When considering possible venues to hold your event or function, it is necessary to match the venue in which the event is being held with the actual event taking place. The setting you chose will inevitably create the mood of your function. By considering all of the following, you will be in a perfect position to accurately determine what setting is right for you.
Although outdoor events can be tempting to plan, especially during the spring and summer months, it is always important to consider the possible downfalls of being unable to control Mother Nature. The possibility of even the tiniest amount of rain falling should always be in the back of your mind. Having a portable rain canopy available is always a good idea. Another point to consider is the instability of the ground (including possible holes, unevenness of ground level, and softness of soil), which can be a poor choice for more formal occasions where women may be wearing heeled shoes.
It can be difficult to make presentations outdoors, as it is nearly impossible to project a voice in the open as well as one can in an enclosed space. Display screens are also difficult to set up outside, and can be difficult to manage if the wind picks up. As a guideline, try to avoid holding any formal event or important meeting outside. If you wish to take advantage of the good weather, try renting an outdoor patio as well as the adjoining conference room. That way food can be served and free time spent in the open air, while more structured events can be well prepared inside.
There are, however, more appropriate times to hold out of doors events for your company. Informal events such as barbecues, picnics, and customer appreciation days are wonderful opportunities to come together and get to know one another on a more casual level. These types of events often require less work on your part, as disposable flatware and silverware are easy to clean up and dispose. Barbecues and picnics leave you the option of providing the catering or implementing a potluck style buffet. If you are on a tight budget, outdoor events are the way to go. It is often less costly to rent out a park or picnic area, and food costs can be almost eliminated. If you wish to serve alcohol at the event, be sure to check into the company’s liability exposure and licensing requirements related to the dispensing of liquor well before the event takes place.
When hosting outdoor events, make sure to provide maps to the location, with instructions to the specific area of the facility where the event will be held. Parks are often large, with more than one picnic or barbecue area. Placing signs in conspicuous places along the path from the parking lot is always a good idea. Along with signs to the event, always make signs pointing to the nearest bathroom. As a rule, make sure you have one bathroom available per 50 guests at the event. If the facility looks like it is inadequate to cover the number of people, consider bringing in portable toilets for the event.
When the occasion calls for an indoor venue, keep in mind that convention centres and conference rooms are not your only option. To create a fun and interesting atmosphere, consider other large available spaces, such as restaurants, movie theatres, museums, art galleries, an aquarium, a nightclub, the racetrack, or even a boat. This is a good way to liven up the atmosphere while still having full control of the environment.
If you do choose to go with a larger hotel or conference centre, it is likely that yours will not be the only event of the evening. Be sure to check into what other events will be held at the same time and take appropriate precautions to ensure that your guests are informed as to the correct room for your event. Make sure the room you book has enough tables and chairs to seat everyone comfortably. It is wise to get the room’s inventory in writing in case of any disputes on the day of the event.
As far as decorations go, always ask what is permissible at the locations. Not all venues will let you hang decorations on the walls or ceiling, and some don’t allow helium balloons. Be sure to inquire about any other regulations the building may have that will restrict what can take place in the room.
Parking your car at a formal event should not be a stressful endeavour. In order to avoid possible parking dilemmas, make sure the facility you are renting has adequate parking available. Try negotiating a flat rate for your guests and make them aware of the price for parking before the event. If at all possible, consider having valet parking for those that desire it.
Lastly, arrive several hours before your guests in order to ensure that everything is going as planned. If it is not, you will still have time for damage control. When your guests arrive, you should be poised and ready to host your event, not making last minute changes and concessions.