How To Choose an Event Space in Fiji?
When organizing an event in Fiji, you're confronted with many decisions, but choosing the right venue and location is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event. Everything from the date of the event, speaker line-ups, catering options, and attendees' experience depends on the event venue and location you select.
- LOCATION - Once the guest list numbers and possible event dates are narrowed, it's important to identify the locations where the event could be held. Hotels and conference centers are some of the most popular event spaces for corporate events and wedding receptions, but they are not the only options. This is a time to be creative in your thinking.
- BUDGET - Creating a budget is an essential early step in event planning that helps to clarify other aspects of your plan. Additionally, establishing a budget helps to avoid unwanted surprises. You will be more successful if you map out your entire budget in advance, continue to update as you finalize variables, and stay very close to the process. According to Eventbrite, “Budget is broken down by marketing and promotion (43%), speakers and talent (32%), printed materials (29%), venues (18%).”
- OBJECTIVES - What are the objectives for your event, or for this specific room/element of the event? Within each area think about whether it is all about learning from the speaker or interaction with other attendees or simply recharging in a quiet area? You need to decide the most important factors for your event and what this means for your attendees to determine the best use of each space. Do you need engagement and networking over capacity or are you looking for comfort and stage view over interaction? Answering these questions can help narrow down layout possibilities to decide what you want.
- CAPACITY - The attendee numbers will have a big impact on the final layout chosen. Some options just might not be workable for the numbers you have attending (or expect to attend) as you want to ensure that everyone can find a seat and be accommodated within the room. A layout is not workable if it means that everything is too cramped with bad sightlines, no wheelchair access, and too cramped or far from the speaker. Smaller numbers can often offer greater flexibility in terms of seating arrangements. Also, consider if there may be walk-ups to the event. If you are likely to have an influx of attendees who haven’t pre-registered you probably want the option to accommodate them and find some additional seats quickly and easily, rather than turning them away.
- EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES - In addition to finding the right type of event space, you will want to look into the types of other services offered by the venue and decide their value to your event. Some venues will also have a preferred vendor list from which you must work to find vendors or suppliers for other services. Be careful not to assume that all venues offer the same level of service and inclusions, or that all amenities will be available for your event. If you need additional services like special catering (including dietary requests), audio-visual services, IT support, staging and lighting, decor for event production, ticketing, transportation, or sightseeing tours, find out what your venue offers.
- READ TESTIMONIALS - The next step is checking online reviews, keeping in mind that every business will have its share of good and bad reviews. The important thing to look for is multiple reviews describing the same experiences; for example, consistently positive comments about the venue. Also, most review websites allow businesses to respond to reviews. A venue picking a fight with a past customer over a bad review is a red flag, while measured responses that show a willingness to solve the problem are a good sign.
- VENUE TYPE | DIMENSIONS - The room dimensions will also determine whether a specific setup is possible or not. The venue will often have valuable guidance and hopefully even layout plans and capacities for the different setups. If you are in any doubt ask for the room to be set up in the way you require and check it yourself so you can be sure of the number of guests you can comfortably fit in.If you are really struggling with capacity but don’t want to compromise on the layout of the space you may need to be inventive and split participants into two sessions, take advantage of live streaming and remote conferencing or look at creating a 2-day event or repeating it at a later date if the popularity is there.
Diagrams Room Set-Up Examples 1 OVALS AND ROUNDS | Generally used for meals and sessions involving small group discussions. A five-foot round table seats eight people comfortably. A six-foot round table seats 10 people comfortably.
Common Uses: Performances, networking events, cocktail evenings, group discussions
2 E-SHAPE, U-SHAPE AND T-SHAPE | Appropriate for groups of fewer than 40 people. These are best for interaction with a leader seated at the head of the setup. Audiovisual is usually best set up at the open end of the seating.
Common Uses: Suitable for interactive sessions such as smaller conferences and meetings, debates, workshops, training sessions
3 BOARDROOM AND HOLLOW SQUARE | Appropriate for interactive discussions and note-taking sessions for fewer than 25 people. Many hotels have elegant "boardrooms" for 10 to 20 people, equipped with full audiovisual capabilities, a writing board, a corkboard, and a flip chart.
Common Uses: Meetings, conference breakout sessions, smaller sessions, brainstorming
4 RECEPTION | A stand-up social function where beverages and light foods are served. Foods may be presented on small buffet tables or passed by servers. May precede a meal function.
Common Uses: Short events, networking events, drink receptions, social events
5 SCHOOLROOM | Appropriate for large sessions and short lectures that do not require extensive note-taking. This is a convenient setup to use before breaking into discussion or role-playing groups because chairs can be moved.
Common Uses: Ideal for note-taking, medium-sized conferences or events, longer events, training, tests, use of computers and tablet devices, access to water
6 THEATER | Appropriate for large sessions and short lectures that do not require extensive note-taking. This is a convenient setup to use before breaking into discussion or role-playing groups because chairs can be moved.
Common Uses: Conferences, presentations, annual meetings, product launches, displays, lectures, performances
7 BANQUET | Generally used for meals and sessions involving small group discussions. A five-foot round table seats eight people comfortably. A six-foot round table seats 10 people comfortably.
Common Uses: Weddings, evening events, sit-down meals, entertainment or music-based stage events that don’t require attendees constantly focusing their attention or turning around.
8 CABARET | This setup is particularly useful for events that have both meals and performances or require group work and want to encourage networking.
Common Uses: Meals with presentations or performances e.g. award evenings, luncheons, workshops, conferences