HOW TO PLAN EVENTS WITH MULTIPLE VENUES
Large-scale events such as annual conferences, extended corporate training and destination events often require similar logistics to execute well. Stay on top of your event plan by booking venues, delegating a schedule and optimizing communication among your team.
Booking Your Venues
When booking venues for an event, opt for traditional venues such as banquet halls, ballrooms and theaters, as they are more likely to have additional support staff and event resources on-site—a bonus for any meeting, but particularly so when your team’s attention will be split among various venues. Consider collaborating with a major hotel chain. Hotels offer your guests the perfect package of both familiar and specialty accommodations, including hotel rooms, banquets, ballrooms, pools, gyms and meeting rooms. Additionally, hotels allow planners to book multiple rooms and on-site venues at once and may even offer a discount or rewards for a large booking.
Scheduling Your Event
Clarity is key when scheduling an event across multiple venues. All schedules should clearly indicate critical information, like important event times, dates and names of staff members. Include the venue name and address in your master schedule and individual team, volunteer and security schedules to avoid any confusion. Have alternative sites up your sleeve for the most important events, like dinners or presentations, and communicate backup plans early and often. Don’t rely on one extensive schedule. Instead, create venue or team-specific schedules that anticipate your venues’ important factors. Transportation availability, specific accommodations, venue location or parking can greatly impact how your attendees find, travel to and participate in your event. Such factors vary greatly among each venue or event type, so always check with your venue in advance. Use a calendar application like Google Calendar or TeamUp to design and share your calendar with your team. Utilize digital services to create and share your event logistics. Event planning solutions such as Eventbrite, Localist and Punchbowl make it easier to send updates, record attendee engagement and collect event data than traditional planning methods do.
Communicate with Your Team
A multiple-venue event will need an even larger event staff, including extra planners, decorators, entertainment and security. When working with a small central team, good communication can be a game-changer. Developing an efficient communication network among your venues can mean the difference between executing a successful event and running into serious problems. Create a clear chain of command by designating venue leaders, shift supervisors and team leads so event staff know whom to report to. You can also delegate who reports directly to you for directions, inquiries and emergencies. Event planners previously relied on walkie-talkies and similar devices for instantaneous, on-the-go communication. Now, planning teams can use event planning applications to send information amongst themselves or their attendees. Applications like Marriott’s Meeting Services App feature full messaging functionality for quick updates in a private environment. Ensure that all event staff have consistent access to mobile internet, Wi-Fi, or hot spot services to keep in touch. With the help of support staff and the right event planning know-how, putting on multiple-venue events isn’t only a feat fit for FIFA—you can do it, too.