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How to pick your event location

Here are 5 things to keep in mind choosing the best event location

1. Ambiance

Look for a venue that suits your public and the atmosphere you want to express. How does the building look, how is the interior, does it match your event? When you are organizing an event for senior corporate managers, you’ll want to create a more formal atmosphere. If you have an event on tech, you’ll light out the rooms with more blue, if you are organizing a wedding expo, you’ll need a totally different atmosphere. This is the most intangible asset of your event, but one of the key ingredients what people will remember when they go home.

2. Who’s visiting and convenience

Reachability is key into having a good opening impression at your event. People expect to be welcomed, and have a smooth entering process. A combination of the right signage where to go, and enough parking space or access to public transport is key into making the right first impression of your event. You should bear in mind where your people are coming from, are they coming by car? Is there enough parking space? How do they find the entrance? Always assume that your visitors stop thinking the moment they enter your event, you should have done all the thinking for them!

3. Costs and Sponsoring

Although the location is one of the most important decisions for your event, your visitor does not really care where it is. Therefore spending a lot of your budget on your location might not be the smartest thing to do, as it limits you in spending on entertainment, branding and food & beverages. A good way to decrease costs for spending is finding a partner in your event location. For example, your event focused on knowledge exchange, it might be that a school is very keen on hosting your event, opening more room for negotiation.

4. Layout

To things you really need to think about when thinking about the layout are the routing and your program activities. Always get a floor plan and start sketching on it. It will give you an idea of how you can use your location.
Routing – Depending on the size of your event, a lot of people will be going places. How do they interact, are their spots easy to find, do they know where to be? A solution to this, is sending your visitors a personalized schedule up-front, with an illustrated floor plan where to go.
Program Activities – Opening with a plenary session, entrance via an exposition, or pop-up comedy? It all impacts what you need in terms of your location. Sketch all the needs of the program in your location, creating an overview of what goes where, and how to leverage what the location can do for your event.

5. Capacity

One of the most important constraints of your venue, how many people can you fit, at the same time and during different program elements? Think about the minimum amount of people that you want to be there. Bear in mind that you can always be flexible in the way to add more people in a room. For example: you have a plenary session where you’d like to have around 500 people attending. Setting up 500 chairs creates the risk that you might encounter empty chairs, which might show on pictures. Therefore, creating a buffer zone with for example standing tables and 450 chairs, and in the back standing tables, creates an atmosphere that your event was packed!

This blog was brought to you by gribbio. gribbio is an event management platform, enabling event organisers to capture value by storing data about their visitors, while helping them with matching applications, event pages and much more, all in one place. Want to know more? Visit gribbio.com

How to create the ideal application form

Visitors are the main reason you organize an event, without them, you are irrelevant. Getting them in is not easy, when you want to gather some basic information about your visitors. Here are some tips to create the best application form, while maintaining a low threshold for them to apply:

1. Keep it simple

Many people will make the decision to apply for an event in a split-second. So don’t ask too many questions in your application form. You can always ask some additional questions later on, but you’ll first need them to apply. Our golden rule; stick to a maximum of nine questions, in a logical sequence, divided in blocks of three.

Example: Power of three
Ask 3 demographic questions, 3 questions about their business and 3 event related questions about their (learning) goals. 

2. Have predefined fields

Making it easy for people to choose predefined answers increases their willingness to fill the fields, while in the meantime, your dataset stays clean and you can analyse it with more ease.

Example: Countries
Asking about the country people are from, don’t have them fill it out in an open text field. Rather let them choose from a predefined dropdown. This way you prevent different input in your database for the same thing like US, U.S.A., United States, America, … etc.

3. Be specific

Ask yourself what you really want to learn about your visitors. It is tempting to ask a broad question. But this can easily be misinterpreted by your visitors and will lead to answers with no value for you.

Example: Team
Asking about the team experience can be interpreted in many ways and will lead into a variety of long winding answers. Rather ask about the specific team size and the years of experience by the founding team.

 

4. Only ask the necessary

It might be, that you are asking questions that are not going to be learning you anything related to your network. When you want to do demographic research on your visitors, think what is relevant for your events. Does it matter more to ask for age, or for years of professional experience?

Example: Age
Unless you are running a school or elderly house, most of the times it is not necessary to ask your visitors about their age, as variables such as age do not have any valuable information for your event.

5. Use your field types wisely

In your application form you can choose different field types. There are different types of fields, each allowing specific input values and thereby preventing other input. If you are asking questions that require a numerical input: then use a numerical field. This will prevent your visitors to input any text into this field.

Why?
With numbers you can calculate the sum, max, min, count etc. With input that is ‘poluted’ with text you cannot calculate anymore, or you have to clean up your dataset.

So, now you know the key ingredients of what makes a good application form. A form that is user friendly and provides you with enough data to work with. This blog was brought to you by gribbio. gribbio is an event management platform, enabling event organizers to capture value by storing data about their visitors, while helping them with matching applications, event pages and much more, all in one place. Want to know more? Visit gribbio.com