When you’re planning an event, there are both large and small details to consider. But one of the most important decisions of all is your event marketing location.
Choosing the right location is critical to your event’s success. Your location will set the tone for your event and will help dictate many of the decisions you make going forward. It also has a tremendous impact on the experience your guests will have.
Listed below are six tips for how brands can choose the best place for their next event. These tips include several considerations, including your target audience, budget, and brand marketing preferences.
How to Choose the Perfect Event Marketing Location
Choosing the right event marketing location will be a key factor in the success of your event. But when you drill down and identify exactly what you need, finding the right location won’t be difficult.
To get started, create an event timeline to stay organized. This will streamline the planning process and make it easier for you to narrow down your choices. Let’s look at six guidelines for choosing the right event marketing location.
1. Consider your audience
Without the right audience, there is no reason to have a marketing event. Having clear access to the people you are trying to reach will no doubt influence your location choice. After all, a Justin Bieber concert will attract a very different kind of audience than a Nascar event.
Second to consider is the number of people you anticipate to be in attendance. If you choose a venue that is too small, attendees will feel cramped and may not stick around. And on the flip side, choosing a location that is too large can make your event seem poorly attended. When utilizing an existing event like a concert or festival, make sure that you have great access to attendees and are not limited to a poorly-trafficked area.
Overall, choose an event marketing location that will reflect your audience’s preferences and expectations.What location will be convenient for your target to attend? How does your event and location appeal to their interests and personalities?
2. Begin with the end in mind
It’s important to begin planning your event with the end in mind. What are your goals for the event? Is this event designed to launch a new service, provide a unique product experience, or build brand awareness? Keep the event goals front and center to help guide where you want to activate.
What kind of equipment will you need to use? Can the places you are looking at accommodate? Does the venue you have in mind work with any preferred suppliers? Do they offer any discounts?
You should also keep brand preferences in mind when looking at event locations. What are your non-negotiable requirements for your event? Consider the atmosphere you are trying to create. Do you have any specific requirements in terms of how you want to build your event space?
3. Consider the type of event you are planning
Different types of events will require different locations. Are you planning a PR stunt that requires a ton of foot traffic? Or a lead generation campaign in which event staff will need the opportunity to speak at length with potential prospects?
And don’t forget about your attendees and their convenience. Is your event coming to them, where they live, work, and play? Or will they need to come to you? Is the location easily accessible to most people? If you are putting on a conference or trade show, is there parking available? Your event should be hassle-free and people should be able to attend seamlessly.
4. Know your budget
With an unlimited budget, anyone can plan a great event and activate in the location of their dreams. However, in a survey of 1200 event planners a quarter of the respondents listed a “limited budget” as their biggest challenge.
No need to worry, though; you can still plan a great event even if you are working with a smaller budget. Be realistic about your finances and plan an event that stays within those parameters. Sometimes, smaller budgets can benefit from using street teams or guerrilla marketing, both of which can have a high impact with a smaller cost.
Even after you have secured your location, you will still need to budget for staffing, logistics, giveaways, and more. Find out if the location you are looking at has proper storage and/or logistical compatibility with your event plan.
If you are planning a conference or event that requires a static venue, certain days of the week may be less expensive to book. And some venues might be willing to lower the cost if you plan to use their space for future events. The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to try to negotiate the price!
5. Do a site visit and audit
If possible, visit the locations you are considering prior to the event. You will want to audit the sites and do a walk-through to ensure you are able to provide the exact brand experience that you intend.
Narrow your selections down to your top three choices and allow about an hour to visit each of them. Check out the surrounding area and get a sense for nearby neighborhoods and local attractions. Determine the average amount of foot traffic, identify nearby businesses, and more. For example, a luxury car event might do better in close proximity to a golf course or country club, and you can deploy a street team during the event to draw attendees to your promotion.
6. Make a list of potential problems
Once you have found your top three locations, brainstorm any possible problems with each of them. Are there any rules or city regulations that might limit your activities or event set-up?
Before finalizing anything, make sure there are no other competing events scheduled for that same day. Consider any upcoming holidays, local sporting events, or other activities that could draw attention away from your marketing event. On the other hand, however, consider if there is an upcoming holiday or occurrence that might help to draw additional people to your event.
Choosing the right event marketing location can be a challenge, even for the most experienced event marketer. Keep in mind that your choice of location should be guided by your target audience and your event marketing goals. Researching your options ahead of time and considering all possible problems will save you time and money down the road.
Experiential marketing gives brands a tremendous amount of flexibility related to where their brand experiences take place. The location can also influence how you execute your event, and can help dictate event staff responsibilities, their goals, and more. Download our free Ultimate Experiential Marketing Staffing Guide and Checklist to make the most of your event staff, from event planning to execution.