How to Find Event Space

Figuring out where to start your search to find event space can be overwhelming at best. Especially if this is a relatively new world for you.

We’ve compiled a list of questions to help guide your search, whether you’re looking for a private party or corporate event space.

We suggest by starting with our guiding questions below and then you can start your venue research to finally select the event space that works best for your needs, budget, and vision.

Determine Your Event Space Needs

Need Example
(A) Audience: Starting with your audience will help guide your plan.

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. Where are they located? Will they have to travel far? How will they travel, by car or plane? If they travel by car, you will have to think about parking. If they travel by plane, are there hotels nearby?
  3. How many people do you want / can you expect to attend?
We expect 300 technology professionals from Whatcom County to travel by car.
(B) Location: Once you’ve determined how far your audience is traveling and the number of attendees you can expect, location is the next big item on your list.

  1. Where is convenient for you? Does this matter?
  2. Where is convenient for your audience?
    1. If your audience is traveling from far away, it’s best to book a space as soon as possible and give them time to plan time away from work, book flights, and budget
    2. Is it more important for location to be convenient for you or for your audience?
We would like to find event space in Bellingham, WA because it is the largest city in Whatcom County and likely offers more convenient places to stay and park.
(C) When: When is the optimal time to host your event – for you, for your audience, and for your budget?

    1. How far out in advance do you need to inform your audience of the event?
    2. When is the event? Winter, spring, summer, or fall?
    3. Does it make sense to have the event indoors or out?
    4. Is your event one or multi-day?
Because my audience isn’t commuting too far, they likely don’t need to take off work to attend. The event is not seasonally bound but it likely makes more sense to have the event indoors. The event will be over two days.
(D) Structure: What are you looking to get out of the event?

  1. Will there be a large welcoming ceremony, presentation, or workshop?
  2. Do you want networking at a large scale?
  3. Do you want small breakout rooms?
  4. Or do you want some combo thereof?
  5. Structure example:
We envision a number of presentations for all 300 attendees at once littered with small workshops in smaller classroom sizes.
(E) Budget: You have to look at the big picture to determine your event space rental rates.

  1. What kind of funds do you have set-aside?
  2. Do you plan to charge for entry?
  3. Will you provide food and beverage? Or are there places close by where people can help themselves?
  4. Would you rather pay someone to clean-up after the event or save money and clean-up yourself?
We have $1,000 set aside from last year and that will not cover space, food, or beverage; therefore, we will charge for entry. To save money, we will clean-up ourselves, unless the space charges less than $100.
(F) Supplies: What kinds of big ticket items do you need?

    1. Does you need A/V, sound, and other equipment?
    2. Do you already have vendors in mind? Some venues restrict who you can work with.
    3. Do you need tables and chairs?
    4. Do you need a stage?
Because we will have a number of presentations, we require a stage with A/V, and sound as well as chairs for the attendees and a few tables for the presenters. Also, we would like to work with the food truck StrEAT Food because they are willing to give us food at a discount.

Researching Venues and Event Spaces

  • Compile your list of needs
  • Look for venues in the area that can house your expected number of guests
  • Determine what venues are available for the dates you have in mind
  • Determine whether or not those event space rental rates fit within your budget
    • Is it cheaper to reserve a space in the off-season and can you event be at that time?
    • If you’re charging for ticket entry, what would you have to charge per person to cover your budget? Do you think that people would pay for this?
  • Finally, visit the venues to see if they are the right fit for your event