Business events are a great way to build relationships with potential partners, meet investors and network. But making sure your event goes well requires a lot of forethought and planning. There’s nothing worse than a lousy event.
From location to food, there’s much to consider when picking the perfect venue for your event. We asked 9 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
“What is one thing an entrepreneur should NOT overlook when scouting locations for a business event?”
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:
“Having great parking (inexpensive/free/easy to locate/close to the venue/ample amount) kick-starts a positive attitude for your event. The contrary can cause people not to come or to carry a negative attitude into it. Small logistics like this can greatly impact the tone you set for the rest of the event. ” ~ Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids
2. Electronic Capabilities
“Be sure that the venue has all the electronic capabilities you’ll need for your event, such as projectors or monitors, microphones, Internet access and sufficient lighting.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
3. A Good Location
“Like with a new restaurant, the only thing that matters is “location, location, location.” Even if you need to pay more, host your event in a location that’s convenient for your target attendees. The more people who work or live in the area where your event is, the more folks who will actually attend.” ~ Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
4. Alternative Transportation
“Whether you’re in a city with public transportation or one where people drive, make sure you account for how everyone will get there, where they’ll park (if needed) and how that will change with inclement weather. And never underestimate the value of hiring a valet.” ~ Alexis Wolfer, TheBeautyBean.com
5. Quality Sound
“There is nothing more disturbing than not being able to hear your speaker or having mic feedback during an event. Those scenarios are painful for everyone. Ask lots of questions about the sound: Be sure there are adequate speakers and find out if the event destination provides a sound engineer or whether you need to bring your own. It’s important for giving a presentation, a film or having music.” ~ Parker Powers, Millionaire Network
6. Post Event Activities
“The most common practice after leaving a business event is to either continue networking over drinks or to meet someone for a meal before you head home or back to the office. Planning a business event in the proximity of other restaurants, bars and nightlife allows those attending to make plans with fellow attendees or friends before or after the event, thus making their attendance more likely.” ~ Kim Kaupe, ZinePak
7. A Strong WiFi Signal
“These days, events are as much online as they are offline. Your attendees will be connecting with each other on social, liveblogging and taking notes online. Many business events buckle under the weight of so many people online at the same time. Make sure to test the event’s wifi connection and talk to past organizers to make sure the Internet worked for all attendees. ” ~ Laura Roeder, LKR Social Media
8. Control Over Lighting and Sound
“We host large-scale business networking events at NYC restaurants biweekly and found that the number one stressor for attendees is dim lights and loud music. Think about it — when you’re networking, you want it to be well-lit and quiet. Ask a restaurant owner if you’ll have FULL control over these avenues when hosting an evening mixer.” ~ Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union
9. Basic Necessities
“Nothing attracts people to an event more than food. Make sure you have amazing food/any food at all. Restrooms are also something that many people overlook. Make sure your business event has bathrooms accessible to everyone at all times. There’s nothing worse than sitting at an event and having to leave because of no bathroom facility.” ~ John Rampton, Adogy
Event Photo via Shutterstock
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Sound and lights are definitely key to the event going well. Lots of great DIY solutions out there that can cut down on costs but help out you in control of the final look.
One piece not to overlook is the flow. Timing if the event and where people are in the day. Help them help you by creating a program or timeline that doesn’t drag at any given point. Anticipate attendees needs and address them through the timeline or items to help them immediately feel welcomed and relaxed.
You really have to emphasize parking – Well, it may be simple but it is a requirement especially if you are expecting a lot of people. Most newbie event holders forget about this. This is a pretty good guide for launching your first event.
I found this very helpful for people who are hosting and launching their first event. Great guide.
All really great points, especially parking/location/transportation. I’d also add: directions. Very good directions on how to get there. And also perhaps hiring the space for an extra hour to account for potential overrunning and/or space & time for attendees to talk afterwards (additional option re: post event activity).
Pretty much nailed it. Everything looks to be covered here if you’re looking to host your own business events.