It is necessary to ask many questions about what sort of venue is needed. Here are just a few of the questions that should be considered.
In a large metropolitan area there may be a great variety of venues from which to choose. However, outside of the metropolitan areas choice may be extremely limited.
On the assumption that your organisation does not own and operate a perfect venue for their event, event organisers should research possible venues by:
All information, even subjective comments, found as a result of researching venues should be retained for future use. Event managers should create their own database.
Once some possible venues have been identified, it is important to make a site visit.
Venue staff are usually only too pleased to show prospective customer's
around. The purpose a site visit is to determine the suitability
of the venue. The table below identifies and explains five facets
Equipment has been left out of the above list. Organisations booking venues can be reasonably expected to supply and transport to the venue the equipment that their event needs. Some exceptions to this rule may be items related to popular indoor sports such as basketball hoops and backboards, indoor soccer goals, volleyball nets, etc. However this may only apply if the venue being sought is an indoor sports centre. Clearly if a cultural venue such as a theater is being sought for a sport such as Olympic Weightlifting, venue managers cannot be expected to provide equipment.
Once you have identified some possibly suitable venues, your next step is to enter into negotiations with venue managers to get the best possible deal that you can. Although venue managers will have standard prices you should not think there is no chance of bargaining the price down, or alternatively, bargaining for extra services.
If it proves to be difficult to get a reduced hourly rate, you may be able to get some free time, or use of an additional part of the facility free, or obtain access to sound equipment at no cost, or even get some additional personnel at a reduced price e.g. security.
When you have selected which venue is the best for your event, it is time to make a booking. Although the venue will take a booking over the phone, it is likely that you will be sent within a few days a contract that states:
After you have signed and returned the contract together with a cheque deposit, you should never assume that your booking is safe and forget about it until the last week before the event. It is well worth your while to keep lines of communication open with the venue manager and to keep checking that you booking is safe (i.e. does not get double booked).
The purpose of making further site visits is to assure yourself that nothing has changed, or at least that any changes that do occur will not affect your event. Changes that could occur include lighting, fixtures removed, equipment and decor.
Further site visits are useful also to plan your event e.g. shipping in equipment.