Site plans are one of those tools that have become an invaluable resource that you may want to consider and develop for your next event.
It’s great to be able to map out how you are going to fit the allotted number of guests into your venue space. This applies to stand up or sit down receptions also meetings, trade shows, conferences and social occasion.
Site plans at first glance:
Using a venue site plan can help you to identify many things including: entrances, staff corridors, kitchens, washrooms etc. – all that allow you to visually navigate the placement of bars, tables, food stations, entertainment, audio visual equipment, registration, dance floors and even emergency services.
Once all of this has been set up, this will further help you determine whether or not you have enough seating or perch points for your guests. You will then know where the potential line-ups may be? Also where are the areas where elements may be added or adjusted for possible site line issues.
Site plans and event suppliers:
The venue will generally require one so that they can look at fire safety, and service requirements. Things to consider include: do you have enough room for the servers to reach your guests, enough bars to adequately service your group. Often a separate set of plans will need to be developed when working on larger events where stage, screen, lighting and sound requirements are present. These rigging site plans ensure the safety of your guests and the stability of the venue is maintained.
It’s also important to double check with your decorator (if you use one) to ensure that what you have proposed is what will be delivered. The proposed site plan also helps all the event partners to see how the room will be set up so that they can plan accordingly.
As a side note – it’s very easy to forget to set up a tech table – and yet that’s the mission control centre for any event that has any sort of stage program with entertainment and speeches.
Site plans and your client
This is one of the places that really assists our clients envision the event from just a theme and colors schemes to the overall vision and how it will all come together. This makes it invaluable for many. It also allows you to discuss reserved tables for those special guests / sponsors or they might suddenly remember they need to add a photo booth or another important aspect that will complete the event.
It’s hard to believe that once upon a time we did rough sketches (in pencil) to achieve our vision and now there are a number of ways to create these. If you’re new to site plans, there are various resources available that range from computer programs to event partners.
First and foremost, the venue you work with should have an draft site plan to work with and generally this is included in the services they provide you. I have, on occasion, worked in venues that are less likely to provide this ex. a golf course.
However, not to worry, in these cases my event designer / decorator was able to build a site plan that became invaluable in our planning process.
If you subscribe to an event software company, (Google this and some big names will come up) many of them include software in the costs of the other tools you are subscribing to. I haven’t used it myself but I have heard good things about www.socialtables.com
The last piece of advice I would like to leave you with, is that it’s important to remember that sometimes things appear on paper differently than they do in real life. Scale can be a funny thing and it’s always important to be willing to be flexible onsite and make the changes that will work better for you, your guests and your event!