How to pick an event location
Location, Location, Location it always pays to ensure you choose the right location for your event. From a networking party, a small get together of industry cohorts, to large scale conferences and jaw dropping expos, location is always key!
If we take business events it is well known that if you pick the wrong venue for a show it can have a seriously detrimental effect on your show. But what about other factors such as: city, transport links, floorplan, hotels, weather, currency – all affected by location. We take a brief look at what to check location wise when planning your event.
- Choosing the right city or country to hold your event
Often events are chosen because of the geographical nature of the event topic/theme in question. However, this doesn’t need to be the case at all. We live in a truly globalized society where it wouldn’t be out of place to hold to be creative with an event location. Of course picking a show focusing on healthcare in northern Europe and placing it in S.Africa would probably be a disaster. But that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t host the show in say Barcelona instead to take advantage of the great weather, transport links, cheaper event venues and overall fun city.
If someone is to travel for a 2 day event it is very common for them to extend their trip by at least one day in order to take advantage of the host city. Therefore, make it a fun city, one which would allow the attendees to soak up the culture and enjoy themselves outside of work. As like it or not, business events can often be a glorified holiday for some.
- Hotels and Amenities
Do the research on the local hotels, bed and breakfast, restaurants and entertainment. Make sure you fully check the local event calendar to ensure there aren’t any other large scale events on at the same time. If you’re trying to book a hotel for a conference at the same time as the Singapore Grand Prix, trying to get a taxi when OTC Oil is on in Houston or find a room in London during the defence shows then you will struggle! Plan ahead and make sure that you partner with local hotels and that you have a range of available rooms for guests to book at different hotels
Ensure that the city in question actually has enough good quality hotels for your event guests. It’s well known that certain cities do not have a plethora of good rooms at reasonable prices. Do your homework and check your city actually has somewhere worth staying
After the location comes the climate. Planning an expo in December in Glasgow, July in Dubai or typhoon season in Manila can cause serious issues. Make sure that it’s still a great time of year for a trip to the host city. Check the weather issues, could a typhoon mean that airports could be closed? Could a heat wave mean that no one wants to go outside? Could it be peak season with holiday makers and mean that the city could be somewhat unbearable? Plan around tourist season and check whether your location is the right climate over your event dates.
Currency fluctuations can often be easily forgotten by mistake, but they play one of the biggest factor in whether attendees will come to your show. The currency markets can be volatile at times. You must bare these in mind. It may be cheap for you to go to said location, but where are the bulk of your attendees coming from? Can they afford to go there? Take the issues with the Russian Rouble over 2015. The currency value has halved and event organisers across the CIS, Middle East and Europe have all noted a more muted attendance from Russian companies as a result.