How to choose the best location for your event type

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

In this video we’re gonna dig in a bit more about how to choose a location for your event type. Believe me, there’s a method to the madness. It’s all about how you want your attendees to feel when they’re experiencing your live event. And their senses play a major part in this. Can you see how that connects to the location now? Planning with the attendee experience in mind is key. It shows you how to choose the best location for your event type. So, let’s see which locations work best for the three event types.

Let’s start with a conference. In an earlier video I talked about why people attend conferences. I’ll link that video above. But the main reason people attend conferences is because they want to be inspired. That’s why for the most part, they’re hosted in larger or well-known cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, etc. You get the drift. In larger cities, you find lots of diversity in people’s skin colour, their dress, their thoughts and more. But what I find most interesting is that the swankiest, most colourful and visually appealing hotels are in the big cities. The lobbies are exquisite and full of bright and vibrant colours. The design of the furniture is unique and most have bars and restaurants right in the lobby. A lot of the conferences I’ve listed in my live event directory were hosted at big hotels. I was drooling over the pictures of these hotels. But needless to say, I don’t want you to be limited by a swanky hotel. There are other unique locations that conferences can be held. Think of a renovated barn, a unique museum, etc. As long as it has the space to hold all of our attendees and is visually appealing.

Next, we’ll move on to a retreat. Although at some retreats you’re able to get some work done on your business, let’s face it. The main thing is an opportunity to retreat and do low-key activities that feed your soul. Attendees will be thrown off if they read a sales page for a retreat weekend and it’s in the middle of Times Square. What kind of retreat is that? The two don’t even pair well together. It’s such an odd combination. Again, if we go back to the attendee experience, and think about why attendees go to retreats, the location will become more apparent. For retreats, more emphasis is usually placed on the location, and not really the venue per se. So on the beach coast like San Diego, California, or the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina or even the warm tropics like the Caribbean or Mexico. What matters is that the location lends itself to a peaceful vibe where attendees can really feel serene and be at one with nature. Remember, you may be doing calming activities like yoga, meditation, walks and so on. The location needs to make sense.

What about a workshop? Some first-time organizers perceive this event type to be difficult to choose a location for and I can see why. You don’t necessarily need an ultra quiet location but you don’t necessarily want a larger city either. So what’s an organizer to do? For workshops I like a balance between the two. Because attendees would mostly be getting work done while at a workshop, it would be considerate if they can hear themselves think. And they don’t need to be overstimulated with the bright colours and design of a swanky hotel. The atmosphere should be as muted as possible to decrease any distractions and increase focus and productivity. So if you must have it in New York City, how about the Village or Uptown Manhattan where the traffic and hustle and bustle is considerably less noisy. This way you can rent a larger office space or the conference room of a co-working space. You can always opt in for a smaller city like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Savannah, Georgia for example. What about areas that are outside of larger cities like Alexandria is to Washington, D.C.? Don’t forget your own town where you reside. If it’s more like a suburb and will give your attendees the experience you want them to have, then go for it.

Choosing the best location for your event type is really important, but also personal. Try to at least stay within the location rules for a conference and retreat but know that you have the flexibility to make the best decisions based on your vision for your event.


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