Parking is a significant component of any large event. Failure to properly plan for the parking needs of your event's guests will not only lead to frustration and disappointment but also may also create dangerous situations as vehicles jockey for limited parking spaces. If you have not planned for sizable events before, then it can be easy to overlook the many potential difficulties that parking can present. As you begin to prepare for the big day (or night), keep these three essential parking considerations in mind so that you do not find yourself overwhelmed by a parking nightmare.
One of the first things that many guests will notice when arriving at your event is the distance from the parking location to the actual event location. The greater the distance, the more likely your guests will be to loop through your lot looking for a closer parking space. It is especially important to consider the distance of the farthest parking spots in your lot. It can be easy to look at the closest spots and conclude that your parking situation will not present any major problems, but the difference in walking distance between near and far spots can easily be ten minutes or more for very large lots. Some guests may choose to leave if faced with exceptionally long walks.
It is ideal for any event to have sufficient parking for every guest, but predicting the exact attendance of a large event can be difficult and imprecise. It is also not uncommon for venues to simply lack the parking required to accommodate their maximum number of guests. In these cases, options must be available for overflow parking. When evaluating your overflow options, consider nearby free and paid parking. Is street parking available nearby? Are there paid parking garages or lots within close parking distance? Are these overflow locations in areas safe enough that your guests will be comfortable leaving their vehicles there?
In addition to the physical characteristics of your parking situation, it is also essential to consider how parking will be managed on the day of your event. The more limited your space, the more you will need to consider actively managing your event's parking. At a basic level, parking can be managed with attendants that efficiently direct your guests to open spots. If your parking situation is more complex, or if space is more limited, then hiring a valet service is likely to be a much better option. This can be an especially good course to take if your parking lot is large and guests are likely to have difficulty walking from the most distant parts of it.
Whether you choose to use event valet parking service or manage parking yourself, do not ignore this important aspect of event planning. With proper parking management, your guests will be able to enjoy their time at your event rather than becoming frustrated before they have even set foot in your venue.