Food & Drink Magazine

Choosing the Right Venue

By Primal Primos @PrimalPrimos

When an event is still in the early stages of planning, most of the big decisions that need to be made are still up in the air. One of the most important aspects to determine is the venue for an event, and this week’s tip is all about helping you choose the perfect one! Sometimes it feels like there are too many factors to consider, but this check list is a good way to keep everything in order:

  • Timing: Getting started on finding a venue early is important, because many popular venues are booked months or even years in advance. If your event will be outdoors, be sure to select a venue that is available in an appropriate season. It is also important to choose a date for your event when the majority of your guests will be able to attend, and to find a venue that can accommodate any such scheduling concerns.
  • Location: Choosing the perfect venue also involves considering many specifics that are particular to your location. First, will most of your guests be from the local area, or are many attendees coming in from out of town? If guests are local, a venue that is unexpected or off the beaten path can be a fresh choice. If many of your guests are unfamiliar with the area, choosing a venue that is more of a landmark or is easier to find can be the right fit. A venue’s proximity to parking, hotels, and airports is another key consideration. It is also a good idea to check the capacity of your venue’s space in order to make sure that it will comfortably fit all of your guests. Trying to use a venue with a 200-person capacity for a dinner with 20 people or with 400 people would both be problematic!
  • Reputation: A venue’s reputation for service is very important to consider as well. Before deciding on a venue, meet with members of the staff to get a sense of their management style and level of attention to detail. Also, research the venue online and, if possible, read reviews written by past customers to determine if the level of service is up to your standards.
  • Catering/Services: The specific services that a venue offers can often sweeten the deal and make your event even better than it already would be. Venues that have their own in-house caterers or good relationships with caterers in the area make your event planning experience much easier. Many venues that offer catering also have their own serving and wait staff available for events which lessens your workload even more! Some venues offer other helpful services like A/V and sound assistance, in-house photography, and entertainment-booking assistance — consider looking for these services when choosing your venue. If your event will be centered around a certain activity, it is also a good idea to make sure that your venue is able to accommodate what you are planning. Whether you are hoping to have a wine-tasting, go water-skiing, or do corporate team-building, make sure these activities are feasible in your venue.
and of course…
  • Budget: It goes without saying that when playing your event you will need to take your budget into consideration. The perfect venue may be just out of your financial reach, but going with your second choice may allow you to afford top-tier catering or entertainment. Keep in mind that expenses often go over what is expected, so make sure you leave a little room in your budget no matter what!

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