Before hosting any event, you should know the in’s and out’s of your event site. Try to put yourself in the shoes of an attendee to understand obstacles.
On the day of the event, there will always be a number of things that could potentially go wrong, many of which could be mitigated by a working knowledge of the space and an event management site inspection.
Above all, what must be kept in mind is the attendee experience.
Attendees should be kept comfortable and happy, but this is the bare minimum - they should also feel that they are getting something valuable from the time they are spending at your event.
To stay organized, keeping a list will be key to ensuring that you are addressing major potential pain points that could detract from attendee satisfaction.
We’ve put together five key items for your pre-event site inspection checklist to help you prepare as much as possible before your event.
Is your event easy to find, with ample parking?
Before your attendees even arrive at your event, the experience has already begun.
The last thing you want is attendees walking through the door already frustrated because they couldn’t find the venue or had trouble parking.
Drive from your office to the event venue, imagining that you are seeing it for the first time.
Try to understand how someone would process the signage, how easily they could find parking, and whether or not the venue itself is clearly distinguishable from other buildings.
For example, if you specify that the event is in the only white building among a block of grey buildings, attendees shouldn’t have much trouble finding it.
However, if it is in a conference area inside a larger hotel or has an access point that is tricky to find, attendees will need more descriptive directions prior to the event.
This is a crucial step in your pre-event site inspection checklist that can make a difference in the entire mood of the event.
Are your first impressions overall positive?
Again, put yourself in the shoes of an event attendee who is probably seeing the venue for the first time.
When you walk in, how does the venue feel? There are a few words that should come to mind: clean, spacious, and inviting, to name a few.
The last thing you want is to give off a negative first impression that can deter an attendee from enjoying the rest of the event.
If you do have a negative first impression, think about what can be changed.
Look into reconfiguring the lighting or equipment positioning.
This might be all you need to create a more inviting space that is conducive to a successful and enjoyable event.
When putting together your pre-event site inspection checklist, quality of the event experience should be top of mind.
Is wi-fi provided?
This may seem like an afterthought, but it can be greatly important to attendee experience.
Most attendees expect that wi-fi will be provided at an event, and its absence can create an unnecessary pain point for your attendees.
When planning your event, you should be in constant communication with the site owner in order to fully understand what will be available on the day of the event.
If the venue does not provide wi-fi, you should consider setting up a router prior to the event.
This kind of accommodation will be well worth it, providing a bonus point of enjoyment for your event attendees.
If setting up wi-fi is neither provided nor feasible, be as upfront about the issue with your attendees as possible.
Is there sufficient room for attendees and equipment?
This one may be a bit difficult if you are viewing the site before the actual attendees and equipment have arrived, but it will be vital to providing the best possible experience on the day of the event.
Try asking yourself, is there room for tables, audio speakers, and any other equipment that may need to be set-up?
When going through your pre-event site inspection checklist, don’t forget to ensure there will be ample room for attendees to maneuver about the space when it’s all set up.
The event experience can and will be diminished if equipment is blocking walkways or causing other pain points for attendees.
Will there be on-site support available the day of the event?
Pre-event hurdles are a bit easier to overcome; the hardest issues to mitigate are those that happen on the actual day of the event.
After taking all necessary precautions and running through the pre-event inspection checklist, you must still be prepared for things to go wrong on the day of the event.
This is why on-site support is so necessary; generally, it can be the difference between a successful event and one that is not able to overcome unexpected curveballs.
Make sure that you sit down with the venue owner prior to the event to get all of your questions answered.
This should include the presence of on-site support the day of the event, in addition to all of the items on this list.
Having a proper, well-prepared pre-event inspection checklist will be integral to ensuring that everything you need is in order well before the big day comes around.
The larger the event, the more difficult it can be to get a handle on issues before they arise. Check out our guide on how to organize event planning for large scale events.