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What Are the Different Types of Venues?

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You've finished the first steps of planning your event — you know your audience, timeline, and budget, and your team is assembled and ready. Now it's time to start looking for a venue.

This guide will take you through how your event will influence your venue choice, the different types of venues for events, and how to make your final choice.

What Does Your Event Look Like?

Your options are nearly limitless when it comes to places to hold events. The best way to narrow down your options is to consider what will fulfill your requirements while matching the tone of your event.

If you're planning an industry conference, should your venue be a museum or a hotel? Different types of venues suit different types of events, and it's essential to choose one that offers the best fit for you. When you're choosing an event venue, look for one that matches your:

  • Event objective: Before you can begin planning the details of your event, you need to understand its purpose. Are you planning a conference? Do you need a venue for entertaining important clients? Are you planning a team-building event or employee reception? Knowing what function the event serves and what goals you hope to accomplish will help you choose an appropriate location.
  • Number of attendees: Be sure to consider the size of your event when choosing your venue. If you're planning a large event like a convention or exhibition, all your attendees must be able to navigate the space comfortably. On the other hand, if you're putting together a micro event, you may find that less is more — choosing a venue with more space than you need can create the illusion of sparse attendance.
  • Budget: The venues you consider may include different services in their pricing. You may see some crossover from other areas of your budget if a venue includes audio-visual equipment, tech support, or on-site catering.
  • Logistics: Consider your attendees' needs and your own when choosing your venue. Attendees will need a way to get there and overnight lodgings for multi-day events. You'll need to consider any staffing and technical needs your event may have. Ensure your chosen venue either has the means to meet these needs or can accommodate them as part of your event.
  • Theme: Choosing a unique theme for your event can inspire the attendees and help you narrow down your venue choices. For example, a botanical garden is an excellent fit for “A Midsummer Night's Dream” theme, while a historic mansion is perfect for a murder mystery-themed event. Make sure to choose a venue that enhances whatever theme you've chosen.
  • Formality: Will your event be formal or casual? While it's possible to dress a venue up or down, you should try to choose one that suits your event as-is.

What Are the Different Types of Event Venues?

Any space that fills the requirements above can be a suitable venue. However, as some are more common event venues than others, they may be set up to accommodate your event more easily. Review this list of venue examples to see if one sounds right for you.

Hotels

Hotels are a great choice for multi-day events like conferences, exhibitions, and conventions. As part of the hospitality industry, they already have the framework to handle many of your event's logistics. They include on-site lodging to save your attendees on travel time, and they often have food and drink available on the premises. 

If you're planning a smaller event, four- and five-star hotels also frequently have ballrooms, restaurants, or conference rooms available to rent.

Conference Centers

If your event is especially large, you might consider booking a conference center.

Usually located in or near city centers, these venues provide large amounts of space near a range of amenities. You'll typically find conference centers with food and lodging either attached or nearby. They also frequently include high-speed Wi-Fi and built-in technology like projectors, speakers, and microphones.

Restaurants

A restaurant makes a wonderful event venue for hosting employee events or entertaining clients. With a broad spectrum of food options and price points, restaurants are suitable for everything from casual team-building happy hours to black-tie charity events.

Depending on the size of your party, you can often rent anything from a private room to the entire restaurant. With the food, drink, and meal logistics covered, you can focus your budget and attention on the rest of your event.

Galleries and Museums

Do you want a unique event venue that adds a touch of refinement? Consider an art gallery or museum.

The more unusual the venue is, the more memorable the event will be for your attendees. Art galleries make ideal settings for holiday or milestone parties, giving employees a change of scenery and the chance to take in some culture while they celebrate. An art, science, or natural history museum can serve as an impressive backdrop if you're planning a product launch.

Botanical Gardens

Another memorable location, botanical gardens offer incredible flexibility in size and space. 

The open grounds offer fundraisers and customer appreciation parties plenty of space to spread out, while the vibrant plant life creates a sense of intimacy for smaller events. A botanical garden is also a perfect fit for a sustainable corporate event. If the weather is a concern, arboretums offer an indoor option that still lets your event bask in the beauty of the natural world.

Raw Event Spaces

If you want to hold a truly memorable event, consider choosing a raw space. Raw event spaces are blank canvases. They can take many forms, from an empty warehouse to a vacant lot. 

Raw venues often don't have much in the way of amenities, meaning you'll need to bring in your own furniture, food, and maybe even electrical power. If you want to have full control over event planning and details, a raw event space can provide the ideal background for a unique conference or convention. 

How Do I Choose a Venue?

Once you have an idea of what your event will look like, make a short list of your favorite potential venues. Investigate these choices further, asking the necessary questions and weighing the pros and cons of all your options. 

Some of the areas that can help you decide if a venue is in the running include:

  • Pricing: Ensure you know everything that is — and isn't — included in the pricing. Go over the details with the venue's representative to ensure you understand exactly what you'll be paying for.
  • Floor space and layout: Get a copy of the venue's floor plan to review the size, setup, and floor space. Check that the capacity limit for individual areas and the venue as a whole is sufficient for your event. If you're planning to use outdoor space, be sure to ask if it will be open and available.
  • Location and accessibility: You want to make it as easy as possible for the attendees to reach your event. If the venue is in a central urban area, review how close it is to transportation like bus or subway lines. If attendees will need to park their cars, find out if the venue offers on-site parking or if they can help you set up nearly reserved parking or alternate transportation.
  • Lodging and accommodations: For overnight or multiday events, verify that the venue includes lodging or is near appropriate accommodations.
  • Staffing: Be sure to ask the venue coordinator if they will provide staff for your event. If so, you should know how many people that includes and what they'll be able to assist with.
  • Restrictions: Some venues limit what they allow as part of renting their space. Discovering whether or not a venue permits alcohol, decorating, or outside catering may help solidify your decision.

Find Your Perfect Venue With The Vendry

When you join The Vendry, you're joining a community of event professionals. You can join conversations on our discussion forums, attend our weekly networking events, and browse our event gallery for inspiration.

Have a position to fill? Members can post their jobs, search our marketplace, or post a proposal for free!

Join our community today to start making the connections you need.

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