If you’re trying to organise an event, whether a work conference or Christmas party, a charity fundraiser, your own product launch, or a private celebration, finding the right venue is your biggest, most important task. It defines the atmosphere of the event, forces you to settle on a budget, and is important information you need to communicate to your guests. If you’re having a wedding in a major city, for example, your guests will have good transport links and the option of places to stay if necessary. If you’re getting married in a small countryside village, this brings with it a whole host of extra transport and accommodation challenges and your guests need due warning to plan and prepare!
The number of potential venues out there can be very intimidating! Many buildings with extra space are ready to offer rooms for meetings, conferences, reunions and weddings, as it’s a lucrative extra revenue stream. Making a short list of only a few venues to choose between can feel like an impossible task. Using a booking agency helps to make it manageable. You can define the criteria from budget to capacity, and the list you get is short and relevant! One such is VenueScanner – take a look at their site as an example.
To work out the criteria you need to use to narrow down your search, you need to think about your event:
- What is it?
- What’s a suitable setting?
- How many people are attending, where from, and do they have any access needs?
- What facilities do you need for the event?
Perhaps most important you need to know:
- What budget do I have available?
If you’re trying to organise a wedding reception then a museum like the Horniman museum offers options that will create a memorable and beautiful day: it’s a unique and suitable setting for your guests. If you’re organising a business conference, such a characterful venue could actually distract from the topics under discussion and look like a waste of your budget.
Similarly, if you know people are attending your event from across the UK, picking somewhere that’s either central (like in Birmingham) or with good transport links is an important consideration. If the majority of your guests are based in the same city, keeping your event contained in that city should be a higher priority.
Once you’ve got a shortlist, you can compare the facilities on offer with your budget, your needs and perhaps most importantly, with your gut feeling to ensure you’ve got the perfect venue for your needs.