Choosing an Event Space

6 Creative Ways to Improve your Meeting with a Great Venue

When considering how to maximize the impact of your event, make sure not to overlook how your venue can help. While choosing a venue often takes a backseat when it comes to planning your event, a great venue can offer a lot of value, beyond the items listed on the invoice.

Meet Somewhere Exciting!

Meetings and conferences have long been held at traditional venues like hotel conference centers or ballrooms, but that doesn’t mean that your next event should be. Increasingly, meeting participants expect to see exciting content and surprising, unique elements at events that get the creative juices flowing and keep guests engaged. In addition to producing great, engaging content, consider choosing a more stimulating, non-traditional space like a theater, museum, or simply a design-focused venue. Keep in mind, of course, that any venue you consider should have the basic amenities to make sure your event runs smoothly.

Take Advantage of Expert (and Free!) Advice

When looking at venues and speaking with the venues’ sales staff, make sure to listen to any advice they have. While not everything you hear will work for your event, remember that you are speaking with someone who’s likely seen hundreds if not thousands of events. Venue staff can often give you great ideas from sources you might not have considered. For example, other types of events like private celebrations, product launches, or cocktail parties may have elements that can be re-purposed for your meeting or conference in a way that adds extra inspiration to the planning process.

Make Use of the Venue’s Connections

Almost every venue you consider should have an active social media presence. To extend the reach of your event, if appropriate, check out the venue’s social media pages and see if they ever promote events they have. This can be especially helpful if you’re looking to sell tickets before an event or simply to raise the profile of the event before or after it happens.

Put Signage Everywhere you Can

Signage is a great way to make a great impression on guests and distribute information. When choosing a venue, ask the venue contact about all of the opportunities to promote your brand, your sponsors and your event content, both inside and outside of the venue. Make sure to ask for any unconventional uses of the venue for signage like various surfaces or architectural features. This may inspire you to think of how the branding in the venue can change the whole guest experience.

Make Sure Guests have Space to Move

Even if you’re meeting only requires theater or classroom style seating, event attendees love having the opportunity to stretch their legs and seek a little bit of privacy, without leaving the meeting entirely. Check to see if the venue’s you’re considering can facilitate this with spaces separate from the meeting area where guests can grab snacks and check email or take a quick phone call. It may make sense to have different portions of your meeting in different spaces within the venue as well to give guests a sense that they are moving from panel to panel or learning to learning.

Enable Your Guests to Have a Great Time, Post-Meeting

After a day of a content-packed agenda, guests may be ready for a change of scene with some of the people they’ve spoken with or met throughout the day. Consider the neighborhood where the venue is located when conducting your site visits and don’t be afraid to ask the staff for recommendations about favorite local sites. It’s a great value-add  for your attendees to provide them with interesting, unique or just plain enjoyable things to do near the venue after the meeting.

A lot of times a traditional corporate meeting space or venue limits your ability to provide a special or creative event. Remember, most venues have hosted a wide variety of events and have a lot of experience to share, but a lot of venue's staff tend to be content to just "sell" the space.  A great venue makes all of the difference, and in this day and age when expectations are sky high, be sure to never settle on the status quo.

6 Questions You Need to Ask About Event Venue Amenities


Planning for events involves a number of moving parts and sometimes conflicting priorities. While it’s important to keep the original vision for your corporate conference or meeting in mind, it is also essential to make sure the event venue amenities provided are in line with your with logistical, financial and legal considerations.  In the world of event planning, knowledge is everything.  The following six questions are great to keep in mind when looking for a venue for your next event: How long is the rental period for the venue?  Venues vary widely in how much time they include with the venue rental fee.   Often, time for loading in and out of the venue is precious to ensure everything is set up the way you’d like. Make sure to ask what the overtime fees are for extended load-in/load-out or longer events.

Are any tables, chairs, podiums, etc., provided or will I have to rent them myself?  Events come in many sizes, shapes, and forms.  Once you have basic event information, it’s good to know what’s included in the venue rental.  Ask questions like: Is there any furniture included in the venue?  Is there a prep kitchen?  Do you provide audio/visual components? Understanding these details will help you to better plan your budget for the event and to allot time for ordering items, if necessary.  Some venues also have distinct and unique features that may eliminate some rental costs – these might include built-in display areas, bars, projection to replace gobos, etc. Inquire if they do, and find out what they are—it might be the reason you make a specific venue your event destination.

Can I hire my own vendors or do I have to select from a preferred vendor list? If you’re using vendors—like caterers, photographers, musicians, etc.— find out if you are able to use your own, or if you have to use preferred or pre-approved vendors. Furthermore, if they are open to outside vendors, ask if they have any buyout fees.

Are there branding or signage opportunities available? Events are one of the best opportunities you will have to provide a truly branded experience for your guests. When visiting a venue, consider at which points, from when guests arrive to when they depart, you will be able to brand the venue.  Does the venue give you the opportunity to have street-level signage? Is it easy to project onto walls or screens, hang gobos, and hang or stick signage around the venue?Venues will vary in the branding opportunities they provide as well as guidelines and restrictions in hanging or posting signage, projection, etc.

Is there parking near the venue? Parking is another essential aspect for some guests when it comes to events.  Whether your event is small or large, look into the how much available parking there is.  What other methods of transportation are easily accessible?  Is valet parking an option?  Can you get a group rate?

Does the venue offer on-site coordination and planning? If so, what services are included? Many venues have their own experienced  event staff who  are familiar with the venue, tech, and what has worked well for past events..  See what services are included in the overall cost, and what is provided for extra. For example, is the venue able to recommend vendors, suggest floor plans or venue setup, and provide rentals?

Every detail you can gather will make planning an event that much easier. Some of these questions might be answered from an informational packet or through the website, and others by the coordinator or the venue staff directly. Any additional information that can be provided during the site visit should be welcomed and encouraged. If you’re unsure of how the venue might suit your vision, ask to see photos of previous events or sample floor plans. If viewing the included furniture, lighting options, and projection screens is an option, take it.

Information is the key to a successful event.  Do not be afraid to ask any and all questions that you can think of and be sure to challenge the your venue contact to come up with any suggestions or ideas that you may be leaving out.

Checklist: 5 Event Space Amenities Every Venue Should Have


When deciding on a venue, there are many different factors to take into consideration. It can be difficult to decide which event space amenities are most important, and which ones are just nice-to-haves. We have put together a list of 5 amenities we think are essential to make sure that your event is a huge success.

1. Knowledgeable and Committed Venue Staff

The venue’s sales/production staff is your main point of contact leading up to your event. It is important that the venue’s staff has experience and is knowledgeable about the venue capabilities so that they can help guide you in planning your ideal event. A great venue staff will offer suggestions for ways in which to improve your event, as well as anticipate various day-of needs prior to your event.

The venue’s day-of event staff is one of the most important parts to running a flawless event. It is important for a venue to hire courteous and professional staff that routinely work at the venue and have a deep knowledge of the venue facilities and event procedures.

2. Excellent Tech and Tech Support

a)    High speed, reliable Internet access (wired/wireless).

In a time when everyone is connected to devices and social media 24/7, high speed, reliable internet access is a non-negotiable for events. Your event needs reliable internet access to ensure that attendees can remain connected throughout an event, whether it’s checking emails or publicizing the event through social media. Some things to take into consideration:

  • Make sure that the venue’s internet capabilities can support your guests’ connectivity needs. This means ensuring that the venue has sufficient internet bandwidth to support your guest count, and that the internet signal is strong throughout the venue

  • Check that the venue has a backup internet connection in case one of the connections fails during an event.

  • Check that the venue’s internet connection can support specific capabilities you might need for your event. These capabilities could include live streaming your event, running a WebEx, or playing online media during a presentation.

b)    A/V technician assistance pre-event and during the event

Having an A/V technician on site the day of your event is essential for making sure your technical run of show goes smoothly. The tech will be there to mic up presenters, run PowerPoint presentations, and overall make sure that the tech runs seamlessly. If there are any technical issues during your event, you need to be sure that someone will be on site to solve them.

It is also very important to be in touch with the A/V tech pre-event so that she can anticipate your event needs and ensure that the venue is equipped with all of the technology needed for your event. This may include upgrading your internet connection, ensuring an adequate number of microphones for the day of your event, setting up specialty lighting, or testing media files prior to your event.

c)    High quality A/V equipment at the venue

Having high quality A/V equipment at the venue is a huge convenience and can save a lot on technical costs. With a good inventory of A/V equipment on site, you can make last minute technical adjustments the day of the event, whether it’s realizing you need an additional microphone, or adding spotlights on your presenters.

Additionally, it is important that the venue’s A/V equipment is high quality and well maintained. You want to ensure that guests focus on your event content, and not the feedback from a microphone, or a fuzzy, flickering image on the projection screen.

d)    Lighting options


The ability of intentional lighting to transform an event’s look and feel cannot be overstated. Lighting can set the mood for your event, using brighter lighting to promote a more focused, energetic feel, or dimmer lighting to set a more casual mood for a night time event. Lights can also be used to brand your event with company logo gobos, or to wash the walls with a particular color (perhaps your brand’s color).  It is also important that the lighting positioning is flexible so that you can adjust the lighting for your precise event needs.

Lastly, you should make sure that the venue has adequate specialty lights on site to accommodate your event needs. Lights are expensive, so it will help your budget if the venue has sufficient the lighting equipment on site


3. Ability to display indoor and outdoor signage

The ability to display indoor and outdoor signage is important for so many reasons. You should check that the venue has adequate space outside of the venue to display signs, as well as adequate wall space inside of the venue to hang signs. Here are some reasons that signage is so important:

  • Outdoor signage ensures that attendees can find the venue easily. This means that attendees will not be frustrated while searching for the venue, and will arrive on time for the start of the event.

  • Signage provides a great branding opportunity for your company. By having signage outside of the venue, people passing by will see your brand and be aware of your event. Signage indoors will transform the venue into your company’s look and feel, and inspire attendees by making the venue come to life with your company’s mission.

  • Signage will help with press for your event and company. Signage serves as a great backdrop for photos that will be used both in traditional press and social media posts.

 4. Adequately sized and convenient restrooms

A venue should have restrooms that are large enough to accommodate your guest count. Adequately sized are often overlooked until the day of your event when the size of restrooms is too small and there is a long line of people waiting. This creates guest frustration and can also delay your event’s run of show. Additionally, restrooms should be conveniently accessible.

 5. Large enough kitchen area for food prep and dishwashing

It is important for a venue to have enough space in the kitchen to properly prepare and store food. There should be adequate room for multiple staff members to work in the kitchen at one time. Additionally, the kitchen should have a large refrigerator to keep food fresh, and an industrial-sized dishwasher to clean dish-ware throughout the event.

If you are curious about additional event space amenities that can really make your next event come alive be sure to download our eBook: "30 Features an Event Space in New York City Should Have."

Top 5 Features a Great Conference or Meeting Venue Must Have


If you want your event to be a success you simply have to get the meeting venue right. Your attendees will not put up with a poor location, difficult transport or parking and sub-standard technology, regardless of how awesome the event is. Similarly, it will be hard for you to tolerate an amazing event space if the venue staff is non-responsive and lacking in amenities provided. The decisions do not end there. You need to take into account who your specific attendees are, from how far away they might be travelling and how many you are expecting. If you choose a venue that’s too big then your meeting can come across as under-performing, even if turnout is better than expected. Go too small and your attendees will feel uncomfortable and squished. When choosing the venue for your next meeting or conference there is always more to consider than just the budget.

So how do you go about choosing the right venue for your corporate conference or meeting? Below is an excerpt from our eBook, “30 Features an Event Space Should Have in New York City.”

Do not be afraid to ask the following about any potential meeting venue:

1. Location/Accessibility Is the venue in a neighborhood where people will feel comfortable, both safety and atmosphere-wise? Is the venue easily accessible to those attending? Does the location offer the necessary road/rail/air links? Are there places around the venue where guests can take some time to relax or sightsee after the meeting – e.g. restaurants, parks, galleries, landmarks, and other attractions?

2. Technology Does the venue offer wired/wireless, dedicated Wi-Fi sufficient for your meeting needs? Does the venue have in-house A/V equipment including microphones, projectors, speakers, extra computers, and sufficient electrical outlets? Is the venue set-up to live-stream events? Does the venue have a dedicated A/V technician who is familiar with the space and the equipment? Ensuring your event has adequate technology and experienced technicians is extremely important to avoid unwanted disruptions in the flow of your event such as Wi-Fi outages, microphones not working, and issues with projection. Finding out what is included will also determine additional costs for having the correct event tech.

3. Venue Staff Do you have a good feeling when speaking to the staff? Can they answer your questions well and understand or anticipate your needs? Is the staff helpful and knowledgeable even before you’ve booked your event with them? Is the staff willing to make reasonable accommodations? It is crucial to not overlook this as one of the most important elements in choosing a venue, as these are the people you will be working with before, during and after your event.

4. Turn-key Solutions Often just planning speakers and an agenda for your meeting or conference can be overwhelming. Check to make sure that the venue offers amenities and turn-key solutions based on your needs. These may include food and beverage service, staffing, providing rentals or furniture onsite, kitchen space, a/v tech and lighting, etc. Note that some venues will be more inclusive than others. It’s always good to ask the venue to send a comprehensive list of what’s included with the venue rental as there may be more than shows on the estimate.

5. Branding Opportunities Is there street-level signage? How much of the venue can you brand, both inside and out? Can you create an immersive brand experience inside the venue? Does the venue allow you to hang items and post on walls, floor, etc.? How easy is it? Is there a ceiling grid for you to use?

If you have never used the meeting venue that you are considering before, you should take a look at their past client list or ask for a list of their clients, in your specific industry. Always visit the venue personally, if you can, to get an accurate impression of the layout and, very importantly, the attitude of the staff.

The meeting venue you select should help you get the most out of your meeting by adding to the experience of those attending. So take the time to choose carefully. Are you ready to learn more about additional features an event space in New York City should have?

Having Trouble Choosing a Venue for your Next Meeting? Take These Steps.

Essential Steps for Choosing the Right Meeting Venue

As someone organizing a meeting or conference in NYC, your plate is likely already full. Of all the intricate details you need to be aware of as you plan your company’s (or client’s) next event, there are few considerations as important to achieving your goals as deciding on your venue.

The following steps will help ensure the event venue you select will be able to provide you with all you want (and need) on the day of your event:

Step 1: Schedule a Site Visit While pictures speak a thousand words and brochures of event venues list details, nothing can substitute for personally experiencing the space firsthand. Meeting and talking with the person who will be helping you plan and execute your event is essential as you’ll get a taste for their depth of knowledge about their venue and offerings. Take your time walking through the space and pay attention to small details that might have an impact on how you host your event in the space.

Ask yourself or the venue contact the following questions:

  • Is the venue aesthetically pleasing? Is it welcoming?

  • Will the space accommodate the different types of groups or team sessions you are planning?

  • Is there a stage or a place for a platform for speaker(s) or a panel?

  • Can the furniture be moved or re-configured?

  • Is there sufficient and varied lighting?

  • Is the available furniture well maintained?

  • Are there signage opportunities?

  • Where are the restrooms? Are they sufficiently large for your guest count?

  • Is it easy to load things in and out of the venue and for guests to enter and exit?

  • Will the trip to the venue will be convenient for the event attendees?

Step 2: Inquire about Technology at the Venue Whether it’s a meeting, cocktail reception, seminar, or product launch you are planning, make sure the event venue has all the technology you’ll need or if you’ll need to supply your own. Simply asking the Venue salesperson is not always enough, you may also want to ask for a list of tech equipment the venue has on hand. Do they have enough backup microphones? Do they have an electrical outlet floor plan?  If there are any questions the venue salesperson can’t answer, don’t hesitate to have them discuss with their technician to get you the information you need.

Step 3: Discuss Catering Options Catering can vary widely depending on the type of event you’re planning, your attendees, and the length of the event.  After discussing the menu you have in mind, ask the venue staff what they’d recommend based on your event details. Venue staff will have experience with what food presentation and menus have worked best in the past. In fact, most of the packages venues offer will reflect the tried and true needs and desires of clients just like you. If needed, ask whether it’s possible to have menus based on specific needs (e.g. vegetarian, kosher, vegan, etc.). Often flexibility in what a venue can offer signals that their food is made to order, and therefore fresh.