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Choosing the Perfect Event Venue: Your Ultimate Checklist

When it comes to organizing an event, selecting the right venue is crucial. The venue you choose will have a significant impact on various aspects of your event, such as capacity, flow, catering, travel, and...

When it comes to organizing an event, selecting the right venue is crucial. The venue you choose will have a significant impact on various aspects of your event, such as capacity, flow, catering, travel, and theme. To help you in this important decision-making process, we have compiled a comprehensive venue checklist that covers all the key factors you need to consider. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through the process of choosing the perfect venue for your event.

Before Choosing a Venue For Your Event

Before diving into the specifics, there are a few factors that should be at the top of your list when considering a venue:

  • Budget: Determine your financial constraints and ensure the venue you choose fits within your budget.
  • Number of Attendees: Assess the size of your event and choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate all your guests.
  • Type of Event: Consider the nature of your event, whether it's formal, informal, or requires specific technical requirements.

Keeping these factors in mind will make the venue selection process much smoother. Once you have these key aspects sorted, it's time to think about the "when" and "where" of your event.

When to Start Looking at Choosing a Venue for an Event

If you're wondering when to start looking for a venue, the answer is simple: the sooner, the better. Ideally, you should aim to choose your venue as far in advance as possible, whether it's weeks, months, or even years ahead, depending on the type of event or the season.

Booking your venue well in advance allows you ample time to plan other essential aspects of your event, such as catering, marketing, and staffing. To simplify your search, there are various online resources available to help you find the perfect venue that matches your specific requirements.

Venue Directory Sites

Start your venue search by exploring various venue directory sites. These platforms offer a wide range of venues you can choose from by simply entering your criteria.

Alternatively, you can also opt for a venue sourcing agency, though some may charge a commission fee per booking. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can search online using specific keywords related to your desired location and venue requirements.

Your Event Venue Checklist

Now that you have a clear understanding of the preliminary considerations, let's dive into the essential elements of our venue checklist. This checklist will equip you with everything you need to know when choosing a venue for your event.

1. Location

Location is undoubtedly one of the most critical factors to consider when selecting a venue. Choose a venue that is easily accessible for your attendees, either by being local or by having excellent transport links.

Consider the following:

  • Are there nearby train stations, airports, or bus interchanges?
  • If the venue isn't within walking distance, is there a reliable taxi service available?
  • Is there ample parking available for your guests?
  • If your event is at a considerable distance from the attendees, consider nearby accommodations.

Board meeting in a modern boardroom Board meeting in a modern boardroom

2. Capacity and Minimums

Knowing the approximate number of attendees is essential for choosing a venue with the appropriate capacity. It's advisable to select a space that can accommodate slightly more people than your expected guest list to account for any fluctuations.

Consider the following:

  • What is the venue's capacity, and does it align with your attendee count?
  • Are there any fire and safety codes the venue must adhere to?
  • What are the food and beverage (F&B) minimums for the venue?

Person in the foreground presenting in front of a crowd of seated attendees Person in the foreground presenting in front of a crowd of seated attendees

3. Layout

Having a clear vision of your event's layout is crucial when choosing a venue. Determine the seating arrangement and consider whether you require additional spaces like breakout areas, reception areas, or bars.

Consider the following:

  • Does the venue offer flexibility in adjusting the layout to suit your needs?
  • Is there a 3D virtual tour or images available to help you visualize the space?

Person working out the cost of their event using a calculator Person working out the cost of their event using a calculator

4. Facilities

Apart from capacity and layout, it's crucial to consider the facilities offered by the venue. Review your checklist of facility requirements and compare them to what the venue provides.

Consider the following:

  • Is there sufficient parking available?
  • Do they offer essential equipment, such as audiovisual capabilities, Wi-Fi, or hybrid event functionality?
  • Do they provide necessary staff, including waiters, bartenders, IT support, and cleaning?
  • Is there adequate security?
  • Can they cater to your food and beverage requirements?
  • Do they offer accommodations, if needed?
  • Are there breakout areas or outdoor seating available?
  • Can they provide tables, chairs, and linens?

Having a dedicated contact person at the venue who can assist you with any issues or queries is also essential.

5. Cost

Cost plays a significant role in choosing a venue, and it's essential to understand the pricing models used by various venues. Some venues charge hiring fees, while others have a cost per person or minimum spend requirements.

Consider the following:

  • What factors can affect the price? These may include the date, catering options, location, and furniture.
  • Flexibility on the date can be advantageous for negotiating better prices.
  • Remember to allocate a portion of your budget for marketing, staffing, equipment, and other event essentials.
  • Get all the details in writing, including the date, time, and any specific details, in a contract.

Self-service catering at a corporate event Self-service catering at a corporate event

6. Style

The style or ambiance of the venue is essential to create the right atmosphere for your event. Whether you're planning a gala dinner or a team-building event, choose a venue that aligns with the type of event you want to host.

Consider the following:

  • Does the venue have the desired layout, experience, and style that match your event's objectives?
  • Does it offer any unique features or outdoor spaces that complement your event?

7. Catering

If you plan to incorporate catering into your event, be sure to communicate your requirements to the venue. Consider dietary restrictions and preferences of your guests, and ask for menu tastings to ensure the food meets your expectations.

Consider the following:

  • Inquire about the catering services and menu options available.
  • Read reviews and seek recommendations for catering quality.
  • Some venues have a preferred list of catering companies, so explore your options.

Self-service catering at a corporate event

8. Date and Session

The date and season of your event play a crucial role in choosing a venue. Outdoor events are best suited for summer, while indoor venues are preferable during winter. Always have a backup plan in case of unfavorable weather conditions.

Consider the following:

  • Book your venue well in advance, especially during peak seasons.
  • Be prepared with alternative dates if your preferred dates are not available.
  • Last-minute bookings may offer discounts, but this should only be a last resort.

9. Accessibility

Accessibility is often overlooked when choosing a venue, but it is essential to ensure all your guests can attend comfortably. Consider whether the venue has features such as ramps, elevators, hearing loops, priority seating, and properly trained staff.

10. Objectives

Lastly, consider the objectives of your event. Understanding your event's purpose and strategic goals will help you determine the type of venue, capacity, layout, and facilities you need to achieve those objectives.

Struggling to Choose a Venue? Look No Further.

Choosing a venue doesn't have to be a daunting task. Make Venues, an award-winning venue group across London, Leamington Spa, and Bristol, offers the perfect setting for a variety of corporate events.

If you're interested in our venue options, contact our team today at 0808 168 5876 or fill out our enquiry form for more information.

Remember, selecting the right venue is a crucial step towards hosting a successful and memorable event. Use our comprehensive venue checklist to guide you, and enjoy the process of finding the perfect venue that fulfills all your event requirements.