One of the hardest decisions you can make when organizing an event is the venue location. The location you choose will have an impact on the date of the event, the vibe of the event and how you should rent and set up your audiovisual equipment. It is a major choice that should be approached with diligence and care, a venue should be chosen at least 4 to 6 months before an event so you have time to plan and prepare. Below we share key considerations that can help you get clear on how to find the best location for your event. How Will Attendees Get To The Event? When it comes to choosing a location and venue for your event there are a few things you want to consider starting with whether it will be local for attendees or a big trip for them. If it will be a big trip, try to make the venue near their airports and hotels so it’s a more convenient experience for them. Remember to consider their transportation, where they will park and how what type of traffic they will face. For example, will there be a shuttle option or will attendees be expected to rent a car or take a taxi service? How long will it take them to get from their airport or hotel to the venue, especially if there is traffic? If there is a lot of parking available and you can negotiate good rates with a car rental company that may be a great option but if attendees will have limited parking, a car service may be better for them convenience wise. Keep in mind, many venues also require you have insurance so make sure you consider and get that out of the way early if needed. Get clear on these things before moving on to the next evaluation criteria. What Is The Venue’s Minimums and It’s Max Capacity? By this point, you should already be clear on your budget, the estimated size of your event and the amount of space you will need. This information will help you get more clear on specific venues in your target location that would be an ideal fit, we recommend starting with your local area if possible. When meeting with the venue booker ask them about capacity. If you have 1,000 people coming to your event but the venue only holds 100 you will have serious problems including health and safety violations. Make sure you have adequate space you need for your attendees, equipment, and decor. The next step is to figure out what their food and beverage minimum is, this is a minimum amount of money that they want your attendees to spend on food and beverages during the event. If you can get that number high, you may be able to negotiate on the venue booking fees. When the day of the actual event comes, more or fewer people may come then planned. We recommend using a live polling software or even an event app to give you a real-time headcount right before or during the event. Consider The Venue’s Services, Ambiance, and Overall Layout Now that you’ve found a venue that is in your ideal location and that meets your capacity requirements, it’s important you look at the venue’s services, ambiance, and overall layout to ensure it is the right fit before you finalize the booking. When it comes to services you want to consider if the venue has a kitchen and cooks as they can help you with catering, if not you should be able to at least order catering for your attendees. Ideally, the venue will also have tables, chairs and table covers you can use if needed at the event which can help you save a lot of time and money. The venues often have AV crews and set up/clean up crews but you will often save more money and get better quality work by using a 3rd party AV company for your audio and visual rentals for the event. Be sure to also take a look at the layout of the venue while considering how traffic will flow during the event at registration or any other areas where attendees may gather especially if you have any special event activities in mind like speeches or live music performances. Make sure the layout meets your needs then take in the ambiance, what is the architecture and design like? The less ideal it is, the more decorating you will have to do to make it match the ideal ambiance you want at the event. Choose wisely. After these considerations, you should have a pretty clear idea of which venue you want to go with and what else you will need to add or adjust to get it ready for your event. When it comes to booking time be sure to ask the venue booker about their flexibility around the date of the event and pricing. In many cases, if you are flexible and can choose a date that works better for them, they will be willing to discount your fees. If you are still having trouble with figuring out where to find venues then try your local convention and visitors bureau, event listing websites such as Eventbrite or online venue finding tools like unique venues. If you are looking to plan an event in Los Angeles or anywhere else in Southern California and need to rent audiovisual equipment then be sure to check out our delivery and setup packages to see exactly how we can help you. We wish you the very best in setting up your event and are happy to help, good luck!