Anyone can plan the ultimate corporate event, even without experience. It all comes down to choosing the best venue. These steps are essential for any managers or business owners planning an event for everyone on their team.
1. Look Near Airports
Corporate events rarely happen in rural areas, but choosing a spot near an airport is crucial to keep in mind. Professional trips accounted for 13.6% of air travelers in 2021, so any corporate event will likely include a few employees flying in. Hotels and venues within a few minutes of driving or public transportation will ensure everyone can easily arrive on time.
2. Find Overnight Accommodations
Unless an event happens in the same city where everyone works, the attendees will need a place to stay. Comparing hotels around potential destinations is essential to choosing a venue for a corporate event. They should have enough space to accommodate everyone while remaining close to the airport and event venue.
Some venues eliminate commuting by offering on-site accommodations. Places like convention centers may connect directly to a hotel, so conference attendees are within walking distance of hundreds of available rooms. That may be preferable when attendees can’t cover their transportation with a company card.
3. Check the Parking Requirements
Many corporate event venues have private parking, but that doesn’t guarantee free parking spaces. Attendees may need to pay for hours or days of parking, which may not work with everyone’s budget.
Event planners should look into the parking availability and price point before booking a venue. There may also be available discounts if the attendees stay at the venue’s on-site hotel. Everyone must know if they need to pay for parking before budgeting for their rental car and picking the best model for their trip.
4. Review Food and Beverage Rules
Everyone will need to eat and refresh themselves throughout the event. Even one-day conferences include times when people will need meals and snacks. Event planners should look into these details before putting any deposits down.
Some venues limit how much groups can spend to prevent too much mess and garbage. If an event planner wants a space with a low food and beverage minimum, they could negotiate a higher rate for the event if the venue will get high attendance from them. However, not all venue operators will be flexible with this detail.
5. Read the Contract Flexibility
When a venue books an event – corporate or otherwise – the manager drafts a contract for the event planner to sign. It will contain every detail necessary for the event, which includes the chosen dates.
The contract may not allow rebooking if you need to cancel the event due to an illness outbreak. It may also prevent the company from getting any deposits back. Flexibility may be critical when choosing a venue for an event during flu season or far in advance.
6. Request a List of Amenities
Every event requires supplies. Attendees and leaders will need chairs, tables, and linens at a minimum. Venues may or may not provide these, which could mean the event planner has to budget for rentals. It’s also important to know if the venue provides and includes other essential amenities like:
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- Water bottles
- Dining supplies
- Trash bags and receptacles
The venue operator should provide a list of amenities before anyone signs a contract or places a deposit. They may also be open to giving specific necessities to a single group if that group is a particularly sizable source of income for the venue.
7. Inquire About Cleaning
Even the smallest, most mindful groups leave some mess behind. Food wrappers and discarded pieces of paper can’t remain around the venue when the event ends. It’s crucial to inquire about any on-site cleaning teams.
Event attendees need to tidy the space up before leaving if there isn’t a cleaning service or partnered commercial cleaning company. That may not work for events with hundreds of attendees trying to get home at different times. Adding extra time for this effort or hiring a one-time cleaning crew could be one of the final steps in booking the best venue for an event.
8. Walk Through Available Tech
Corporate events often require different types of tech. Some venues have them on hand and others don’t. A quick phone call will reveal if an event manager can count on a specific venue to provide things like:
- Audio-visual (AV) equipment for presentations
- Microphones for multiple presenters
- Speakers in the event rooms
- Special lighting
- Video conferencing software
Renting this equipment will be an extra cost for the event manager if a venue doesn’t have them. It depends on what will happen during the conference. The rental companies may also not be close to a preferred venue, which would require shipping the equipment early.
9. Ask for Insurance Requirements
Corporate event planners may need to get short-term insurance for specific venues. Policies requiring general liability insurance aren’t standard for every venue, but it could become a last-minute detail that complicates the event.
Event managers should inquire about any required insurance policies when comparing venues. If one requires more policies than the other and the event has a small budget, it could be the driving force behind a final decision.
It’s also helpful to note that insurance is good for both parties. Many practical insurance policies could save the day if the unexpected happens, so investigate your options before your event begins. Event cancellation insurance or a damage waiver might keep your corporate conference from becoming a potential disaster.
10. Research the Surrounding Area
If an event will stretch over a weekend or even longer, does it have nearby things for the attendees to do? Picking a location in a downtown city area would have restaurants, entertainment, scenic relaxing areas, and local events where participants can enjoy their time outside the conference. Forcing attendees to spend time either at the event or in their hotel rooms only results in unhappy employees.
Find Your Next Corporate Event Venue
It’s much easier to choose a venue for a corporate event when a planning team keeps these details in mind. Coordinating conversations with venues to compare what they do and don’t offer will clarify the best location. Every event will be a success because the person in charge took care of every last detail in advance.