Picnic Planning Help- Choosing a Venue

#1 – Venue Selection:

You’ll want to think about the pros and cons for any venue selection when planning any type of event. When planning a picnic, there are multiple pieces to keep in mind when locating your ideal space to host your annual event.

Venues/Spaces come in a variety of different options, so you’ll want to keep in mind what environment you’d like to host the event. Here is a sample of different spaces, and how to determine if that is the right space for you:

Private – you will have sole use of the space you’re renting. Typically by invite only, and guests need to notify at entry why they’re here and for which organization/company.

Semi-private – locations in which the public is still allowed access, but to attend the event there are security or guest service representatives only allowing guests access to your rented space.

Public – even though a permit for renting a park is necessary for a larger group (typically over 25 guests, or wanting use of specific public space, i.e. fields for inflatables), the public will still have access to the location, just not the specific shelter or area that you have permitted..

  • Public Park – deKoevend Park, Clement Park

Helpful Tip: Guests of the public space typically stay clear of a larger event, but you’ll want to consider keeping track of guest activities (partaking in food and beverage, fun and games, or give aways) by having a clearly designated check-in area and issuing guests wristbands, marking on hands, or having a designation for all the invited guests. This will then allow any catering staff, Fun Productions staff, or other team members to kindly decline any public attendees to your private event.

carnivalIndoor – Not a typical Summer Picnic space, but sometimes the unexpected spaces are the best. Indoor spaces allow for a built in inclement weather plan. No additional steps are needed to plan for crazy Colorado Weather. One significant con though is not being able to enjoy the gorgeous outdoors on a nice summer day. There’s always something…

Outdoor – locations that are solely outdoors, and do not have an alternative rain plan location available. These locations will either have pavilions you’ll need to rent, or designated space. Most larger parks, that are available to rent, will have a designated Pavilion that will need to be rented and varies based on Park district.

Hybrid (indoor and outdoor space) – these locations have a built in rain plan. The indoor space allows for a comfortable atmosphere for partying while still enjoying the sun and fresh air.

  • The Island
  • Sports Authority Field

Parking – guests will be traveling from multiple locations, so you’ll want to keep these in mind with venue selection and what is offered.

  • How easy is the parking access to the space?
  • Is there security for guests to go through?
  • How far is it to walk into the venue/space?
  • How many spaces are available?
  • Will you need signage to direct guests?
  • Can spots be held, or is everything first come first serve?
  • Will guests need to pay for parking, or is it free or discounted?

Location – you’ll want to choose an area of town that is centralized to your guests and attendees. Unless there is a space that you cannot live without, a centralized or location close to work, is typically the best option (especially when first starting). You know employees will travel to work, and most live relatively close by, so having a starting point for a planning area is always good to have. Once you’ve established an annual event (like a Summer Picnic) you can reach outside of those bounds, and plan for better spaces that appeal to new ideas and events.

Access to location – Not all venues/spaces are created equal when renting space. These are some helpful notes to keep in mind when choosing the perfect location:

  • How easy is parking to find, will guests need directions or specific instructions?
  • Is the location easy to find? Does the address come up on a map directory accurately?
  • Will guests need special instructions on where to enter, how to enter, or where to go when they arrive onsite?
  • Will more signage throughout the space be needed? Will people need to be stationed throughout the space directing and answering questions? Will entrance need to be designated to one area, or are there multiple avenues for guests to enter through?
  • Is there large, accurate signage for the venue or space?

When in doubt, be the hostess with the mostest! If finding an offsite location is too overwhelming, or just plainly not in the budget, host the event at your space. Many building management companies will allow tenants (especially if you do not own the property) to host events in the space during non-working hours. Some special permitting and permission may be needed, but this can save a ton of money too when in search of the ideal location.