The JET Event Blog

How to choose where to host an event (part 1)


Tuesday, 25 February 2020
How to choose where to host an event (part 1)

What should you consider when choosing where to host your exhibition or trade show?

Think big, start small. Completing the ‘1,000-piece large trade show puzzle’ cannot be possible in one sitting. The duty and responsibility of an event organiser can at times feel incomprehensible and daunting, albeit exciting. ‘Who is on the invite list?’ ‘Will the event be accessible?’ ‘How can I provide the entertainment?’ ‘What do I wear on the day?’ Ahh, it’s a minefield, right? All these questions and more can force us to press the panic button, but just hold your breath.

The first and only question you need to be asking right now is… WHERE?

Granted, that question can lead to many answers such as ‘London’, ‘a place that accommodates thousands’, ‘somewhere affordable’ or ‘close to a train station’. Therefore, we have compiled all the key aspects of what you need to consider before choosing where you need to host your trade show.

Setting a budget for your exhibition or trade show

A wise decision would be to learn what your given budget is before looking into the other factors of your trade show destination. Planning everything that caters to your desires would soon be a huge sucker-punch when it dawns on you that you have overspent on outstanding venues, or not-so-spectacular venues during peak times, for example. You need to know your budget, and obtain the best venue within your financial restrictions.

When analysing your budget, be aware that the venue may be the largest chunk, but it’s by no means everything. Other costs will need to be factored in, so don’t go overboard on the venue until you have quickly estimated potential future spending. Another thing to ponder is that some venues provide free marketing services too which can be extremely beneficial, and will help you further down the line.

Choosing the location for your exhibition or trade show

Deciding where to host a trade show geographically can be downright difficult and not for the reasons you may initially think. Chances are, people expected to come are from all areas of the country, and potentially from all corners of the globe, but selecting an appropriate and fair location for all guests isn’t the real issue.

If the event has a big draw to it, other businesses and personnel won’t be hindered by the distance or logistics, and as long as it is reachable, they will come. Instead, location can be difficult to decide when working with your budget.

For obvious reasons, venues in London may be idealistic, but can cost a fair bit. If knowing that putting the event in London is certainly going to ramp up the number of attendees, then that’s a decision you will want to take. Therefore, you have a dilemma on your hands, and you should research relentlessly on all possible and ideal locations, weigh them up, and decide from there. Which cities/towns have a connection to your industry? Which cities/towns are within your budget? Does the city/town have flexible and adaptable venues for your needs?

Checking the capacity and layout of the venue for your exhibition or trade show

Find out a rough figure of people attending the event, then select a venue that can accommodate for an even bigger demand. ‘Why?’ Well, you’ll want to avoid the worst case scenario of picking a place where space is somewhat limited, consequently having a cramped and overcrowded event on your hands. That’ll displease everyone. Guests need to be comfortable, and not just in terms of having enough seats, but also the physical size of the venue is also critical. You may not just need extra chairs, but instead, extra space, height, width, for an all-round satisfying experience for visitors. This is where the layout comes into play.

The venue may have the same capacity, but the layout can be adjusted to make the most of the space. Each layout will have a different amount of rooms, booths, halls, seating arrangements and more. You’ll need to ask yourself what type of venue do you need. A large and spacious one? Ability to roam freely? Or Cosy? Paint a picture in your mind on how you envisage the event, and then try to match it with the perfect venue that would best accommodate you.  

That's just half of the things to consider when planning where to hold your event. We'll have the rest next month.

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