4 Things to look out for when scouting a new event location
Team Writer: Ted Metellus, Course Director, Rock N' Roll Marathon
As you can imagine, a key aspect of Ted’s job is location scouting. So a few weeks ago I asked him to send over a few tips for anyone scouting a new event location for a large production. Of course he came through. Enjoy:
SIZE: Yes it does matter. You want a space safe enough to accommodate your guests/participants as well as spectators. Most Cities/PD agencies will require some sort of headcount.
ACCESS AND EXIT (Ingress and Egress) - Traffic Flow to an event site is key. If you have an amazing venue on the top of a mountain or in the middle of the ocean it's useless unless you have a safe and efficient way to get in and out.
TRANSPORTATION, LODGING & PARKING - can't have an event if you can't get there, park if you are driving and spend the night if it's far from home.
INFRASTRUCTURE is key too. Can your event or production be accommodated by the venue, site or City?? Manpower and support are key to a successful event, big or small.
LASTLY I'd say: A logistically sound event makes for a safe event. This will make all the local leads like PD, EMS and City Services appreciate what you do and how you do, it more. That appreciation helps build a great releationship, which in the long-run helps to build a better, smoother event.
Location Scouting Tip: Just follow this guy on Facebook: TedTheMan
I think it’s interesting to think about how location is becoming even more important as the industry becomes more saturated and competitive. So... when you think about differentiating your event, location can be an incredible asset. Annnnd... if you have that unique setting, the question is how do you play that up even more.
Here's a few thoughts:
ONE: Try and be the go to resource for experiencing the region?
TWO: Double down on the community and figure out ways for people to connect around the event?
Remember, a big reason people attend or participate is for the community. So... if you create more opportunities to socialize and hang with other like minded folks (outside of just the event), they may be more likely to come back or tell others about it.
For example: I attended Summit at Sea in Miami last year. The event was really incredible, but one of the most memorable experiences I had, was the flight they organized from LA to Miami. It cost me a little more than the normal flight, but... it was completely worth it, because I got to meet and hang out with a few hundred like minded people before we even got there.
They also had a few host hotels the night before where everyone stayed, with different group activities around town. All with the purpose of building and galvanizing the community. These things had nothing to do with the actual event, but it completely raised the experience to a new level.
Yes, I completely understand there are always reasons why that specific idea wouldn't work for your event, but I hope you get the point.
LET'S HEAR IT
If you'd like to drop some knowledge like Ted and add a few other points to this just comment below or if you want to contribute a new topic, send me what ya' got. firstname.lastname@example.org