When planning an event, picking the right location can be a critical first step. Location is so important that sometimes it is the sole determinant if someone will attend or not attend. For some events, location selection will be limited due to the budget, size of the event, and/or any other one-off needs. Unique spaces can create excitement and be visually pleasing while; traditional spaces (hotels, conference centers) can be cost effective and convenient. Below are a few key questions to think about when deciding on a location.

1.     Space: How many people can the space accommodate? How can the space be setup? What time is the space available? When can the setup/breakdown occur? Where will registration take place? What signage needs will you have? How many different spaces are available at the location? Overall condition of the space (is it clean)? What can be changed or added to the space? Is storage space available?

2.     Food: Does the space have a preferred vendor? What does the menu look like? Can you bring in your own food? Is there a prep station available? Catering staff onsite? Where will the food and bar be located?

3.     Audio Visual/Equipment: Do they have an in-house AV team? Do they have the needed equipment for the event (projector, screens, switchers, podium, microphones) or will you have to rent? Lighting?

4.     Other: Flexibility on overall event needs? Parking? Coatroom? Wi-Fi? Other onsite amenities? Bathroom locations? Staff availability the day of the event? What permits are needed? Payment options? Cancelation policy? Other venue responsibilities?

5.     Cost: What will everything cost? Does it fit within the budget?

It will be important to go on a site visit of each location, even if you have been to the location before. Make sure you ask the hard questions and get the answers you want in writing. Having a space that is flexible is important, but also understand that there will never be a perfect location. Make sure you #createyourownblueprint for every event you do. #blueprintwisco