Start searching for a venue as soon as you pick your 3 dates.
Low budget (if not free) options
- Schools/ Universities
- Public event halls
- Park event halls
- Local tech companies
- Local start-up companies
- Venture capital firms
- Train stations
Always ask for discounts or try to negotiate. The worst that can happen is they say no.
Try to contact people who have used the venues before to ask what the pros and cons are.
As soon as you nail it down, book ASAP. Ask if you can come by the evening before to setup and bring equipment. This will make the day of the event much easier.
If your venue does not have this, you will have to hire a local provider to set it up. Test the wi-fi beforehand and offer a private, secure network for presenters if necessary. Have the tech come by a few days before so they can check everything out and see what they need, etc. Make sure there is cell phone reception and test it out beforehand.
Don’t forget to find out if your venue requires event insurance.
Check with your city and state’s visitor and tourism bureau.
Questions to ask:
- When are out of season periods / shoulder seasons?
- Have you had a last minute cancellation or a hole to fill?
- Is there good cell phone reception? What are the good and bad areas?