6 Types of Event Venues to Wow Attendees
As the specter of COVID-19 lockdowns fades and the popularity of in-person events continues to gain momentum, events teams are pressured to find memorable and exciting venues to meet attendee expectations.
Recently, we surveyed event organizers and attendees about the state of in-person B2B events, and event organizers said one of their top three challenges is finding the right types of venues for their events.
Meanwhile, according to Bizzabo’s The state of in-person B2B conferences report, 64.6% of attendees say the event venue can make or break their experience. This means that despite the challenge of finding the perfect venue, event organizers need to do whatever they can to find a memorable location for their next gathering to attract and engage attendees and achieve their goals.
Whether you’re seeking corporate event venues, product launch venues, or networking event venues, we have you covered with six remarkable event venue types that will undoubtedly wow your attendees.
Event Space Type 1: Hotel Venues
Hotel venues are ideal places for events like business conferences and trade shows, but they’re also outstanding options for smaller corporate gatherings, training events, team-building opportunities, and more.
Hotels typically have many large and small dedicated event spaces capable of accommodating a variety of events. Most also boast modern audiovisual equipment, flexible seating arrangements, adaptable layouts, parking, and other amenities you won’t find at smaller venues.
Plus, you can host your event and accommodate overnight stays for out-of-town guests — all in one location. Hotels also typically offer a business center so guests can get some work done, a gym to stay on top of their fitness regime, a pool and spa to relax, and more. Hotels are indeed the full package for event planners and attendees alike.
Need more freedom in terms of hiring external bartenders or coordinating with external catering companies? Hotel venues save you from the hustle. You can rely on the hotel’s experienced culinary team and well-stocked bars to provide high-quality meals, refreshments, and beverages for your guests.
Hotel Venue Example: Hotel Fort Des Moines
Source: The Vendry
An outstanding example of a hotel venue worth considering in a second-tier city is the Hotel Fort Des Moines, Curio Collection by Hilton. This hotel boasts a rich legacy, having accommodated iconic celebrities like Elvis and Johnny Cashs and several former presidents.
With 10 event spaces, 290 hotel rooms, and a capacity of 520 seated or 800 standing guests, this venue provides ample room for a mid-sized event. Moreover, the convenience of in-house catering, beverage service, and audiovisual facilities ensures a seamless experience.
Plus, since Hotel Fort Des Moines is in a second-tier city, most expenses will be much lower compared to similar sized hotels in Las Vegas or New York City.
Event Space Type 2: Rooftop Venues
If you wish to take your guests away from a conference hall or meeting room and let them “breathe,” then rooftop venues are the way to go.
Whether you’re planning a cocktail party, social gathering, product launch, or other corporate function, rooftop venues ensure a welcoming and scenic environment, adding that extra wow factor to the event.
What’s so special? Separated from the hustle and bustle of the city below, your attendees can experience a sense of privacy and seclusion at these elevated event spaces, making them feel that they are part of an exclusive experience. Meanwhile, sleek decor, unforgettable backdrops, unique bars and lounges, rooftop gardens, and breathtaking views create a captivating ambiance.
Rooftop Venue Example: On Broadway Rooftop
With a capacity of up to 275 guests, On Broadway Rooftop has a modern and industrial vibe, with exposed brick walls and plenty of natural light. This makes it a great choice for events with a chic, stylish, and memorable atmosphere.
Event Space Type 3: Private Dining Venues, Bars, and Clubs
A private venue like a bar, club, or restaurant offers several benefits when compared to other venues. Here are some things to think about:
- Food and drink: Smaller venues like bars, clubs, and restaurants have the obvious advantage of providing food and drink for your guests. This can save you the hassle of having to cater your event yourself, and it can also ensure that your guests enjoy a delicious meal.
- Atmosphere: These venues often have a unique and inviting atmosphere that can set the tone for your event, whether you’re looking for a formal or casual setting.
- Convenience: Bars, clubs, and restaurants are often located in convenient and accessible areas, making them easy for guests to get to. This can be especially important if you’re hosting an event for people who don’t know the area well.
- Cost: These venues can be a relatively affordable option for events, especially if you’re not paying for catering but instead are paying per head.
Of course, there are also some potential drawbacks to choosing a bar, club, or restaurant for an event. For example, restaurants may have a different level of flexibility than other venues, and they may not be able to accommodate large groups. However, the pros of choosing a private venue often outweigh the cons, making it a popular choice for many events.
Private Dining Venue Example: The Grill
Source: The Vendry
Also, the stylish decor is thoughtfully curated to create a touch of elegance for every occasion. The comfortable seating and warm lighting further contribute to the overall comfort and relaxation of guests, ensuring a pleasant experience from start to finish.
Event Space Type 4: Conference and Convention Hall Venues
If you’re planning your company’s flagship event or a major user conference, it’s time to look at the biggest and the best in the world of venues: conference and convention halls. Why would you want to consider these types of venues?
- Size: Conference and convention halls are typically expansive, so they can accommodate large groups of people. This makes them a good choice for trade shows, conferences, and conventions.
- Flexibility: Flexibility is a must at these types of venues, so they can accommodate a variety of events. This makes them a good choice for events that may change in size or scope at the last minute.
- Amenities: Conference and convention halls typically have a variety of amenities, such as catering, AV equipment, and meeting rooms, which can save you the hassle of having to arrange these things yourself.
- Location: Event halls are often located in convenient and accessible areas, making them easy for guests to get to. This is especially important if you’re hosting an event for people who don’t know the area well.
- Cost: Conference and convention halls can be a relatively affordable event option, especially if you’re hosting a large event.
Benefits aside, conference and convention halls can be impersonal and sterile, and they may not have the same level of character as other types of venues. But if you need a venue that can fit thousands, a conference center or convention hall are likely your best bet. Just leave plenty of room in your budget for personalizing the space to your event’s theme.
Conference Venue Example: The Albuquerque Convention Center
Located between the Rio Grande River and the Sandia Mountains in the heart of Downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, The Albuquerque Convention Center (ACC) offers 600,000 square feet of space to make your next big event a success.
The ACC has 27 flexible meeting rooms that can accommodate 10 people in private meetings or 1,100 for a large breakout session. The ACC’s 31,000-square-foot ballroom can accommodate 1,800 people for a banquet or serve as an impressive general session area for 2,500 attendees.
Event Space Type 5: Outdoor Venues
Tired of the same old indoor venues for your events? Go for outdoor venues to break the monotony of typical office environments and daily routines.
The open-air setting and spaciousness of an outdoor venue add a special touch to your events while accommodating larger crowds, making them ideal for customer conferences, festivals, and team-building events.
With outdoor spaces, you can take advantage of the opportunity to create engaging setups — such as stages, booths, and food areas — that appeal to your guests. This also allows you to get creative and use outdoor areas to initiate team-building activities like obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and sports.
The most obvious downside to an outdoor venue is that the weather is unpredictable, so you’ll need a fully baked contingency plan in case things go awry. Plus, taking into account global warming and more intense weather incidents, you’ll need to pick a location and date that are as predictable as possible.
Outdoor Venue Example: Golden Gate Park
One of the best examples of outdoor venues is Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. This expansive urban park offers a variety of outdoor spaces that can be utilized for conferences, festivals, and team-building activities.
To learn more about the various spaces available, including Robin Williams Meadow, the Bandshell, and Polo Field, click here.
Event Space Type 6: Unique and Outside-the-box Venues
You might have noticed that unique event spaces such as museums, galleries, historic sites, industrial spaces, and warehouses are becoming popular for hosting events.
Although traditional places like hotels and convention halls have their own charm, outside-the-box venues will enrich your event with more enticing and memorable experiences. Plus, there are many benefits to choosing an outside-the-box venue instead of a more traditional venue:
- Uniqueness: Choosing a unique venue can help your event stand out from the crowd and be more memorable. This is more important than ever as attendees become increasingly choosey about which events they attend.
- Atmosphere: An unconventional venue can create a specific atmosphere for your event that can complement your theme. For example, a museum can create a sense of history and culture, while an industrial building can create a feeling of innovation and creativity.
- Interest: A unique venue can spark interest in your event among potential attendees, which could mean more registrants and a higher registrant-to-attendee rates.
- Engagement: Attendeesare more likely to be interested and involved in an event that takes place in an interesting and unusual location.
That said, there are drawbacks to choosing an atypical venue. For example, unique venues can be more expensive than traditional venues and more difficult to book because of higher demand.
Outside-the-box Event Venue Example: Warehouse XI
Source: The Vendry
Warehouse XI in Somerville, Massachusetts has everything you need in a corporate event venue. With industrial charm complemented by exposed brick walls and high ceilings, this venue offers a spacious main event space, breakout rooms, a lounge area, and a courtyard, providing versatility for different activities and networking opportunities.
This venue boasts a variety of amenities such as a fully equipped kitchen for catering needs, professional sound systems, and customizable lighting for seamless presentations.
How To Choose the Right Event Venue: 5 Considerations
Choosing the right event venue is essential for a successful event. The venue should be the right size, in the right location, and have the right atmosphere for your event. In this section, we’ll discuss the factors you need to consider when choosing an event venue.
1. Event Type and Size
You should be very clear about the type of event and the number of expected participants before finalizing your venue. Convention halls or outdoor spaces are the best option for large audiences, while private restaurants or rooftops can easily accommodate micro-events and private parties.
2. Venue Location and Accessibility
Choosing an accessible event venue is important because it ensures that all attendees, regardless of their physical abilities, can fully participate and enjoy the event. It creates an inclusive environment and removes barriers for individuals with disabilities, allowing them to navigate the space comfortably and creating a welcoming experience.
It’s also important to consider the local political and social climate of the location you’re booking a venue. Some cities and states won’t be as comfortable or welcoming to certain historically marginalized groups of people, which could hurt your attendance rates.
3. Event Theme and Goals
Selecting an exceptional theme for your event and aligning it with your goals can help you choose an appropriate venue. For example, If networking and collaboration are your goals, a theme such as “Building Bridges: Connecting Innovators” can promote meaningful interactions.
4. Audio/visual and Facilities
Take into account the technological requirements of your event. Nothing is worse than being at a major conference and realizing the WiFi is so bad you can’t even post a selfie with the influencer you just met. A venue with high-quality audio/visual capabilities ensures that presentations, speeches, and entertainment can be effectively communicated to the audience and enhance the engagement and enjoyment of attendees.
Additionally, the availability of restrooms, catering facilities, and parking can significantly impact attendee convenience and comfort.
It goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: Build an event budget before you start looking at venues so you’re not disappointed in your options.
Before renting a big event venue, consider all the expenses involved, including venue rental, equipment, decorations, catering, entertainment, staffing, marketing, and any additional services required to ensure financial feasibility. It’s important to create a list of your “must haves” and “nice to haves” for your venue to ensure you deliver a balanced and successful event that meets financial constraints and event goals.
5 Tips for Choosing the Best Corporate Event Venue
With the considerations above in mind, here are five tips to ensure you wind up with the right venue for your needs:
- Make an informed choice by planning ahead and researching venues, their availability, and pricing options on sites like The Vendry.
- Evaluate multiple venues, even if virtually, by observing their layout, ambiance, and overall appeal, to determine the best one for your event.
- To get the right deal, be ready to negotiate contracts, and take the time to thoroughly understand the terms to ensure all your requirements are clearly stated and agreed upon.
- Narrow your choices by asking trusted colleagues and industry professionals for referrals and reading online reviews.
- Establish a contingency plan to prepare for unanticipated circumstances, such as weather changes or technical difficulties, and to ensure that the event continues smoothly and successfully.
Get Started: Find the Perfect Venue for Your Next Event
An event venue is more than just physical space. It’s an opportunity to captivate your attendees, spark connections, and leave them with memories they’ll cherish for years.
Ready? Find the perfect event venue by checking out one of the many city-based event venue directories on the Bizzabo blog. Here are a few to get you started: