When throwing a party, you’ll often have a hard time finding the ideal venue. No need to worry, you’re not the only one with this problem.
Whether it’s a birthday party, a wedding, glamorous gala dinner or a formal conference, the venue choice can really make or break an event. That’s why we claim that a venue is one of the most important things for a party, so make sure to take enough time and effort to choose the right one. You’ll want to know exactly what you need and expect to have a successful event.
That’s why we put together this list of things to bear in mind when scouting event venues for your ideal party.
One of the biggest factors that will influence your decisions when organizing a party is your budget. Of course, you know how much money you want to spend, but how to fit the right venue in the budget is another question. Different party venues have different price models and the one you choose might end up having a big difference in the final cost.
You’ll have to consider hire fees, cost per person, maybe a minimum spend too. And that might seem overwhelming if you haven’t done your homework. Here’s some tips that can help you negotiate a better price.
First thing’s first - you’ll want to know the date of the party and the number of guests you are planning to invite. Bear in mind that certain days of the week tend to cost less and that being flexible on the date of the event could reduce the final cost. That can be a great way to negotiate with venues. By providing a couple of date options, you are more likely to get lower price offers from the venues.
When negotiating, you’ll also want to know the capacity of the venue, because, let’s be honest, you don’t want to have a 500 people party in a room that fits 300. Make sure that you know at least an accurate estimate of the number of the guests, because this will immediately limit your venue options, making the shortlisting process easier.
You’ll also want your venue to be in a reasonable distance from most attendees' residential addresses, and if many people are attending from afar, maybe you’ll want to find a place for them to stay. These are the things you’ll want to check before beginning to scout for great venues.
It’s easy to organize a great party with an open budget, but, most probably, you’ll have your financial resources limited and that’s why you’ll want to be aware of these limitations when beginning to plan out the event. Remember - there’s always room to negotiate the price if you know what you are looking for and where you can be a bit flexible.
One thing people tend to forget is that not all venues offer a full round service. Venues provide different levels of services and facilities. Some just give you the space for your event, while you’ll have to take care of all the services like catering, decorations and other technical expenses.
That’s why it’s important to plan out your requirements. Do you need a dance floor or a PA system? Maybe a projection screen? Does the venue offer table setup and food services?
Some venues, for example, have a list of vendors they collaborate with or have clear restrictions on the decor. That’s why you should include some of the following questions to ask in an initial meeting:
Some of these questions will influence the final budget of the event, because, assuming that the venue can provide some of these services, it might turn out cheaper to take a full service. But always aim to align everything with your theme and ambiance, so, if their offer doesn’t suit your needs, try to negotiate hiring third-party vendors.
When picking out the right venue for your event, it’s important to take their reputation into consideration and it will often be the decisive factor. That’s why it’s always important to try to find different testimonials or reviews to help you with your decision.
Also, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit before contracting a venue. What you see in the pictures is one thing, but there are so many important aspects that can only be evaluated in person. That’s why it’s worth putting in the time and the effort necessary to make a screening visit - it will often be one of the most important factors in your decision.
Always be specific - are you hosting a formal event or more of a casual get-together? Always think about the type of the venue that would best suit your event style. That’s another way to cut back on the expenses, because if you choose the right venue, you’ll end up spending a lot less money on the decor.
Every type of event has a suitable event venue and one thing to have in mind when searching for the right one is their experience in hosting events similar to yours. The ideal venue will have hosted similar events in the past and will know what you need to make your event successful.
While their experience is extremely valuable, you’ll want to know what types of space you will need for your event (reception area, stage, dressing room,...) so you can make an informed decision.
You’ll want the venue to provide adequate technical support on the day. The majority of good venues will have good equipment and Wi-Fi coverage, but that’s something you don’t want to miss out checking on.
Nowadays, technical possibilities are important for parties, because we are starting to rely more and more on technology to have fun. So, you’ll want your venue to provide you with the technical minimum to hold your event in a way you imagined to.
As always, the biggest advice we can give you is to start planning on time. Popular venues can be booked up to a year in advance. The more time you have, the greater the possibility is to find the perfect venue.
When making research, make sure to have a clear set of choosing criteria, from capacity, price to health and safety regulations. It all starts from that list and your set of criteria will be the primary shortlisting filter. When shortlisting, you can use event listing websites or tools like Tagvenue.
And that’s maybe the most important thing - your criteria will naturally make up a shortlist of venues, but your job then is to make up your mind on just the one. That’s why you should always reach out and make a screening visit to make sure that this venue is the perfect place for you to host the party of your life.
Once you find the right venue, make sure to go through these tips to help you find great event vendors for your dream party!