Corporate events are high stakes — your business’s reputation is on the line. Whether you’re planning a product launch or seminar, gala dinner or VIP event, making a great impression is key.  

And it all starts with the venue.

Securing a venue that suits your event needs while wowing your guests can be daunting. To help you get started, we’ve turned to the expert event planners at Venuemob. Here’s a list of essential questions to ask yourself and your venue before you sign the final contract.

Free Download: The Essential Event Planning Venue Checklist

6 questions to about the location and space

1. Is the venue capacity a comfortable event size?

Sometimes the licensed capacity of a venue listed on the proposal is very different from what the venue will suit comfortably. Be sure to ask about the attendance numbers of previous events. Opt for a venue that will comfortably host your expected attendees, and has room for a few more in case of last-minute ticket sales.

2. How many separate spaces do we need?

Look at your event program and determine the number and type of spaces you need. Don’t discount break-out areas, social function spaces, or registration areas. Decide on this before you lock in your venue.

3. What is included in the cost?

The venue hire costs might look right on paper — but what is included in your quote? If you have to factor additional spend for auxiliary costs such as AV, venue styling, use of pre-function spaces, cleanup, etc., you could quickly blow your budget.

4. How far will people need to travel?

How far is your targeted audience going, or willing to travel, to attend your event? If you’re expecting a large contingent from interstate or overseas, picking a venue close to the city or the airport is going to yield a greater number of attendees.

5. Are the dates flexible?

The two biggest factors attached to the date of your event are price, and competing events. Holding your event on a weekend, public holiday, or during peak periods will often cost more. Industries also have “hot” periods, so try to find a cooler period. You don’t want attendees to have to choose between a competing event and yours.

6. What is our targeted revenue?

If working with a third party venue-sourcing service like Venuemob, be upfront about your budget and whether you are looking to cover costs or generate revenue from your ticket price. This will affect the quotes you receive from agents — and your potential options.

6 questions to ask about event logistics

7. How much is AV hire?

Audio-visual (AV) hire is its own separate component, incurring supplementary costs. You can either use in-house AV (which will often still incur additional fees), choose from a list of the venue’s preferred suppliers, or bring in your own. Be aware that you may need to pay a fee to the venue when supplying your own AV.  

8. How much time is allocated for setup/packdown?

What time can you bump in and out? Enquire with the venue as to how much time you’ll have, and whether this is affected by other scheduled events. If you need extra time, the venue may charge a fee.

9. Can I have a copy of the venue floor plan?

When requesting an initial proposal, ask for venue floorplans. This is imperative for corporate events which require booths or space for large items, such as a car. Floorplans will allow you to allocate enough space, and work out how to set up.

10. What transport options are available to staff and guests?

Is there parking on-site? Check if the venue has an affiliation with a car parking station, and offers discounts. Alternatively, check what appropriate public transport options are nearby, or if the venue offers bike parking areas.

11. What are our options for catering?

Unless you’re using a raw space, most venues have catering contracts or charge fees for bringing in other food vendors. Find out what catering the venue can offer, any flexibility around packages, and whether you need to supply any equipment or services yourself.

12. Is there a discount for using multiple venues?

For multi-city events requiring more than one venue, be wary that event pricing is not standard and each property will have their own set of costs. In this instance, opting for an entire group of venues (such as hotel chains) may reduce costs. However, even with a group venue booking you should ensure that your point of contact has communicated your needs to each venue to avoid getting caught with any nasty surprises such extra charges or finding out that certain facilities aren’t available in every city.

3 questions to ask about venue aesthetics

13. Is there enough natural light?

According to Venuemob’s Venue Booking team, this is the most frequently requested feature by corporate event planners. And for good reason – natural light is proven to improve productivity, engagement, and mood. A space with natural light, be it a break-out area, courtyard, or auditorium, could be an important addition to your event if held during the day. Bonus: it’s great for getting quality photos of your event!

14. What branding opportunities are available?

Corporate events such as trade shows and seminars are obviously a great opportunity to spread brand awareness. What branding opportunities are available at the venue? Could you use the venue’s screens? Are you allowed to hang banners, posters or installations? Ensure this is discussed early to avoid endless negotiations down the track.

15. Does the venue suit our brand values?

If you’re planning a sustainability conference or are known for your green initiatives, make sure you book a venue that has a good energy rating. If your event is targeted towards a particular market such as the tech industry, make sure the venue is new and offers cutting-edge facilities to suit your clientele. If it’s important to your customers, they will notice.

Be prepared when visiting venues

Planning a corporate event can be a logistical nightmare, but if you’re organised and follow a checklist, you can ensure all bases are covered. Download one for free here: The Essential Event Planning Venue Checklist

Venuemob and Eventbrite Essential Venue Checklist

Venuemob is the number one spot to find and book the perfect venue for an event. Completely free to use, Venuemob connects you with some of the most renowned, unique and hidden venues in Australia.

A one-stop marketplace for events, Venuemob sends its venue partners over $10 million in events every month, from thousands of event planners right around Australia.