Choosing an event venue: Finding the wow factor and why it matters- 5 Factors
Ever been invited to a local cafe or restaurant to discuss a career opportunity with your future boss? Not so shocking anymore. Every day, calendar invites are being sent to CEO's directing them to their ‘corporate’ meetings at the nearest eatery in town.
Venue preferences are changing. Drastically.
The corporate world is turning 360 degrees with its preferences, and meeting/ event venues are no different. We all need to learn how to handstand to get a better view.
Traditional meeting rooms have taken a back seat. In fact, I know a company, which now makes use of it's meeting room as an office pantry. Hotel restaurants, rooftops, and gardens, on the other hand, have become the new favorites for corporate planning and discussion.
Moving the venues from the typical chandeliered hotel rooms and formal table etiquette to co-working spaces, warehouses, pop-up shops and galleries, are emphasizing event venues becoming more flexible, creative, personal and most importantly, bold.
'Bold' is the catch phrase here, for the direction in which event venue preferences are headed.
Venues that you can connect with emotionally
Just like advertising that appeals with emotion, venue offerings are becoming increasingly humane, appealing to emotion and preferences.
More often than not, venue providers do this by not just having an enticing interior get-up and decor, but also leveraging technology that brings life to lifeless walls- augmented reality, 3D projectors, interactive walls, etc.
Attendee experience is key
The attendee experience dictates how attendees perceive the individuals and brands contributing to the event, making it a very important aspect for both organizers and participants to look into.
The venue, in turn, predicates a big part of the attendee experience.
It sets up the entire atmosphere of the program. Attendees must feel thrilled, not bored. This is something they should be excited about and look forward to, not feel obligatory or even worse, burdensome.
The goal therefore is to make a remarkable experience by showcasing the venue’s cleverness and creativity.
So how exactly do you find the right event venue? Here’s what you must keep in mind:
1. Gauge audience requirements
What are the basic needs of your attendees?
Finding a creative venue is not just about physical attributes. it is also about comfort, convenience and relevancy.
Will they be comfortable sitting on beanbags? A round table setup? A theater setup?
Creativity may be the formula for a wow factor, but the overall success of the event lies in addressing the basic needs of your attendees.
Make sure the venue is appropriate, relevant and conducive to your guests.
2. Understand audience expectations
Managing and understanding expectations when choosing venues is very important.
A good place to start from, is by looking at the background and demographics of your attendees. A group of university students would certainly have very different expectations of an event venue, when contrasted to a gathering of of businesspersons.
3. Your event’s theme
Venues dictate an event’s theme at the first glance. Ensuring that it’s the right theme you want people to perceive is very important.
Factors such as lighting, décor and seating orientation are key factors affecting the venue’s theme.
For most business events, pick a venue with a fair amount of formality.
For themes events, find venues that strikingly reflect the theme. Themed venues also allow participants to immerse themselves in the program a lot more effectively and connect better with the message being drawn home.
I once came across a mystery room event venue which hosts corporate events, so they can test the skills of the employees and at the same time play characters in zombie movies. It is both fun and at the same time, a revelation of wit and dexterity.
4. Your budget
Just because the experience is exemplary, it doesn’t have to be over budget. The contrary is equally true.
Shelf rates for most venues are expensive. It helps to negotiate your way to a better price. Remember, not only are you bringing the event venue business, but are also bringing them a whole lot of exposure from your audience- use this as leverage when negotiating.
We don’t want to overspend, most specially if we are treading on an off beaten path. If you have not tried pop-up event spaces for instance, try to find an affordable one with a promising character; something that will easily spark your audience’s curiosity at one glance so you know you will be in a win-win situation in terms of staging and appearance.
There are a variety of options to choose from on the web at a very reasonable price. Reach out to us, and we’ll help you find the right venue for your event.
5. Be imaginative. Diversify your tastes
Our attention span dropped dramatically since our engagement with technology heightened. Expect some inevitable yawning from the assembly of delegates.
Think of incorporating AR/ VR and other interactive technologies into your event. Find event spaces that can provide such interactive installations.
Another witty gimmick is to bring them closer to nature by hosting out door events, and the like. Anything that will get your attendees out of the traditional upscale hotel venues they have been attending for ages.
About Stride Plus Events
Stride Plus is an events organizing and management company based in the UAE, focused on business, networking and community events.
Learn more about out services here.