Planning an event can be an exciting and fun activity, but it can also feel intimidating and overwhelming. We have put together this helpful guide so that you can confidently choose the venue that is best suited for your function.
The venue that you choose will impact every aspect of your special occasion – your experience and enjoyment as well as that of your guests. It’s also one of the first things you’ll have to do.
The sooner you book your venue the better. This way you’ll have the best chance of securing the venue that is best suited to your function. Events are usually organised around a specific date, so the earlier you book your venue the better chance you will have of getting the exact date that you want.
There are a few questions you’ll need to answer before selecting your venue options and booking the venue of your choice:
- Does your event have to take place on a specific date or are you able to be flexible?
- Is it a morning, afternoon, all day or evening event?
- What is your budget for your event?
- What is the estimated size of your event in terms of the number of guests or attendees you’re expecting?
- What are your space requirements? Do you need a dance floor? Or a stage for a speaker/s?
Once you have an idea of the answers to the question above you can start looking for a venue that accommodates these parameters.
Now that you have an outline of what your event is going to look like, let’s look at what you need to consider when choosing a venue.
1. Location, Location, Location
A successful event meets your needs as well as being a pleasant experience for your guests and people attending. So when choosing the location consider the importance of the venue being a suitable distance from your attendees’ home or place of work.
If you have guests travelling from out of town a venue near the airport and hotels will be best. If you have people travelling from all over the city a central location favours all attendees.
Make it as easy as possible for your guests to be on time by choosing a location that is easy to find and on a well lit street. This is also important for guests travelling alone or older guests – especially at night or after enjoying a drink or two.
2. Parking at the Venue
Make sure your venue has a safe and secure parking lot that is easily accessible.
You and your guests will be grateful for a paved or tarred parking lot that will not ruin your beautiful outfits or demolish fine heeled shoes, which have a tendency to sink into soft ground.
A well lit parking lot is also a consideration for guests utilising Ubers or public transport as it provides them with a suitable place to wait.
3. Capacity and amount of guests
Ensure that your venue can hold the number of guests you’re expecting to attend. Remember this will be influenced by other space requirements, such as whether you need a dancefloor and, if so, the size of your dancefloor or whether you need a stage.
Also make sure to find out from your venue if they have any minimum requirements.
4. Services and Amenities
Make certain that you are clear on whether the venue hire includes tables, chairs, linens, setup before and clean up after your function.
Ascertain what the venue’s kitchen facilities are and what audio visual equipment they have, if needed.
You may also want to enquire about their preferred partners. Preferred partners have an existing relationship with the venue and are familiar with their equipment and amenities.
5. Layout of Venue
Remember how we said one of the early questions you’ll want to answer is what are your space requirements? Well, this is because it will affect the layout of your event. In order to know if your venue is a good choice for your function you need to know that it can accommodate all your space requirements.
Think about the different types of activities you’ll be having at your event and that will give you an idea of what amenities (see point above) that you will need.
Remember to consider practicalities such as plug points.
Ambiance is the atmosphere and mood that you want your event to have. This usually is an echo of what the event is about. Romantic functions are often candlelit for this reason, but working functions usually require a well lit space.
Consider how the external and internal space at the venue can be utilised to create an ambiance that matches the tone you want to set for your venue.
7. Acoustics of the Venue
Most functions require good acoustics. Acoustics determine whether all your guests can hear speakers at your event and ensure that there is no echo. Good acoustics means music sounds well rounded and invites guests onto the dance floor or just to enjoy the ambiance created by the music.
A final thought.
The venue you choose is the setting for your function, but shouldn’t overshadow you or your function itself. Your event should be the main story and the venue the backdrop to your story.
Your choice of venue should add to the story you are creating – not be the story. A venue should be customisable and adaptable to showcase and highlight you, your guests and your event.
This is ultimately what sets your event apart from other events: that it represents the flavour, personality and character that is uniquely yours.