Venue Parking - Do's and Dont's

Venue Parking can be a hindrance or an asset to you, depending how you manage it

Venue Parking can either be an asset or a pitfall for you and your customers - depending on how you manage it. This week in our blog we will look at the basic dos and don'ts when it comes to event and venue parking, an often overlooked aspect of event planning. 

There's nothing like inadequate parking that can put a dampener on an event. Whether you are attending, hosting, or even just living close to an event venue, disorganized parking can quickly turn into a nightmare. Congestion, potential accidents, obstruction of emergency exits, street overflow... the realities of not giving enough focus on event parking can go from frustrating to incredibly dangerous, very quickly. 

Don't Neglect Accessibility Parking 

Not providing enough accessible parking spaces for your event is as good as promoting your event as an able-bodied person-only experience. Designated spots for people with mobility limitations enable those who need extra space for mobility aids or those who need to be closer to entrances to actively participate in their community. 

Make sure not to neglect accessible parking

Spots need to be plenty, well signposted, and routinely patrolled to ensure those without disability permits are not misusing them. Even if you offer valet parking, offering accessible spaces is a must, as some vehicles can be adapted for special use and not easily operated by others. 

Make it easier for those with mobility issues to find parking by actively promoting it alongside your event - ensure that the number of spaces, proximity to event, space dimensions and any reservation systems are all easily available to those who need it. Your attendees will thank you! 

Do Make Use of Digital Tools To Maintain Efficiency 

There are many parking management tools and apps that are emerging onto the market that allow guests to reserve spots ahead of time, check current occupancy rates, get live instructions to open spots, pay with contactless methods, and so on. You can install sensored lighting systems, LPR, and automatic barriers to have the entire process as smooth as it can be. Implementing these tools will make sure traffic flows well and guests will remember the seamless experience they had and are more likely to come back in the future. 

Dont Neglect Maintenance

Regularly inspect and maintain the parking facility, including lighting, signage, payment machines, ramps, and pathways. Promptly address any maintenance issues, such as potholes, broken equipment, or malfunctioning payment systems, as one malfunctioning part of your parking organization can quickly have a domino effect and render the rest useless. LPR not working? Expect queues of cars blocking entrances and exits calling customer service. Sensor system not working? Cars will be lined up at spaces that were supposed to be unoccupied. Large pothole? Expect claims on damaged wheels. Make sure to avoid all of this by inspecting your facilities regularly. 

Do Have a Plan B

Different types of events will have different needs. For instance, a wedding will require ample space for guests to park and move around, whereas a business conference may need parking for several days with access to EV charging. Know your limitations, if you are working with a small parking lot space, have a backup plan ready. Give your guests/attendees additional options such as public parking or private lots that offer shuttles to the venue. 

Similarly for emergency situations, make sure your facilities are set to allow guests to leave quickly if needed, and well signposted to avoid any confusion. 

By having a contingency plan in place, you can be prepared for the best and worst-case scenarios that your guests will thank you for. 

Don't Ignore Feedback 

Do a quick search of ''venue parking reviews'' and you will find people are very vocal about the parking facilities - especially when they are sub-par. Complaints on congestion, signage, safety and even cleanliness are extremely common. Attendees will remember the parking services above the event if it causes them to be late arriving or leaving, if they feel unsafe, or if they arrive back to a damaged or missing car. Make sure to allow guests to send you feedback on all aspects of your event directly to avoid rage posting on social forums, and actually respond to those reviews. its a chance to make sure you are meeting demands when it comes to customer needs and staying ahead of the game, so people will chose your venue again and again in the future. 

Ensure Staff are Well Trained

Parking at large venues can be a complex task that requires effective coordination and management to ensure smooth operations and a positive experience for attendees. Having staff prepared and well-trained will ensure that if all your other precautions fail, you will have a fail-safe in your staff. They should be knowledgeable about emergency protocols, traffic management, and crowd control to ensure the safety of attendees and vehicles. Friendly and knowledgeable staff can enhance the overall experience of event-goers, leaving a positive impression.

(Edited to include a suggestion from our reader Raymond Humbert) 

In Short 

Embracing technology, updating your facilities, and making sure they are well monitored and maintained can make a world of difference to someone attending an event at your venue. Preparation is key and will leave you with a much smoother experience than assuming attendees will figure out the parking situation themselves. 

No event no matter how it is will make up for poor parking lot management, will leave a bad taste in customers' mouths, and most certainly affect whether they will choose you/or attend an event at your venue in the future. 

Don't let poor parking management be the downfall of your event venue! Turn it into an asset and see the difference it makes. 


Want to improve your parking facility but don't know how? Get in contact with our members or send us an email, and we'll make sure you have all the information you need to get started!