Corporate events are a great way to draw attention to your brand, focus on your company, and shine the spotlight on clients, employees, sponsors, and other professional peers. It’s also a great way to make new connections and solidify existing ones. The venue you choose plays a large part in your event’s overall success, so in this blog post, we offer tips for selecting the right venue for your next corporate soiree.
First Things First—The Budget
You can’t start planning without determining how much you want to allocate for the event. That will help you determine which venue fits your needs and your budget. Remember, the venue is only a part of your overall costs, so splurging on venue fees might mean less money for catering, décor, speakers, and other details that will make your event memorable.
Determine an Approximate Head Count
While you don’t need to know precisely how many will be in attendance, you should have a good idea of how many to expect. This will help you determine your venue size and which caterer to choose. Some venues work better for small events, and some caterers specialize in smaller, more intimate gatherings. Conversely, some venues are best for large events, and a small event would feel lost. At Messina’s Catering & Events, we can help guide you to the best venue for your event. We cater small intimate events all the way up to events with 1,000 or more attendees. Look for this flexibility in the caterer you choose.
Always opt for overestimating your attendance. That way, you’ll ensure you have enough room (and not too much, so the room looks empty) and enough food to please the crowd.
Add Variety to Your Menu
We’ve all had to endure events that featured long-winded speakers, uninspiring PowerPoints, and rubber chicken dinners. Instead, look for a caterer that can mix things up with creative action stations, and food and drink pairings. Make sure to offer a nice variety of catering menu items so that the vegans, pescatarians, and carnivores on your guest list will all be equally happy and content. Also, be sensitive to food allergies and offer gluten- and nut-free options for those with dietary restrictions.
Should You Serve Drinks
Many corporate events have a bar, which is appropriate for holiday gatherings, client celebrations, and other similar events. For daytime corporate conferences, you can probably forgo the bar (and its related costs). If the event is all day and winding down at cocktail hour, a pop-up bar at the event’s end is a nice touch. Your caterer can help you determine if and what to serve your guests.
Don’t Overlook Your Audio-Visual Needs
Some venues are simply more high-tech than others. If a powerful audio-visual presentation is at the heart of your next event, you’ll want to select a venue that can accommodate that technological need.
It would be best if you also considered the acoustics of the space. They can affect your event more than you realize. For instance, a tiled floor can significantly impact sound once music starts and chatter begins. When scouting your venues, be sure to ask to hear music played in the space to understand the acoustics better and ask for a test drive of their audio-visual capabilities.
Keep Your Speakers Happy
Speakers rarely have the time or the inclination to eat a large meal before speaking. It’s also a nice touch to offer them a green room where they can collect themselves and prepare for their presentations. Green rooms also allow them to make a greater impact when they step up to the podium rather than having them visible in the main hall before speaking.
Choose a Memorable Venue
We’ve all been to events in standard ballrooms. If you choose a unique venue, your guests will remember! Messina’s is proud to cater at some of New Orleans’ most unique corporate event venues. Here are a few that are excellent for corporate events:
Messina’s at the Terminal – This working airport was carefully restored to its original art deco grandeur in 2013 and features original marble walls and columns, terrazzo floors and murals by world-known artist Zavier Gonzales. It is one of the most dramatic and applauded event spaces in New Orleans.
The Rooftop on Basin – This venue is the best of both worlds; a spacious ballroom for the business portion of the meeting, with an attached balcony that features panoramic views of the New Orleans city skyline.
The Sazerac House – Part Museum, part special event venue, the Sazerac House brings a unique element to any event. It’s an immersive, spirited experience celebrating the New Orleans cocktail culture in a completely restored historic building and event space.
The Pontchartrain Center – Located in Kenner, Louisiana, this 4,600-seat multi-purpose arena is ideal for hosting larger corporate meetings and events.
The Alario Center – This versatile and budget-friendly convention center is located only minutes from downtown New Orleans and the historic French Quarter. It is a must-see when considering a venue for large corporate events.
Jefferson Performing Arts Center – this venue is a chic, 1,041-seat live event venue located in the heart of Jefferson Parish in Metairie. The venue’s lobby boasts an expansive open design and a second-floor terrace great for cocktail receptions.
We Can Help You Plan the Ideal Corporate Event
At Messina’s Catering & Events, we can help you guide you, whether it’s an event for 10 or 1000. We also partner with some of the best event venues in New Orleans and have several of our own that we can suggest. Visit MessinasCatering.com to learn more.