Is the work party invitation met with groans of displeasure rather than shrieks of delight? Do you plan the annual conference and struggle to get people on board? Planning an event takes a lot of skill – and luck. And there is one crucial element in event planning you simply cannot get wrong. The venue. If your efforts are provoking boredom rather than excitement in your colleagues, it could be the venue that’s the problem.
Picking the right venue becomes even more complicated when you consider that the space is not merely a room or a hall. It is not only a space to have some drinks or a meal. It is a defining part of the event experience. Dull, over-used locations are an important factor in lacklustre feedback and low attendance. On the contrary, an inspirational venue with the “wow” factor will turn the entire experience around.
Break the Mould
When you begin to think about searching for an event venue, don’t stick to the same blueprint. There is no reason you have to search for a venue based on the same tired criteria. Just imagine what attendees will appreciate in terms of new experiences, new locations, and new ideas. People want to go to events in places they haven’t been before. They want to have a memorable experience. And yes, even if the experience is “just” a meeting, it will still be more successful when you have the right space. Try brainstorming as an initial planning tool and come up with all the wild and unpredictable ideas you can. You can always tone them down later, if necessary.
Look at the Event as a Whole
Once you have opened your mind to the possibility of different venues and different experiences, think about the event as a whole and what kind of location would be suited to the experience. For example, is the experience structured with presentations and speeches? Is it a social occasion? Will food and drinks be served? Once you have the whole event structure in mind, you can start looking for inspirational venues that meet these requirements. Because even the most inspirational place will fail if it does not fulfil what you need it to do.
Look for Unique Spaces
A few rooms in a budget hotel on the industrial estate won’t inspire creativity and excitement in your attendees. Think about different spaces with unique viewpoints and features. These spaces could include country houses or manors in glorious countryside. Or, for a meeting close to the office, a private dining space in an exclusive restaurant that doesn’t usually open its doors to companies. Other spaces could include barns, penthouse balconies overlooking the cityscape, art galleries, cookery schools, even boats. Even if you feel your audience is more conservative than the average, you can still find surprising places that will not be outside their comfort zone.
Consider Budget But Don’t Be Constrained
There are alternatives to spending a considerable amount of money on an inspirational venue. For example, you do not have to hire the entire country house; perhaps a well-designed room within it would be perfect. You also may be able to negotiate discounts for various aspects of the event service.