Not all event venues are created equal. Meeting rooms and conference halls are not used for the same purposes, and neither are hotel lounges and art galleries. While there might be some overlapping in the choice of these types of venues for corporate events, a good event planner will always know how to fine-tune the location-scouting process to the specific needs of each client. The first question that needs to be answered is: what does the client expect from the venue? What statement are they trying to make? And, most importantly, do they know that, whatever venue they choose, they will be making a statement? There’s no escaping this simple truth: when you invite someone to an event, the space in which you welcome them says a lot about you and about the kind of relationship you are hoping to establish with your guests.
The impossible brief
As event planners, perhaps the most common request we get, when it comes to venues, is that they should “surprise and amaze”, that they should be somehow unusual, unexpected, memorable. That, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean that brands and insurance companies have suddenly decided to hold conferences in abandoned airports or illegal rave sites. When a corporate client says “unique” and “astonishing” they usually imply “while still projecting a sense of prestige, reliability and belonging”. How do you satisfy such a request? You get creative. And you access the vast network of national and international contacts you have created in over ten years’ worth of event planning experience. And by “you”, we mean “us”.
The ultimate event venue
So, what do you actually, when you are tasked with finding an event venue that will take your client’s breath away, while also being the epitome of prestige and style? You go high. If you are in Milan, for instance, you could take advantage of the pleasant warmth of the early spring months and organise a product launch on the rooftop terrace of one of the tallest skyscrapers in the city. This is one of the best things about event planning in Italy: sometimes you really don’t have to stress over set-ups too much, because chances are, if you choose an event venue with the right view, the landscape will do most of your work for you. And, in truth, there is no indoor set-up that can compete with the beauty of Milan, stretching out into the distance, as you watch the sun go down on its unique skyline of ancient churches and hyper-modern glass-buildings.
This particular characteristic, that Milan shares with the vast majority of Italian cities, was particularly suited to fit our client’s brief. We were tasked with creating an event whose style mixed elements of tradition and history with modern design. The main theme was to be opera, but the visual impact was to be sleek, contemporary and minimalistic. This is often the case with product launches: creating the right atmosphere is essential, but at the same time you don’t want the event venue’s personality to overshadow the product and distract from its features. In this instance, the object of the presentation was a new line of beauty products, whose packaging was to stand out in an elegant, light-filled environment. The opera theme provided a sophisticated context, the breath-taking view from the rooftop terrace did the rest.