Organising an event is often a daunting prospect, particularly if you’re doing it for the first time, and choosing an event venue is the big decision that lies at the heart of how successful your event will be. Fortunately, we’ve had plenty of experience with organising and hosting events here at Central Hall Westminster and we’ve rounded up some of the top things we think you need to consider when choosing an event venue for yourself.
Dates and Location
One of the first considerations that you need to have in mind are your preferred dates and the location of your event.
No matter where you’re holding your event, there will likely be other events looking at similar times, so looking to secure your venue well ahead of time is essential. You’ll want to be firming up your venue choice with enough time to also plan your other important activities out (event marketing, catering, speakers and so on). As a general rule of thumb the larger the event the further out you will want to secure your space.
Your ideal location will depend on your guests and you really need to look at this from their viewpoint. Excellent transport links are a must as this can really sway the decision of attendees on whether your event is worth making the trip. Similarly, if you know you are likely to have a lot of delegates travelling by car looking for a venue with parking is an important option. For big multi-day events it’s very important to consider where your guests will be staying which means understanding whether or not a venue also has local hotels or other accommodation available.
With your dates and a general location in mind you’ll then want to be considering your event budget. Map out your costs for all components of your event as accurately as you can and you’ll have a good idea for what flexibility you have with your venue choice and other elements of your event. This will help you better judge where you can and can’t afford to compromise on your event preparations.
One of the defining elements of choosing a venue is the number of attendees who will be at your event, so you need to have a ballpark number in mind before you start enquiring about anywhere. It’s also important to consider what sort of event you’re hosting and what seating layout will best serve that. While a room might comfortably host 100 for a drinks reception if you’re looking to do the same numbers for an awards ceremony with a cabaret seating layout you will be needing far more space due to tables & chairs, staging and the need for guests and staff alike to be able to get in and out as required.
Does the venue fit the event?
It’s essential that that the look and feel of a venue works for you and your event. A blank canvas showroom may be the right size for your event but if you’re running a celebratory dinner you may want the impact that a venue with more history and character has to offer.
You’ll also want to be certain that the facilities on site cater properly for the type of event you run – a beautiful old heritage site might look the part but could fall down on the implementation of modern AV. Fortunately here at Central Hall Westminster we have some of the most advanced AV tech in London.
Most venues will have ample opportunities for branding and promoting any event sponsors that you have but it’s not a given. Be sure to check ahead of time whether or not they can cater for your requirements here.
It’s also worth considering whether a venue matches the ethos of the event your running – be that on behalf of a brand or for private clients. Here at Central Hall Westminster we are committed to strong moral and ethical principles and 100% of our profits go towards supporting local charities and other initiatives in the Westminster area.
Make sure to find out exactly what the venue offers you from a service point of view. That means knowing how the staffing works, what AV options are available, how available the venue are to help you with arranging extras, whether they have on-site catering or whether you need to arrange your own and so on.
Events at CHW
Our team has years of experience putting on amazing events so if you’ve got any questions or wish to find out about holding your event at Central Hall Westminster then please do get in touch.