The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Venue for your Event
If you’re not a seasoned event planner, finding a venue with the right fit for your corporate function, private VIP lunch meeting or celebratory cocktail party can be a minefield. Avoid putting a foot wrong with our handy guide to sourcing and locking down your dream space.
Work out your budget
Everything else stems from here. You need to establish your ideal budget and your maximum spend before you can narrow down any of your event options, including venue. Without doing this your event spend can easily blow the bank balance.
What are the essentials?
Write down a list of concrete must-haves to bring your event vision to life. Work out what the absolute necessities are first and then you can come back to the non-essential extras later should your budget allow it.
If it’s set, it’s set, there’s nothing you can do about it, but if you are able to be flexible on things like date and location it could free up your budget for all those non-essentials later on! For example, venues tend to charge more on Fridays, Saturdays and major holidays, so a mid-week event or post-Christmas Christmas party could save you a lot of dollars.
Have a Google
Do your research to make sure you can whittle out those hidden gems instead of going with the obvious mainstream function spaces. Event blogs and industry publications are a great resource to expand your list of potential venues and find those steals that you wouldn’t otherwise.
Enquire with all potential venues
Enquiries are not commitments, so keep your options open and don’t be afraid to contact all the venues at the top of your list. You want to get the best deal possible, and venues will be competing for your attention so the odds are in your favour.
Go for a site visit
Once you’ve narrowed down your potentials, a site visit is essential in establishing whether your chosen event space fits with your vision. You can’t always judge a place from the pictures on their website - there are some very clever photographers around these days! You’re not going to be able to properly plan your event until you’ve seen the place with your own eyes.
Build a relationship with the venue team
From the very first email, take note of how the venue team responds to you. You don’t want to find the perfect venue only to realise the people you’re working with are going to be a nightmare. Do they answer your calls, and respond to voicemails or emails in good time? Have they ensured the venue is well presented in time for your site inspection? Try and find a space where the team is willing to bring your vision to life, rather than a venue who will put in the least amount of effort for the money.
Ask for a break down of the total cost
You don’t want to get caught off guard after your budget’s been signed off and your venue approved, with hidden costs such as AV, security, cleaning or service charge. Be open with potential venues and they will be upfront with you.
It’s all in the details
It’s up to you to ensure you’ve thought of all the little things that can make or break your event. These can depend on the type of event , time of year and number of patrons. Will you need working and up-to-date air conditioning for a sweltering summer’s day? Are there enough toilets to the amount of guests? Are there noise restrictions? What time is the venue licensed until? Is there a smoking area? A conference meeting in a stuffy room in the middle of summer, or a 21st birthday party where the music has to be turned down at 10pm will make an event memorable for all the wrong reasons. Think hard about the nitty gritty and don’t be afraid to send all your enquiries over to the venue manager or ask them at the site inspection.
If you’r thinking of holding an event check out the Royal Exchange of Sydney, one of the CBD's leading event spaces with three function rooms available for hire- the restaurant, perfect for corporate functions, the bar for cocktail parties, and the private dining room ideal for confidential business group lunches. Contact them at Manager@royalexchange.com.au for more information.