Finding the Right Setting for a Corporate Event

Hosting a corporate event in the Greater Washington DC and Virginia area comes with its fair of challenges. It’s certainly not the same as planning a wedding or family party.

The audience is different. The atmosphere you’re hoping to create is different. And your goals for a corporate event are certainly nothing like your goals or expectations for a more intimate celebration.

And while there are many factors at play when hosting a corporate event, one of the most important — and first — steps you must take is choosing the right venue.

But what, exactly, is the right venue?

There are a few key factors you should always consider when choosing the venue for your corporate event:

- You should have a rough estimate of how many people will be in attendance.
- You should know whether you need any special accommodations.
- Find out how long you’ll need the space for (and include the time it takes to set up and break down).
- What kind of AV needs do you have? Will you need surround-sound speakers? Will you need a screen or large, blank wall? Do you need rooms with plenty of outlets?

With these questions in mind, it’s now time to investigate some of your possible venue options. Here in the Metro DC area, you’re fortunate to have plenty of venue options to choose from. However, keep in mind that DC is home to a lot of businesses and government entities. You can be certain that many venues are booked well in advance.

One of your best bets for finding potential venues for your corporate event in Washington DC is to find a company — like an event entertainment agency — that has close relationships with the venues in town.

Not only will this increase your chances of finding a venue that fits your needs and is available, but you might actually get a discount!

As you seek out your possible venue options, keep these 8 things at the forefront of your mind:
 
The Cost

You obviously have a specific budget for your event. Keep in mind that the cost of the venue is just one area of your budget to consider. You’ll also have to consider food, beverages, and entertainment.

The Location

Where are all your guests coming from? Are they coming from out of town, or are they all local? For out-of-towners, it might make sense to find a venue near the airport, or close to a travel-destination area in the city (so that they can get the most out of their trip).

The Ambiance

When you start visiting possible venues, keep your eye on the existing décor in each venue, as well as the architecture. Each event is designed to inspire and captivate your specific audience. Does your potential venue do the job well?

Amenities

Do you need a venue that has a kitchen? Is there a setup/clean-up crew? Does your venue have tables, chairs and linens that you can (and want to) use? And, very importantly, what kind of AV capabilities does your potential venue have? Do you need to bring your own equipment, extension cords and more?

Capacity and Minimums

If you followed our advice above, then you should already know how many attendees you’ll have. Now you need to know the venue’s room capacity, not only to ensure your venue can fit your guests comfortably, but also because there are strict fire and safety codes the venue has to abide by.

Also, are there any food and beverage minimums you should be aware of? If so, get this information in writing.

Parking

Do you need parking for your event? If so, find out if the venue has a lot or valet parking. Not every venue has a lot; if a venue you’re eyeing does not, find out if there are nearby lots that attendees can have access to.

Insurance

There are many venues that actually won’t do business with you unless you have liability insurance. Typically, you can ask your general liability insurance agent for an endorsement for your event. But start and plan early as this process can take some time.

Acoustics

Ah, and we finally come to the acoustics, a huge factor in whether your event is a hit, or a big flop. Have you ever been to an event where the speakers’ volume was so loud it was nearly impossible to hear? That’s because of poor acoustics.

Think of this: small, low-ceilinged venues may seem cozy, but can make your event extremely loud. A warehouse-like venue may result in large reverberation, so that your speakers sound like the teachers in a Peanuts cartoon.

You can discover more about the acoustics of your venue by:

- Asking to talk to past businesses that held an event there and get their reviews.
- Working with an event agency that knows this kind of information about the venues across the region.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing your event’s venue. However, if you take the above into consideration when doing your research, you’ll find the perfect venue for your event.

Once you do, it’s time to choose the right lighting, sound, and entertainment. See what Planet DJ Productions can do for you to help your corporate event become the hit of the year.

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