Selecting your Venue
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Choosing the right venue for your sporting event is a huge decision which will influence the overall success of the event.
An inappropriate venue can cause many problems, such as overcrowding, insufficient access or limited visibility. You will need to visit your venue before you book it and ensure it is the right fit for your event. Here are a few things you should be looking out for when you visit the venue.
One of the first considerations for any event organiser is the capacity of the venue. You may have an idea already of the size of your audience, whether you are organising quite a niche sporting event with a small audience or a larger scale event with a large audience. You may want to ensure you can maximise ticket sales and therefore need a large capacity venue, or you may be looking to host an exclusive event for a limited number of people, therefore requiring a smaller capacity to ensure the venue does not feel empty.
The location of your event venue may be the deciding factor for many potential attendees as to whether they buy a ticket or not, so choose wisely. If there is an area where your event will be particularly popular due to a high density of people who are interested in the sport your event in hosting, try to find a venue within that area. You should choose a safe area where attendees will feel comfortable with easy access and limited travel times. Consider public transport routes; are there bus stops, train stations or airports nearby?
Another key issue that can cause problems on the day of the event if it has not been considered is parking. Parking is something which should be considered when you are thinking about the events capacity; if there is a capacity of 2,000 people, is there ample parking to accommodate for this? Or are you expecting attendees to travel by public transport? Is there disabled parking access? You will also want to ensure there is enough parking for the event organisers and sporting participants on the day too.
Your event will require more facilities than just an area for the sport to take place and seating for the audience. You need to contemplate the needs and wants of your audience. The first and most obvious facility to look out for is toilets. Are there enough toilets for the size of your audience? Are they appropriately placed throughout the venue? You also need to discover whether the venue has facilities for food and drinking water, as well as shaded areas and Wi-Fi access which may be essential for any presentations or social media campaigns you may be running.
Layout & Design
Your venue should go beyond just being a practical place to host your event, it should be aesthetically pleasing too. When looking at the design of your venue, consider whether it is well suited to your audience or not. A modern style may go down well with a young audience and a vintage style may sit better with an older audience. The layout is just as important as you need to consider the events of the day and how easy it will be to get your attendees from one area of the venue to another.
Accessing the venue may be difficult for some of your attendees, whether they be elderly or disabled. This is why you need to ensure there are appropriate ways and means for them to access the building. This will include checking that there is disabled parking near the entrance of the venue, ramps for wheelchair access, lifts for accessing other floors in the building, disabled toilets and possibly even disabled seating areas.
Some sporting events, such as tennis, can be more enjoyable for the audience if they can hear what is happening, such as the umpire shouting ‘OUT!’ That is why it is important to check the acoustics of the venue. Can the people on the back row hear what is happening? Is there an irritating echo throughout the venue? Getting the acoustics right will add to the overall success of the event.
An important factor which many event organisers overlook is whether or not their venue has its own insurance and whether that insurance will apply to their event. Insurance is particularly important at sporting events due to the potentially high risk nature of the events themselves, therefore added insurance may be required in order to keep yourself fully covered. At Event Insurance Services, we are able to offer a wide range of sporting event insurance policies to meet your needs.
Always keep convenience in mind when selecting a venue. People are more likely to attend if the venue is in a good location, easily accessible and has all the facilities they need.
Did You Know?
- According to a survey conducted by Eventbrite, the top three factors that event organisers looked for in a venue were location, cost and flexibility of space.
- In the same survey, respondents were asked what one product or service a venue could offer them to improve their experience of working with them, to which 26% of respondents said faster response times and better customer service, closely followed by 25% saying free Wi-Fi.
- Around 49% of event planners use the internet as their primary way of finding an event venue.