How to Maximize the Value of a Location

When you plan an event, choosing the right location is obviously crucial. You must balance the natural desire to provide a memorable setting against practical realities such as convenience, price, and service. Once you settle on a location, whether a metropolis such as New York or a more out-of-the-way place, you can maximize its value by remembering five easy tips, as follows:

Take Advantage of Natural Elements

If you are fortunate enough to host an event at the right season — say, New England in the early fall or any warm-weather city — your guests will probably want to take advantage of the weather. They might expect you to offer an outdoor social activity, but consider also doing something unexpected, such as conducting a speaker presentation outdoors, if your location and budget allow. The audience will be more stimulated than if they’re sitting in the sometimes-sterile environment of a ballroom, and will keep engaged throughout the session. Of course, you’ll want to have a Plan B in case the weather does not cooperate.

Arrange a Social Event at a Local Landmark

No matter where you decide to host your event, there will likely be a historical site or other location of significance in the area. Make arrangements to hold one of your social events or meals onsite to change things up a bit. These venues are best for casual gatherings, like a networking mixer or end-of-day wind down party. Many sites will offer catering services and usually offer space where you can set up a band or DJ.

Immerse Attendees Locally

Usually, event attendees appreciate learning about interesting details about any city where an event takes place, whether you hold your event in New York or Phoenix. One way to take advantage of their natural interest in the setting is to plan a local tour. Try to get more creative than doing a bus tour. If your event is small enough, consider walking tours of historical districts or scavenger hunts that involve location.

Incorporate Local Culture or Music

If your venue is well known for a cultural phenomenon or music, make arrangements to include these elements in your event. Chicago is well known for blues, New Orleans for jazz, and Nashville for country music. Have a band play during social events or meals. You could also organize your event theme around local culture or sports teams. For instance, a Los Angeles based event could incorporate a Hollywood theme.

Showcase Local Food

Almost every city has a dish or beverage that defines the location – or they feature food that throws a new spin on an old classic. During meals and in between sessions, serve local specialties in the style for which the town is known. If possible, and if they’re available, try to procure some food trucks that specialize in a variety of cuisines.

What other interesting ways can you tie the setting into an event you’re hosting? Do you have other ideas on how to make events memorable? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing bduffy@onesmoothstone.com

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