We understand it is difficult to find and reserve the perfect venue 100% of the time. It sometimes feels like all of the good ones are taken and need to be booked well in advance. This post is a guideline for things to look for when comparing multiple venues and hope it helps you determine which one is best for your competition or convention.
Parking is important for a number of reasons. Coming to and from the venue should be fast and easy. This is especially important for locations running in the winter and fall seasons. Try to avoid small parking lots and the need for overflow parking. Parking on the street can be fine, but not when paid parking is needed.
2. Change Rooms
A great venue needs to have large changes rooms or multiple areas to change. It’s best to limit how many studios share a change room, the fewer the better. When changing areas are limited things can get weird. We’ve been to events where dancers are changing at the side of the stage! This type of setup should be avoided at all costs.
3. Comfortable Seating
Sitting and waiting isn’t so bad if you have a nice seat to sit in. This encourages more people to stay inside the venue and watch more routines. It also helps keep people in a better mood and can make an event a more positive experience for spectators. It’s nice when family members and friends attend with the dancers, so help them enjoy the show!
4. Food and Water Inside the Venue
Food and water policies are hard to control, but it’s always good to find out when comparing venues. It is nice to be able to eat or drink inside the venue while watching performances. While most venues have restrictions to this, being able to sit with a bottled drink can be a nice touch for spectators.
5. Air Conditioning
Many competitions run in the spring and summer seasons. These are the hot seasons and air conditioning is a must inside some venues. Cooler temperatures help calm the nerves of dancers, teachers, and parents. But make sure it isn’t too cold, as this can lead to injuries and illness. Many costumes are very light in fabric so it’s important to find balance between finding the best temperature for the dancers and the audience.
6. Keep it Clean
An on-side cleaning staff can be a big help or at the very least sufficient garbage cans around the venue and paper towels in the bathrooms. If people don’t have a place to put garbage, it ends up on the floor. We’ve all seen this in bathrooms in the late afternoon. Garbage scattered backstage, in change rooms and in the seating area can be dangerous as people rush around in preparation. Find a way to keep the venue clean, or people will leave with a bad taste in their mouths.
7. A Great Stage
A great stage can lead to a great performance. Make sure the stage is big enough for dancers so they don’t feel limited in their movements. Some older theatres may have worn out stages with soft spots that make it hard to turn on. Check the stage, from an audience’s perspective and from a dancers perspective.
8. Access to Food
Don’t pick a venue that isn’t close to any nearby restaurants. The DanceComp Genie Events app is a great tool for quickly finding nearby restaurants, but it doesn’t help if these restaurants are 30 minutes away. Some venues provide food for sale inside the venue, this is always a nice way to get a quick snack but it can be a burden if they don’t allow outside food to be brought inside. Certain dancers prefer certain homemade snacks to keep them going.
9. Backdrop and Stage Lights
These two elements can turn a dull performance into an engaging experience. A branded backdrop and focused stage lights will help your photography look sharp. It will also provide a reminder that the photos where taken at your event, which is great for promotion and memorabilia. When done right, these two items can make any competition look amazing!
10. A Great Sound System
Did you try out the sound system? I’ve been to an event with a blown speaker and it was a constant distraction. Dancing to crisp clean audio can help a dancer perform at their best and keep the audience feeling like they are at a live concert. If you are playing music in between routines, it’s important to turn it down a bit so the audience can hear each other speak. I hate it when I can’t comment about a great performance while waiting for the next routine to come on stage.
These suggestions were based on the opinions and complaints of the thousands of dance studios in the DCG network. Please let us know if we missed any thing by writing them in the comments section below!