Ten Important Factors When Conducting a Site Survey for Your Event
Your event could make or break your business. It’s important that you have everything you need, where you need it, and when you need it. Conducting a proper site survey prior to the event is essential to your success. The following are ten things that you need to take a look at, prior to choosing a venue for the occasion.
Does the venue have the capacity to accommodate all the individuals who will attend your event? Remember to take seating arrangements into consideration. Will you run chairs around the room? Will buffet tables line the room? Will individuals actually sit at the tables? Take measurements of the area to be sure that you will have enough space for tables, chairs, and anything else that will be set up in the room. Be sure to include plenty of room to walk between rows of tables or chairs, as well as plenty of elbow room between seats.
Something else to keep in mind when looking at the space of the venue is that you will need an area for your equipment. Staging and projection are essential to your presentation, and you should include measurements for those as well.
Depending on the type and amount of equipment that you use, you may need special accommodations when it comes to electricity. Will the venue be able to support the amount of outlets you will need? What about the type of power receptacles you need? If you are producing a simple breakout session, there is a good chance that the venue can handle your electrical needs. However, if your event will rival a Pink Floyd spectacular, special arrangements will need to be made to ensure your audience isn’t left in the dark.
When you load your equipment in and out of the venue, will you have the right accessibility? Is there a dock where you can easily and carefully transport heavy equipment? Are the doors big enough for your staff to safely get everything into the venue? You will also need to make sure there will be someone at the venue at the time that you arrive to set up, in order to have access to the building.
Internet access is a big factor that most attendees will expect. Not just any internet, but Wi-Fi. Not only will those attendees use the connection for personal use, they will more than likely build awareness for your business through social media while they are at the event. What’s more is that you can have interactive presentations with your audience through a Wi-Fi connection.
Your event may be held at a large hotel, which could provide lodging for some of your guests. The truth is that if it is a large enough event in a popular enough city, you will need additional hotels that are near the location of the event. This ensures that every one of your attendees has a place to stay while they are in town. Check to see how many other hotels or other lodging possibilities are in the area.
While many individuals will already have access to the hotel parking, there are always some who will need a place to park. Whether they are driving to and from the event each day from a long distance, or just across town, be sure your event is near parking garages and lots that allow individuals to park for an entire day. If not, check to see if the venue provides valet parking for guests of your event.
The height of the ceiling inside the venue is something that is often overlooked. When you conduct a site survey, take your audio/visual experts with you. Allow them to have a look at the ceiling in order to determine whether or not it will work with what you have planned in regards to lighting, projection, and sound.
While some events may include one or more meals, it is always nice to have the event close to multiple options for dining. Sometimes you can find a venue complete with restaurants, and other times, your venue might be on a street with many options. Either way, ensure that your attendees will have options when choosing where to dine while they are in town.
Perhaps one of the most important parts of finding the perfect venue is ensuring that you are following local codes. Check with the Fire Marshall to see if the venue is allowed to hold the amount of guests you plan to have attend your event. It would be awful to have individuals show up and get turned away because of fire code restrictions.
Another important aspect to take a look at is labor laws. It is essential that you know the labor laws concerning the venue you are planning to have your event at. For example, if the area gets managed by union labor, you need to make sure you know their practices so that you can follow all the rules and budget accordingly.
It’s easy to have a successful event at an amazing venue. A proper site survey with all of your key players is the best way to get started. Leave nothing to chance. Do your homework and produce the event that your client deserves.
While this list is certainly a good starting point, it is not complete. Only you will know what your needs are. I encourage anyone to add additional points in the comments section below.
Jeff Kirk serves as Chief Operating Officer for Corporate Magic, Inc., a world-class event production and message development company specializing in one-of-a-kind projects. Known as an innovative marketing strategist with a keen understanding of the role digital content and technology can play in building brand preference, Jeff brings nearly two decades of experience to his leadership role at Corporate Magic. In addition to managing the company’s day-to-day operations, Jeff is in the process of forming strategic alliances and recently spearheaded Corporate Magic’s entry into global markets. In mid-2015, the Dallas-based company will be producing the Salvation Army’s 150th International Congress at London’s O2 Arena.