Finding your perfect event space can be stressful. The best thing to do is to bring an experienced event planner early in the planning process. At Eleven Events we work with our clients to find out exactly what type of event they are wanting from general sessions to the number of breakouts to any evening events. It is important to have all possible functions taking place during your event noted. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect venue for your next event.
•Space vs. Guest Rooms
Does the hotel have all the space you may need? Are rooms close together or will your attendees have to search for event rooms (a lot of signage)? Is your event “space heavy”? What this means is do you need more space than guest rooms. Hotels like a balanced event, space percentage is close to rooms per night percentage. This is called the space-to-rooms ratio. Every hotel has a different percentage for this so don’t be shy in asking and the perspective hotels what this magic number is. This is how you ensure better deals from a hotel. Here is an easy calculation to figure in advance, space-to-rooms ratio = (total seats by day x 20 sq. ft.)/(total guest room block that day). Click here for more details from Aventri on the space-to-rooms ratio.
What amenities does the hotel have that will be value added for your guests? Most hotels charge a resort fee. What’s included with that? Do your attendees like to extend past event dates to take in local sites? What attractions are nearby to add value to this location? Consider these when looking at potential locations as they can affect your attendance.
We mentioned previously but extra charges, like resort fees, can play a factor too. Most of the the time room rates are paid by the attendee’s organization so not as restricted but it’s good to negotiate this lower or completely out of the contract if you can as most attendees will not be able to use all the offerings associated with these fees. Other additional charges to look out for on the client side are outside audio visual charges, shipping and storage fees, and delivery fees for items to be brought to your registration desk. These fees add up quickly so knowing them before finalizing the contract is important.
•Attendee Expectations vs. Venue Offerings
Managing expectations is never fun so understanding your attendees is key. Certain clients may appreciate the venue having a spa or golf on site while other clients may not be concerned with this. Knowing their expectations will help increase attendance.
• Peak vs. Non-peak
Knowing peak and non-peak dates is key to planning any event and getting the best possible deals. Look at the area you are considering for your event, is the weather ideal to host an event over the dates your considering? Chances are that’s peak season which means rates are higher and event space is at a premium. In Central Florida these months are typically January-April, sometimes going into May and October-November. One of the reasons is that the weather is usually nice. If your looking to keep costs low, maybe attendees are paying their own way, consider non-peak dates for that area. For example, a ski lodge with no snow or beach resort in rainy season.
We hope this helps when planning your next event! If your interested in learning how Eleven Events can help plan and execute your next event, please click here to contact us. We love planning events and look forward to working with you on your next one!