Before the holidays we looked at the importance of event goals and the process of identifying target markets while keeping the goals in mind. We prepared a mission statement and talked about the various parameters for selecting an event date. We shortlisted 4 possible dates and set off to find the perfect venue to host the Let’s Get Together! Parent Expo – Etobicoke 2017
So how does one go about finding a venue for an expo? A “venue” is defined as a location or a physical space where something is expected to happen – especially an event. Let’s look at the first part of that, it’s the location. The GTA offers a huge array of event spaces in all sizes. We are lucky to have some of the exhibition centers and trade show spaces in North America, so our choices were vast. However, Let’s Get Together! Parent Expo – Etobicoke 2017 – has to be in Etobicoke. So that helped focus our search.
Other factors to keep in mind when venue shopping:
- Capacity (Does the size of the space meet your requirements?)
- Availability (is the space free for the date/time you need?)
- Ease of Access (driving distance/ commuting options)
- Accessibility (is it an accessible space?)
- Parking (Is there enough? is there a cost?)
- Facilities (Does the venue offer the facilities/ services you would require for your event?)
- Rental Fees (does it fit in your budget and help you meet your goals?)
- Other Costs (Sometimes you may find yourself incurring additional costs to prepare your space for your event. This cost may vary based on what facilities are offered by the venue and what you would need to bring in externally. Examples include additional power, extra takes & chairs, or even wifi)
In our Jr. Event Pros workshop*, students receive a ‘Venue Checklist’ handout that acts as a convenient reminder of things to check when going in for a site visit. Also having all your notes from each of your contender venues all on the same checklist helps to compare them and gives you a better handy reference point.
For the Parent Expo 2017, we selected to go with the Etobicoke Olympium. The Parent Expo is a community building event and it just felt right to be in a community space! We absolutely loved how convenient the location is right at the border of Etobicoke and Mississauga making it easy both for those driving in and and those taking the TTC. And the space itself was just right for the number of vendors and the number of attendees we anticipated.
But it wasn’t all so easy. We visited with and spoke to a few other venues before we fell in love with the Olympium but we weren’t 100% satisfied. When we went in for a site visit at the Olympium however, we knew it was the one. Imagine our disappointment when we found out that none of our four pre-selected dates were available! So we went back to the drawing board and put together a SWOT table. We could either go with one of the other venues that had our dates, but we didn’t love or we could make changes on our end and make magic happen on one of the available dates at the venue of our choice. This is why the event mission statement is so important, its a constant reminder and perfect benchmark to against which you can make decisions like these when you face challenges. Always refer back to the event goals and you’ll know what the right choice is!
We chose to do the latter of the two above choices. We moved things around, and worked closely with the dedicated team at the Olympium to make sure we secured the space we knew was right!
So after several cups of coffee, and tons of scribbling on whiteboards, we are happy to announce that the Let’s Get Together! Parent Expo Etobicoke 2017 will be held at the Gymnasium at the Etobicoke Olympium. on Saturday, May 6th 2017.
* The Jr. Event Pro Workshop teaches students grade 5-8 how to plan their own event. Students work in groups and create an event plan for of their own. In a fun and interactive environment students learn essential skills like goal setting, scheduling and time management, budgeting, critical thinking and creativity. To find our more or to book a Jr. Events Pro Workshop for your school contact us today!
Image Source: Alison Canning