How to secure a venue for a nonprofit event

Aspiration is planning a plethora of events right now so I am in the process of securing event venues right and left.

Here are the steps we take to research and secure a venue for an Aspiration run event.

1. Create a budget for the event with venue costs per-day included as a line item.

2. Estimate number of event attendees and how many plenary and breakout rooms are needed for the event.

3. Determine estimated date and time of the event and event location--city. 

4. If Aspiration does not have a list of venues to start with and we haven't held an event in that particular city before, we post a venue search request on nonprofit specific listservs in the event area. So, for our Penguin Day DC event, I posted a request on the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network DC listserv stating that we were looking for an affordable venue to hold 100 people and we needed between 2-4 breakout rooms--I received quite a few responses from the list with great suggestions.

5. After compiling a list of potential venues, we check out the venue websites to narrow down our choices based on price, capacity, venue availability, and a variety of other specific event questions like--does the venue have internet? 

After we choose the right venue to hold the event and sign the contract, then we: 

1. Add the venue to our liability insurance.

2. Verify the emergency evacuation procedures for the venue. 

3. Take a walk through of the venue to test the internet and determine final set up configurations for each room.  

This post is follow-up to an earlier post Event Planning for Nonprofits.