So for this first blog, I was trying to think of the best place to start on this event planning journey and I know from experience that when planning an event, the first consideration most people have, is where the event is going to be held. So let’s start right there and talk about finding the perfect venue! Finding the right venue that ticks all your boxes can be tricky, so here are 5 tips that will help you in your search for the venue that is perfect for you.
First thing you need to do is set a BUDGET!. This is probably the most important aspect of searching for a venue that you cannot afford to miss. Whether it’s a private or corporate function that you are planning, if you fail to agree the budget, it will have a knock on affect on all other decisions concerning your event. Once you budget is set and you know what you can afford, this will save you precious time and energy, looking at venues you simply can’t afford. That said, you may find a venue that is just outside of your budget and ticks all the boxes you need! Having a set budget gives you the lea way to adjust spending in other areas of the event and negotiate the venue at a price that works for all concerned. You’ll never know unless you negotiate but you’ll never negotiate unless you budget, budget budget!
No matter what the event is, you will have an idea of the guest list. You want to go for a venue that can hold more than what you are expecting. So if you have a guestlist of 200 you want to find a venue that can accommodate 250-300. You also want to think about the layout of the venue, does it feel spacious? If you are having a seated event will your guests be able to move around without restrictions? Make sure you consider all of this so your guests are comfortable on the day.
Make sure you give serious consideration to location of the venue. I have been to so many beautiful events, held at amazing venues but in locations that were so off the beaten track and in near impossible places to find. There is no point choosing a venue that no one can get to or have to go so far out of their way to get to. You could lose a good number of guests by not taking this into consideration. For your guests that may drive to the venue for instance, is there onsite parking or parking in the area surrounding. Do you have suppliers that may need to deliver anything for you, they will need to be taken into consideration also For those that are not driving, you need to check that there are good transport connections to and from the venue.
Catering is such an important element for any event. You may have the perfect caterers but you need to know if the venue will allow them on site. Some venues have a list of approved caterers or will only allow for their onsite catering. Also keep in mind that venues will expect any and all outside caterers, to provide the necessary hygiene certificates to serve food. The responsibility will be yours to ensure that the caterer you provide, has all the right documentation in place for the venue booking team to inspect.
So your venue looks lovely and is in the perfect location, have you considered suitability? Do they have tables and chairs available for use? Are they included in the hire or do they come at an additional cost? If you plan on having a party for instance, you may need to check if they have the necessary sound equipment or if you will need to provide your own. Or if you’re hosting a conference/business meeting, will the venue provide adequate audio visual facilities, along with online connections for live streaming purposes? These are the some of the things to take into consideration when thinking about suitability.
Now you are all set to go find that perfect venue!