help a meeting planner address; timing, transportation, and overall budget costs.
Most often the reason a meeting planner wants to use an off-site venue for an event is because there’s something unique, or special, about the particular venue. Maybe it’s a museum or a historical landmark. The planner wants to ensure that each meeting that he or she plans is original. The last thing that a planner wants is to fall into a cookie-cutter scenario that could deter attendance.
Event Planning Tips and Factors to Consider When Selecting Venues
- Timing. Many of the offsite venues have other purposes. So an event’s set up time can be restricted. A museum, for example, often doesn’t close to the general public until around 5 PM. Now there are some workarounds where venues will cooperate by allowing set up during public hours. But basically you have to keep timing in mind when selecting a venue.
- Transportation. This goes hand-in-hand with location, location, location. Especially in large cities, transportation can be a nightmare during rush-hour periods. Travel the route from your hotel, or location of the meeting, at a few different times throughout your site visit. Your goal is to see how the traffic varies from rush-hour to non-rush-hour periods. Plus you want to have a general idea of how long, overall, it’s going to take to transfer your group back and forth.
- Additional costs. There are pros and cons to hosting events on-site and off-site. I’ve done many events at off-site venues. As most off-site venues are not built as food and beverage outlets, many do not have kitchens and therefore the caterer has to bring additional equipment. As I’ve stated many times here, the cost of that equipment can be as much as the food cost itself, if not more. On top of that you need to budget for venue rental fees.
Here’s a bonus. One area where you can save if you are using an off-site venue is decor. Most venues are selected because of their architecture, design etc. And most meeting and event planners want to incorporate the overall look and feel of the off-site venue into their functions.
Event Planning Tips and Resources
I’ve put together links to the following articles and resources that will help with selecting a venue that’s right for your group.
- 3 Tips for Event Planners Choosing Venues
- 8 Factors to Consider When Selecting Event Venues
- Always use an event planning checklist to keep you on track and on budget.
- Wondering how much alcohol to order? Use our beverage calculator to keep things in check.
- How much space do you need? Our room capacity calculator will let you know (and for various set up styles).