Team Building & Retreats tips
Update on
13/4/2024

5 Things to Look For In A Venue When Planning Your Offsite

Summary
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Planning a successful offsite event requires careful consideration of various factors, and selecting the right venue is at the top of the list. The venue you choose can significantly impact the overall experience and outcomes of your event. From accessibility to ambiance, amenities to budget, there are five key aspects to keep in mind when searching for the perfect venue. In this article, we'll guide you through these crucial factors to ensure that your offsite event leaves a lasting impression on attendees.

1. Location and Accessibility

Location's Panoramic View


The venue's location should be convenient for all attendees. Consider factors such as proximity to public transportation, airports, and accommodations. Also, ensure that the venue has sufficient parking space if attendees are driving. Accessibility is essential, especially for attendees with mobility challenges.

Tips:

  • Choose a venue near public transportation hubs to make commuting easy.
  • Avoid venues located too far from accommodations; attendees should have convenient options to stay nearby.
  • Avoid venues in areas with heavy traffic or limited parking options.

2. Capacity and Layout

Hotel Room

The venue's capacity should match the number of attendees you expect. Make sure there's enough space for everyone to move comfortably, both in common areas and during any planned activities. The layout should also accommodate your event's needs, such as seating arrangements, presentation areas, breakout rooms, and networking spaces.

Tips:

  • Overestimate the attendance a bit to ensure you have enough room for unexpected guests.
  • Avoid venues that are too small or too large; a cramped space is uncomfortable, while a vast space can feel empty and disconnected.
  • Avoid venues with complex layouts that might confuse attendees and lead to logistical challenges.

3. Amenities and Facilities

Tennis Court Facility

Check if the venue offers the necessary amenities and facilities for your event. This could include audiovisual equipment, high-speed internet, microphones, projectors, and screens. If your event involves meals, confirm that the venue can provide catering services or has an arrangement with nearby catering companies.

Tips:

  • Verify the quality and functionality of provided equipment before the event day.
  • Avoid venues with inadequate or outdated technology, as technical difficulties can disrupt presentations and workshops.
  • Avoid venues that lack essential amenities like restrooms or sufficient power outlets.

4. Atmosphere and Ambiance

Hotel's Relaxing Atmosphere


The venue's ambiance should align with the tone and purpose of your offsite. Consider whether you need a formal or informal setting, a corporate or creative environment, and whether the venue's aesthetics match your event's theme. The right atmosphere can significantly enhance attendee engagement and overall experience.

Tips:

  • Use lighting strategically to create the desired atmosphere.
  • Avoid venues with conflicting aesthetics that don't match your event's theme or purpose.
  • Avoid overly sterile or bland spaces that might not inspire engagement or creativity.

5. Budget and Cost

Hotel Meeting Room

Your budget will play a crucial role in choosing a venue. Make sure to account for the venue rental fee, any additional charges for services, catering costs (if applicable), and any potential hidden fees. Be transparent with the venue about your budget constraints to avoid surprises later on.

Tips:

  • Negotiate to see if the venue can provide any discounts or extra services within your budget.
  • Avoid venues with strict cancellation policies; unexpected changes could lead to financial loss.
  • Avoid venues that require you to use their in-house services exclusively, which can limit your options and inflate costs.

Bonus Tip

Feedback and Reputation:

Research the venue's reputation by reading reviews from previous clients. This can provide insights into the venue's strengths and potential shortcomings. Additionally, ask the venue for references and reach out to other event organizers who have used the venue in the past to gather firsthand feedback.

Tips:

  • Contact previous event organizers to gather insights on the venue's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Avoid venues with consistently negative reviews, as this might be indicative of ongoing issues.
  • Avoid venues that are unwilling to provide references or share client feedback.

Remember that selecting the right venue involves careful consideration of these factors to ensure a seamless and successful offsite event. It's also a good idea to visit potential venues in person to get a better sense of the space and its suitability for your event's specific requirements.

About the author
Thomas Mazimann
Update on
13/4/2024
Thomas Mazimann, a French entrepreneur and former international kayaking athlete, transitioned from sports to tech after moving to the U.S. He co-founded TeamOut, revolutionizing team gatherings.

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