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.