A venue can turn a good event into a great one. An event’s lighting, food service, audio, climate, and decorations can be as good as the event venue allows. But finding that perfect venue isn’t easy, so event planners need to know not only where to look but how to look.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect venue. But you probably want to get as close to perfection as possible.
Understanding how to choose an event venue requires expertise and trial and error. If you’re newer to event planning, you’re likely still learning the art of choosing an event venue. There’s a lot to consider, but a great first step is having a checklist of essentials to look for.
Why Choosing an Event Venue Matters
The event planning process always kicks off with an underlying goal. Corporate events might occur to boost employee morale, move clients along the sales funnel, or drum up anticipation around a product. Then there are other private events, like concerts, shows, galas, and awards ceremonies, meant to dazzle, shock, and draw attention.
Regardless of the event type, you must have your goals in mind to decide which event venue best helps you achieve them. The space’s capacity, ambiance, services, and location all affect overall results.
Yes, venue hunting is hard. But there’s good news: Following a few guidelines when choosing your event venue significantly speeds up the process of elimination.
What To Look for When Choosing an Event Venue
Knowing how to look for an event space increases your odds of landing one that falls within the sweet spot. But the hard part is discovering what that sweet spot is. That requires taking time to reflect on goals and anticipate needs.
Before looking at venues, ask yourself questions about what you’re seeking:
- What kind of atmosphere do I need to create?
- How many guests am I hosting?
- What kind of audio and video equipment, lighting, event activities, food, or tech services are needed?
- Where will the attendees travel from to the event venue?
- Will people drive or use public transit?
These are just a few essential questions to ask when figuring out how to choose an event venue. The underlying point is this: know what you’re looking for before looking at all. Once you picture the event you want to create, evaluate venues and choose one that closely adheres to your vision. To successfully evaluate venues, check on the following factors.
Mood and Atmosphere (Gotham Club for Speakeasy or The Field for Fun)
The atmosphere should always be a major priority, as it helps set the tone for the event and place people in the right headspace. Determining the atmosphere hinges on a handful of considerations.
Seasonal and Weather Conditions
Never forget about nature. It’d be unwise to book an outdoor venue in a city like San Francisco during the winter. However, finding outdoor space during the spring or summer could be an excellent way to create the right event atmosphere. For example, Giants Enterprises offers The Field at Oracle Park during summer. The Field captures the warm, late-night ballfield vibes that many immediately associate with the summer months. It’s spacious, beautiful, iconic, and flexible, allowing you to use its mesmerizing backdrop to lock in that dream ambiance. If you’re feeling adventurous, book one of Giants Enterprises’ yachts and provide event attendees with the splendor of the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and San Francisco skyline.
Every event planner looks to wow guests, but few spaces inherently offer that wow factor. If you’re planning an upscale event, you should try and book something truly exclusive. Part of this comes through creating an atmosphere with proper lighting, sound, and attire. But it also requires a modern, classy, and one-of-a-kind space.
Giants Enterprise’s Gotham Club Speakeasy is a perfect space for intimate gatherings. Located directly in Oracle Park, you capture the essence of exclusivity by being right where the action is, but simultaneously, you’re in your own private world. If you’re looking for a casual but elegant mixer or a formal dinner, the Gotham Club is an incredibly amenable space that allows you to craft events precisely how you see fit.
Venue and Capacity Size
The venue must match the crowd’s size. Too little space impedes the ability to feel relaxed, but too much space can be awkward and isolating. You also should have a dynamic venue that offers multiple settings to avoid a monotonous atmosphere. Always evaluate a venue’s capacity and balance that with your estimated attendees. To do this properly, you must consider whether your event requires seating or will be reception style.
Giants Enterprise’s venues cater to groups of all different sizes. For large events, we offer a multi-wing large warehouse-style venue (Pier 48) that hosts up to 10,000 guests. It’s also a dynamic space with segmented areas to help create a sprawling and multi-faceted feel rather than one big open floor. For smaller, more private events, consider a yacht or the Gotham Speakeasy; these venues provide a perfect sense of exclusivity for small to medium-sized groups.
Venue Accommodation, Services, and Amenities
When choosing an event venue, logistics are the key to success. Know up front what you need regarding food, audio and video equipment, in-house catering, and live stream capabilities. Listing these non-negotiable elements saves you significant time during the discovery process. Then, always ensure that the venue provides access and control to these elements. Otherwise, you may end up facing snags the day of the event.
A great way to understand service quality is by checking online reviews from previous events. Sifting through reviews helps you understand the extent of the offerings and the venue’s willingness to collaborate with planning teams to ensure all needs are met.
Giants Enterprises provides in-house staff, catering, and a wide range of technological equipment and lighting ready to turn your vision into reality. All venues come with start-to-finish services, whether a massive gathering at Pier 48 or a small corporate gathering at the Gotham Clubhouse. Our venues are adaptable, versatile, and equipped with cutting-edge technology to make your event a live stream or hybrid event.
Accessible and Convenient Location
For a location to be amazing, it needs to be accessible. Let’s say you find a gorgeous space with perfect amenities. But there’s a catch: It’s not located near major highways or city centers. A poor location can cause serious issues and additional stress on attendees, even keeping guests from coming. Ideally, a location should be within 15 miles of the airport and lodging.
You also need to consider location based on the type of area the event is in. If located in an urban center, the event venues should be close enough o public transit, but if not, you’ll need to consider on-site parking. Especially in a city like San Francisco which has great nightlife, a booming restaurant scene, and must-see attractions, it’s wise to choose a convenient location for exploring the surrounding area.
Giants Enterprises venues are located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area. Event attendees can step directly from our venues and access some of the city’s best bars, restaurants, and attractions. For example, Pier 48 takes full advantage of the stunning Bay Area views and is directly adjacent to some of the city’s most famous cultural staples.
Consider Giants Enterprises Unforgettable Venues
Giants Enterprises prides itself on its diverse and dynamic slate of event venues. The Field and Pier 48 are perfect for holding massive events while preserving that sense of prestige and uniqueness. Pier 48’s warehouse-like style provides an excellent backdrop for conferences and trade shows. The Field is also extremely dynamic and accommodating for various-sized gatherings, from stadium-packing concerts to dinner parties in the dugout.
If you want a more exclusive setting, the Gotham Speakeasy Club and yacht services offer singular private atmospheres with elegance and intimacy.
Regardless of your event’s size, our venues have amenities and full services. The best part is that you get the control you need to pull off your ideal event. Our flexible space allows you to craft an extraordinary atmosphere that leaves guests charmed and with a lasting sense of value.
What is most important to you in selecting your venue?
Venue selection is always dependent on the event itself. Because of this, when selecting a venue, you need to evaluate your priorities, then select a space that enables you to achieve your goals.
What are two of the important factors in choosing the site for the venue?
The first thing to consider when selecting a venue is the goal of your event. Once the goal is established, you can review logistics like attendee lists, budgets, and any technical needs to evaluate what event space suits your event the best. The second-most important element is finding a place that provides an unforgettable and perfect atmosphere.