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When planning a special event, finding the right event space will be one of the most important aspects of throwing the perfect party, press launch or corporate show, that people will talk about all year.
Yes, choosing the right caterer and music is crucial to making an event noteworthy, but the event space makes the first and lasting impression on guests. Will they walk into a dark, small, overcrowded space, or will it be an open, interesting, and functional space? The food and music could be great, but if there isn’t enough room at the venue for everybody to get a seat, or it is dirty and poorly-lit, this could trump the positive aspects of the event, making it a flop. However, if you go into the process of finding an event space with a few tips and tricks, you could find a venue that fits all your needs, including budget, size, ambience, and location.
Below are a few suggestions to get you on your way to throwing a memorable event.
The most valuable thing you can give yourself when finding the right venue is time. Start looking for a location well in advance, as popular event spaces could book over a year beforehand. Starting early will ensure that you have a variety of space options, and not just whatever is “left over”. Also, giving yourself enough time will allow you to research different details of each space that you are interested in. You will be able to find out about different hotels near this space for guests to stay in, local transportation options to and from the event, and what there is to do around the given location for guests who may be staying for more than one day.
You could find what you think is the perfect venue, but the nearest hotel is 24 miles away and no taxi cabs or buses reach the venue. Time allows for research, and research allows for figuring out small details that could make or break your event.
While it is important to have an idea of what you are looking for, if you come into the process with a long list of event space, date, and location requirements, you may be disappointed and not find exactly what you are looking for. Instead, come up with a maximum budget figure, minimum size requirement, general location, and general date that you are going for. If you are able to say that you want to have your event in May, rather than on May 13th, you could save a great deal of money while having more event space options available to you.
If you can look for venues in a variety of locations, instead of just a specific district or town, you could also be looking at a great deal of more choices. In addition, while you may be specifically for a modern-looking venue space, be open to what colour-scheme that space will be.
When searching for the perfect venue, you will need to come up with the maximum amount you can spend on an event space. If you go into the search with a very specific number you are willing to spend, you will immediately eliminate spaces that are too expensive, saving you time. It will also save you from the headache of falling in love with the venue, only to have to say “no”.
Something to keep in mind when setting a budget is that if you look into non-traditional venue spaces, such as parks, art galleries, movie theatres, etc., you may be able to get more for your money. Once you have found a place within your budget, talk to the location agency or the space owner as to how you can arrange payment. What percentage do they want for a deposit? When is the entire amount due? Can you set up a payment plan? Is there an incidentals deposit in case of any damage done to the venue? These are all important questions to ask so you are not stuck with an unexpected bill at an unexpected time.
Once you have made a list of event spaces you are potentially interested in, make sure to visit them all. Even if you have a space you are not sure about, visit it, too. Sometimes a photo over-exaggerates the space, and you find it is not what you are looking for. On the same token, sometimes the photos don”™t show all the wonderful details of a venue, and what you thought to be a mediocre space is actually a gem. Also, if you visit a space, you can get a feel for smaller details, such as how many bathrooms there are versus how many guests you will have, if the bar is in a convenient location, and the general temperature of the room. You may think you have found the perfect event space, but if there is no ventilation or windows, and you are planning for an event in July, it might be a very uncomfortable venue for guests, hindering them from having a good time.
The physical location of an event is only one factor involved in choosing a venue. Features and services that the event space offers are extremely important. Does the space offer table and chairs? Do they have their own sound system? How many hours or days before the event can you access the location? Do they help with decorating? Is there an in-house catering service offered? These are all very important factors beyond just the event space that must be taken into account.
A great tool is to have a spreadsheet of all the venues and their amenities, features, services, prices, sizes, locations, and dates. This way, after all the visits are complete, you can reference the checklist and visually see the details of each event space. You can then weigh the pros and cons, choosing the perfect fit for your blow-out event. Choosing an event space does not have to be stressful if you have ample time and an open-mind. Don’t be afraid to get creative while staying within budget. Extravagant isn’t always the best option, as sometimes casual and intimate spaces make for better conversation and dancing. Choosing the right event space can be a lengthy process, but once the decision has been made, you can be sure that your party will leave a lasting positive impression that people will talk about for years to come.
If your corporate event calls for a classic London feel in a desirable postcode, then we have some great London events venues in our portfolio.