Venue finding is so much more than jumping on Google and searching: “find a venue in London.”
There are costs to consider. Accessibility for attendees. Suitability for your event. Sustainability credentials. Additional costs. Amenities. Lighting. AV equipment. And yes, even more costs.
In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about finding the right venue for your event. Or, if you want to save yourself time, you can call one of our venue finding experts today on 02476 269 720 or contact us here.
What is venue finding?
Let’s start with the basics. Venue finding is the act of searching for a venue that suits the needs of your event. It could be a conference, an awards ceremony, or just a team-building day – every event needs a space to host it.
Depending on the specifications of your event, you’ll have different requirements. For example, an awards ceremony will likely need a large, open space. Perhaps you will need a stage, or built-in AV equipment. It’s easy enough to find a venue in a particular location, it’s much harder to find one that meets your exact needs. This is why people tend to use a venue finder, as they will expertly match the event to a venue with the correct requirements.
How do I find a venue for my event?
To find a venue for an event, you first need to have a good idea what you need for that event. This means assigning a budget and making a list of requirements. You don’t necessarily have to stick to this budget, but having it provides you with a benchmark.
Then, you need to think about location. This might seem simple at first. For example, if you are an Edinburgh-based business, you might want to host your AGM in Edinburgh. However, what if a large portion of your workers are remote? What if your clients are international? Convenience isn’t everything, but it is an important factor to consider when venue finding.
Find out where your attendees are based and map out a central location. Or, if that’s not applicable, host an event where most of your attendees will already be located. Is your event dependent on people walking in off the street? Think about where you will get the most foot traffic.
When you have all these details ready, then you can start your search…
Start by working out your preferred location, but have a back up (or two) if you can’t get your first choice.
Our venue finders look at everything from trusted chains, to unique, independent venues. We would recommend a similar approach – don’t limit yourself to what is familiar. Have you ever thought of having your dinner at the crypt beneath Fortnum and Mason in London?
There are plenty of independent venues with incredible spaces available. Bear in mind that smaller venues may not have the amenities or equipment that you need. Make sure you check this before booking. If you can, visit the venue. This is the best way to get an understanding of the space.
Also, if you are looking for something that fits a theme, you can usually find it, but this will limit your options. For example, an Alice in Wonderland themed event may need a large open garden area. A tech exhibition may need a warehouse-style space with plenty of electrical outlets. If you are planning an event with a certain style in mind, we’d recommend seeking external advice. We can provide free, expert support today – just call 02476 369 720.
When should I start searching for a venue?
Timing is crucial to securing the perfect location for your event. If you start searching too late, you are likely to struggle with availability and securing the space.
While it is better to reach out sooner rather than later, you might find the process frustrating. Venues and suppliers are more likely to dedicate their time to events happening in the next 6 months than those in the next 6 years.
The perfect timeframe for finding a venue is dependent on the event itself. The bigger an event is, the fewer suitable spaces exist to host it. For a large conference, for example, we’d recommend searching between 12-18 months before the event.
A smaller gathering requires less time and may only need 3-4 months to arrange.
No matter what the event, always give yourself plenty of time to make changes. You might discover that the venue cannot accommodate the AV the supplier you booked. Or, you may have additional attendees that the space cannot hold. For this reason, we’d always recommend venue searching at least a month before the event, but we understand this isn’t always possible. So, if you need a great venue with a quick turnaround, you should consider using an agency…
Should I use a venue finding agency?
Venue finding agencies simplify the whole process, helping you to find the best option for your event. Take Conference Care, for example – our venue finders have 100+ years of collective experience behind them. Our agents visit venues across the country, so they have a first-hand taste of what you’ll get from each location.
The bonus of professional venue finders like Conference Care is that we are free to use. We are paid by the venues, so you will never have to pay for our expert advice. We can even accompany you to a venue if you want to experience the location in person. We’ll make sure you ask the right questions, and have all the information you need to make smart decisions.