Choosing the right venue is key for your success of your event. Finding a location should be easy but it’s a lot harder than you think because you have requirements to meet and a budget to keep. If you are an event planner or someone who is about to host an event, you will understand the importance of a venue more than anyone else. Here are 9 tips on choosing the right venue for your next networking event:

1. Location, location, location: The importance of the location cannot be stressed enough. You must understand that no-one will visit an event that’s too far away or in a non-friendly parking zone. Nobody likes to spend time traveling so when deciding on your venue, you must keep this in mind. Have a look at your expected attendees at your networking event and then choose a location that would seem appropriate to most of them. Also clarify with the sales manager venue policies regarding important amenities such as display of signage, banners and direction signs and access to shipping an receiving near the location. Also consider unique locations to set your event apart from other events, this will help you on promoting your event by having something different from other events

2. Budget: Keep in mind there might be hidden Fees? One thing you can count on is additional fees when booking a facility. Get all additional fees in writing to help you stay organized with your budgeting.

3. Catering: If you’re considering in-house catering, is it mandatory that you use them, or are you permitted to bring in an outside caterer? Examine the catering detailed menu and serving options. View the full service kitchen operations, and meet the executive chef or caterer and make sure you have a taste test of the menu they are offering.

78% of Americans agree with the statement, “If a company invited me to be a VIP at an event, I’d be a customer for life.” But that number increases to 88% among millennials.

4. Entertainment: Do they offer adequate space for a band or DJ? Does their sound system come with the package, or is there a rental fee? Which venues are playing music that fits into your genre? Which places are attracting people who you think might like your music? And make sure you sample the music selection before the networking event.

5. Be Flexible: If you can hold your event during the off season, you can get a better deal. Provide alternative dates to your short-listed venues, and ask if they can recommend additional off-season dates that may work for you. Also, if you’re holding an annual event, consider booking the venue for a number of years. This will encourage the sales manager to give you a better price.

6. Venue Complicity: Keep in mind how many people you want to attend your event, if you have any furniture, is there going to be a DJ and dance floor, where will the catering go and anything else you wish to have at your space.

7. Consider Unique Venues: Rates are much lower at unique venues like a new museum, an aquarium, an art gallery, a public garden or a restaurant. Chances are attendees will be drawn by the novelty of the venue. Keep it unique and look at past events to see where the last unique events were hosted.

48% of event planners typically start planning for their event 6-12 months in advance.

8. Lists, List, Lists: Make sure you have a check list on what you want, need, would like, etc. on choosing your right venue, this will make the decision process much easier.

9. Visit: It is always advisable to visit the venue and check out all the facilities for yourself. Try and a have a look at some of the previous events that had been hosted at the venue and you would have a better understanding of the place. Also, make s floor plan of the space so you can have a better idea how everything will fit in your space.

These are a few tips that will help you plan your next event. Remember that its not easy to host or plan a event and not everything goes to plan but if you keep a positive attitude, ask for help from your network & friends it will work out at the end. Finally, have fun hosting your event and make it your own and unique from other events and by doing that you will have more success on your next event.

Carpe Diem~