Original eventsecrets.com Article
For many people, planning their first outdoor event can be very daunting. One of the most important aspects is choosing the right venue for your event.
- One of the first things you should do when looking for a venue for an outdoor event is to give yourself enough time to find it. You should aim to find a suitable venue with at least a year to go before your proposed date. This will help you to see the venue in action (when other events are being held there) and will also help to ensure availability – ie that there are no other events taking place on the dates that you have chosen.
- When looking at a venue, think about the venues that are using by similar or competing events. It might not be a good idea to try to use the exact same venue, but it will give you some ideas in what you need to look for when conducting a site visit.
- The location of your venue will be quite important – it will need to be well known enough that people will know how to get there, but not so famous that it is very expensive or never available because too many other events take place there
- When thinking about location, think about the type of audience you will have. If the majority of them are based in the south of England, it would be sensible to hold your event in that area. If you are trying to attract a large group of people who don’t drive – then don’t hold your event in the middle of nowhere!
- The venue has to be suitable for the type of event you are planning to hold, as well as the type of audience or the time of year. For example, it would be no good trying to hold a Christmas fair, in the middle of winter in an open air venue – it will be just too cold – or trying to hold a rock concert near to a large residential area – it will affect the neighbours too much.
- Venues have improved greatly over the last few years, with many investing in roadways, power distribution, water course and phone lines. Although there are still venues which are just an empty field, larger event venues have moved with the times, and now come full of useful infrastructure. Word of Warning! – when you are signing the contract, make sure that you know exactly what you are getting for your money – and if you are only allowed to use approved (and often expensive) contractors on site.
- Going one step further, many venues have now invested in permanent venues, ticket offices, boundary fences, car parks and toilet blocks. Although this may make the venue more expensive to hire, you should weigh up the costs (and the time) it would take to bring in contractors and infrastructure for each of these services.
- When looking at your venue, you should make sure that it is accessible by all of your contractors. If you are bringing in marquees, staging, big tops, funfairs or other large equipment, your contractors will want to bring in all sorts of large vehicles – from 3.5 tonne vans, to 45ft artic trailers and heavy plant – so make sure that they can get in through the gate – and that they won’t sink into the grass.
- Another thing to consider is the access and egress for the customers of your event. if you are expecting many people to attend your event, you should ensure that the local roadways can cope with the influx of people, that the on site routes are clearly marked, and that the car parks are big enough. You should also ensure that foot traffic and vehicles are kept apart as best as possible to avoid any possible injuries.
- Finally, when looking for a venue, you should think long term. Make sure that they venue that you choose can cope with the growth of your event over the next few years – the last thing you want to do is to move your event every year or so – people will become accustomed to its location – and this will become part of the marketing of event – ie people learn to remember where the event is!
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