When you are designing an event, the venue is a make or break component. From the most basic requirements of capacity and facilities, to the more specific needs relating to the flow and feel of the space.
You may only get the opportunity to visit your shortlisted venues once. If that is the case, it is imperative that you get all the information you need at that site inspection to make an informed decision about which venue to contract.
Here are some of the top tips we have selected for you to remember for your next site inspections.
Always check the WiFi and phone signal at the venue as you walk around to make sure it is sufficient for the event. Check if it is complimentary for delegates and if there are any access codes required. More often than not your attendees will need access to emails during breaks, not to mention your own needs as the co-ordinator. If you are using any technology for your event that relies on internet access checking WiFi is an absolute must and you should be sure to have a hard line back up or have an additional router.
Take photos of the rooms and spaces you have on hold, so you can refer to them after you have left and are comparing your venue options. They will be different to the photos on the hotel websites as those are for sales purposes. You will often find that questions crop up after your visit that your photos will help answer. Plasma screen locations, windows, blinds etc.
Check sat-nav directions using the postcode to ensure it is accurate. Unfortunately, although its not common, some postcodes direct you to the wrong location. Always check.
Make sure you have floor plans to check flow of space for the event. This will help you to ensure the event runs to time. For example, if you have high numbers of attendees moving from one space to another you need to understand if the connecting areas are large enough to move through freely. How close are the areas to each other? How long will it take people to get from one place to another? The floor plans will allow you to sense check all of that when you are arranging your timings and comparing venues.
Finally, always prepare a checklist to log the things you need to see and the questions you would like to ask about the venue and space you are holding. Document all the answers and make note of any further information that you gain at the site inspection. Some information you will be able to confirm by phone or email after your visit, but the look and feel of the space and how your event will work there can only be done in person.