There’s nothing like pulling off a successful event. Trust me – I have served as emcee at several events and that final feeling of success never gets old!
That said, the event planning process can seem daunting to some. But it doesn’t have to be.
Follow my 9 easy steps below to book the right venue for your event and savor that final feeling of triumph!
- Establish your event requirements
- Map out your overall budget
- Estimate the number of attendees you’ll be anticipating
- Consider the location of your event space
- Plan site visits to ensure the perfect venue matches your event flow
- Confirm what services and accommodations the event venue will provide
- Book the right emcee for your event
- Focus on the attendee experience above everything else
#1. Determine what your event requires
“What does your event require?” or “What type of event are you hosting?” These are the two questions most venue managers will lead with.
So you need to make sure you know exactly what you need before even starting a dialogue with a venue manager. Event planners are all for keeping communication open.
But you have to know what you want before communicating with them. Consider what worked for your previous events.
Or, what didn’t work in the past when you would host events? Use this information to inform what kind of event spaces you’ll want to check out.
#2. Solidify your event budget
There’s no point in doing a site visit if you know you can’t afford the venue. So make sure that you have your budget locked down.
This might seem like an obvious first step. But many people don’t realize just how much the budget should encompass.
Your budget should include any, if not all, of the following:
- The venue rental cost
- Food & beverage costs, or catering costs
- Furniture and equipment rentals
- A/V equipment (if not provided by the venue)
- Registration and ticketing – software and staff
- Accommodations and travel for speakers, emcees, and additional talent
- Decorations (if not included in the event venue rental cost)
#3. Estimate the number of attendees
Venue size is also an important consideration. If you’re early along in the planning process, this can be an estimated range.
But make sure that your selected venue can accommodate anywhere within that range. This way, you’ll have all your bases covered for whatever happens later on in the planning process.
#4. Narrow down the location of your event venue
Location is everything. Some corporate events choose a fun location to give their attendees a short vacation experience.
But others look primarily for venues that are close to public transportation. Or, venues that have their own parking lot to make things more easily accessible.
When it comes to location, you’ll want to go with what venues serve the needs of your target audience best. Ask yourself, “Are attendees looking for a purely intellectual experience?”
“Or are they looking for a venue that has some fun bells and whistles?” Of course, your budget will also help you decide on the venue location.
But when in doubt, get inside the head of your target audience.
#5. Consider event venues that will match your event flow
The flow of your event is crucial to the attendee experience. Will you require additional meeting rooms for breakout sessions?
Or do you only need one big exhibition hall? Having a clear design in mind for your event will help you choose the right venue.
#6. Check that the event venue has the right facilities
Not every venue offers audio-visual equipment. But if they do, make sure you test out their projection screens, monitors, and microphones on your site visit if you can.
In this digital age, you’ll likely be recording the event for virtual guests. So you’ll want to make sure that you’re working with high-quality gear.
#7. Set your event date
Once you’ve narrowed down venues that can meet your requirements, it’s time to pick a date! When choosing a date, you’ll obviously need to check the venue’s availability.
But if they can’t give you a date that’s far enough in advance, don’t try to crunch the planning process in. You’ll want as much time to properly plan the event as possible.
Rushing only ends up costing you more money and stress. Instead, go back to what your target audience might like.
If this is a corporate event, consider choosing a weekend date over a weekday. Or, if you’re hosting a multi-day event, consider dates that would be most flexible for guests traveling.
When you take your guests into consideration, they notice and feel cared for. And that’s really what your event is all about!
#8. Hire the right emcee
We’ve gone over the logistics of event planning. But when you want to merge logistics with entertainment, you’ll want to make sure you find the right emcee for the job.
The master of ceremonies at your event should be both welcoming and informative. And most of all, they should be funny!
How boring is it to go to an event where the emcee is just reading off cue cards? A good MC will connect with your audience and meet with you beforehand to get a better idea of what they might like.
The last thing you want is for a bad MC to ruin all the hard work you’ve put into planning the event. So go with a professional – you won’t regret it!
#9. Make the attendee experience unforgettable!
All of these steps should be geared toward the attendee experience. Because that’s what these types of events are all about.
Think about how you want guests to leave the event feeling and make your decisions from there.
Booking a venue doesn’t have to be so hard. By following these 9 easy steps, you’ll feel like the planning process is a breeze.
Keep Reading: 9 Things To Expect From Your Event Staff
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.