Seven steps to staging the perfect event
Choosing the perfect space for your event is one of the most important decisions any event organiser has to make. Don’t make the mistake of thinking everything else will just fall into place just because you’ve booked your venue. From the layout of your chairs and tables to the schedule of activities and refreshments you put together, there are still a lot of important choices to make in terms of staging your event.
Whatever type of event you’re holding, be it a conference, party, reception drinks or award ceremony, you need to consider the same factors when deciding how to set up the chairs and (if appropriate) tables in your space. First, think about what your guests are going to want to do in the space. Sit down and listen to a lecture? Mingle and eat canapes? Dance? Enjoy a three-course meal? Try and imagine how your attendees will move through the room as a good flow will enhance everyone’s experience. Also make sure there is enough space for wheelchairs to manoeuvre between your furniture.
Things to consider:
Theatre layout – make sure there’s enough space in between the chairs and that the aisle is wide enough for easy movement during the talk.
Cabaret layout – make sure every seat in the room has a good view of the stage.
Sit-down meal – if there are any speeches make sure whoever is going to speak can be seen and heard by all of your other guests.
All seated events – whatever layout you choose for your event make sure all your guests can easily access the toilets, drinks stations or whatever else they might need.
Standing reception – make sure guests have somewhere to rest drinks while they eat. High tables work well and also act as focus points for guests who are flying solo.
Decoration and branding
Whether you’ve chosen a blank canvas space and are going to go to town with the decorations or you’ve hired a room that needs little dressing, you will need to make sure the décor adds to your guests’ experience. You might want your decorations to take centre stage at your event, for example, if you’re hosting a company dinner or awards ceremony. In this case you’ll need to dedicate a decent slice of your budget to the cause. If, however, you’re holding a conference then your branding needs to be simple, practical and unobtrusive.
How your room is lit will play a huge part in the atmosphere of your event. If you’re hosting an evening event, speak to your venue about a site visit after dark so you can try out various different lighting options. Letting as much natural light as possible into a space for a daytime event will help energise your attendees. However, if you have a presentation that requires a projector, talk to your venue about the best way to black out the daylight so the picture on the screen is as sharp as possible.
As well as creating a space that allows your guests to move comfortably around it, your schedule of events also needs to seamlessly flow. Whatever event you’re planning, make sure there are regular breaks and that during these intervals you serve decent tea, coffee and snacks. Outdoor activities or breakout spaces will give your attendees an invigorating lift and a change of scenery is always good to re-charge everyone’s batteries.
Although you don’t want guests having to climb four flights of stairs to find the bathroom, there’s nothing wrong with a short walk. In fact lots of delegates and party goers will appreciate the chance to stretch their legs and have a nosy round the venue. Ensure you build in several ‘comfort breaks’ to your schedule as people might find it embarrassing to have to excuse themselves in the middle of a speech or dinner course.
Every single member of staff who is at your event represents you and your company. If you’re using the venue’s waiting team, it’s well worth meeting with them before the event so you can tell them about your brand values and goals and how they can play a part in making the event a success.
Your event at No.11 Cavendish Square
Our highly experienced Venue Team know each of our 30 spaces inside out. They understand which layout suits which room, how to light them to create the effect you want and how you can use refreshment and breakout games to put together the perfect schedule. Whichever room you choose they can offer you as much support and advice as you need to help make your event the best it can be. Call them to discuss your next project on 020 7307 2474.