Before You Start Your Venue Search, Know Your Event!

As a unique meeting venue focused on the corporate meeting & events market, we keep an eye on our competition. 

We do it to stay on top of what’s out there in the Burnaby and Vancouver area, but also to understand what makes our competitors unique and see what they have to offer. There is a plethora of available venues, and it seems that every business with excess room wants to offer their space for rent. From cocktail receptions to corporate meetings, the number of venue options can be overwhelming.

But when it really comes down to it, only a few spaces may be able to accommodate all of the specific needs your event has. Often event organizers fall in love with a space based on appearance, only to find that it doesn’t fit the needs of their event. They’re left trying to force a “square peg into a round hole”. 

How much space do you need?

Planning a training session or business meeting for 50? 

Consider that if you require tables and chairs for 50, plus a registration area, space for the trainer & A/V equipment, plus food & beverage set up, you will need significantly more space than say, a cocktail party for 50. 

If you are hosting a private party, do you need kitchen facilities? Many unique venues don’t have them, so make sure the venue has a separate space for caterers to set up a “pop-up” kitchen. There is no standard for venue equipment and facility offerings, so make sure you know what your event requires before your search.

Does the venue rent space only, or is it full service?

Some venues, like community centres and galleries, only rent space. This means that you will need to manage every element of the event including planning and managing guest lists, renting china and glassware, renting furniture, arranging the catering, staffing and logistics, setting up, executing, and tearing down your entire event. 

To the uninitiated, this can become a huge amount of planning, effort, and stress. If you do not have the time or the resources to do everything yourself, make sure that you choose a venue that can provide planning and execution services. It will be less expensive, time consuming, and definitely less stressful in the long run.

How much time do you need?

Some venues charge by the hour, and others by set hour blocks (ex. four or eight hours). Others may only be available during certain hours (evenings or only during standard business hours). 

If you are hosting a one-hour evening meeting, not every venue will be able to accommodate you. In addition to the amount of time for your actual event, how much set up and tear down time do you need? The cost of space is typically based on the total amount of you need, not just the duration of the event itself.

If you need significant set up time or require to set up a day prior, you will need to ask the venue if they can accommodate this, and if there is an additional charge.

What elements do you need for your event?

Do you need seating for 200? Do you want a bar area for a cocktail reception? Do you need tables for a gala dinner? Do you need A/V equipment for a presentation?   

When searching for a venue, make sure you know what space, amenities, and equipment you would prefer to have on site. If you choose a venue that cannot accommodate the requirements of your event, you will need to have the budget to arrange these things to be brought on site. If not, your search may be more limited.   

Make sure these factors are discussed at the beginning of your investigation.

How accessible do you need the venue to be?

A venue’s accessibility is not just limited to a physical geographic location. 

When considering what kind of venue you need, ask yourself:

  • Do you need ample, cost efficient, and safe parking around the building?
  • Is the building locked or do guests need directions or instructions to access the space?
  • Is there an elevator, or are there only stairs?
  • Is the building wheelchair accessible?
  • Is it easy to get to by public transit?

If you have guests with physical limitations, you will need to accommodate them. Similarly, if your catering and rental items have to be brought in you will need a venue that is either ground level or has an elevator for easy transport into, and out of, the building.

Are you looking for a full-service, unique venue outside of the downtown core, close to North Vancouver, Burnaby and all cities along Highway 1 that is fully accessible, has free parking, ample space for small to mid-size meetings and events, and comes with a museum housing Canada’s largest private motorcycle collection?

Call the Deeley Exhibition and let us know what you need. If we are right for you, we’d love to show you around!