I was on the internet the other day looking at different event venues. What interested me is the usefulness of floor plans and capacity charts to an event planner. And I was shocked. Who can make sense of these things? Most of them are just crap!
- Capacity charts and floor plans that show maxed out seating with no stage.
- Floor plans that have no dimensions whatsoever on them.
- Unusable PDF‘s that only show nice pictures but give no information.
- Conflicting specifications where one states a different capacity than the other.
How is an Event Planner supposed to even start considering which venue to evaluate?
Now that I‘ve calmed down, lets have a closer look.
If the venue is interesting enough, I‘ll call them and ask for detailed floor plans that meet the following criteria:
- They must be up to date, meaning that all changes to the building are shown in the floor plan
- Plans must be to scale, meaning that a scale (1:200) is mentioned on the plan or shown telling how many centimeters or inches on the plan correspond to the actual length, like this plan shows:
- The plans must show any areas that must be kept clear due to safety considerations. I remember a plan of an exhibition hall that didn‘t show trap doors in the floor that had to be kept free resulting in having to plan the booths around the trap doors.
- What I would love to see is a so called vertical section which shows all the different heights in a room.
If you have nothing other than a one page floor plan PDF with no dimensions.
Have someone from the venue measure the short wall of the room. This will be used as a reference.
Now you have to do a little math:
- Convert feet or yards into inches (1 yard= 36 inches).
- Convert meters to centimeters (1 meter = 100cm).
- Find the exact location where the measurement was taken on the plan.
- Take the same measurement at the same location on the plan. (in inches or centimeters)
- Divide the real measurement (converted to inches or centimeters) by the second measurement (taken off the plan).
- Measure whatever you need on the plan and multiply by the number you got out of your last division.
- You then have the dimension you want.
- Don‘t forget to scale it up again into feet or meters.
In my next post I will talk about capacity charts and how to read them the right way. Until then, happy venue hunting!
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