From the Desk of Mary
Event Manager - Entrepreneur - Adventurer
Choosing the perfect venue is a crucial decision in event planning. The venue sets the tone, affects the overall experience, and can even influence the success of your event, and choosing the perfect spot can feel daunting.
Occasions, Inc. is here to help! Whether you're organizing a wedding, a corporate gathering, or a special celebration, this step-by-step guide will help you find your perfect venue and put you on the path to event planning success.
Define Your Event's Purpose and Goals
Before you start scouting for venues, have a clear understanding of your event's purpose and objectives. Consider the type of event, the number of attendees, the desired ambiance, the season and the expected weather. Knowing your goals will help you narrow down your options.
Set a Realistic Budget
Determine your budget early in the planning process. Be realistic about what you can afford and allocate a portion of your budget for the venue. This will prevent you from falling in love with a location that's beyond your financial reach.
Consider Location and Accessibility
If you want people to attend, make sure your venue is easy to get to! Ensure that it is easily accessible, has ample parking or public transportation options, and is located in a safe area. Consider the proximity to hotels and amenities for out-of-town guests.
Estimate Guest Count
Get a rough estimate of the number of attendees you expect. The venue should comfortably accommodate your guests without feeling overcrowded. Keep in mind that factors like seating arrangements and event activities will affect space requirements.
Determine the Event Date and Time
Choose a date and time for your event, and check venue availability for that specific date. If possible, be flexible with your date: it can open up more venue options and potentially save you money!
Explore Venue Types
Different events require different types of venues. Consider options such as banquet halls, outdoor spaces, historic venues, or unconventional settings like art galleries, aquariums or warehouses. The possibilities are endless! Just make sure your choice aligns with your event's theme and style.
Assess Amenities and Services
Evaluate the amenities and services offered by the venue. Does it provide tables, chairs, and audiovisual equipment? Is there an in-house catering service, or can you bring in your own? Is it handicap accessible? Make a list of must-have amenities and services to make sure all your guests feel welcome.
Visit Potential Venues
Once you have a shortlist of potentials, it’s time to visit in person. This is your opportunity to see the space in person, ask questions, and assess the venue's condition. Pay attention to the layout, décor, and overall ambiance.
Consider Logistics and Parking
Think about the logistical aspects of your event. Is there enough space for a stage or dance floor? Are there restrooms, dressing rooms, and storage areas? Check parking options and capacity, especially for larger events.
Review Contracts and Policies
Carefully review the venue's contract, including rental fees, deposit requirements, cancellation policies, and any restrictions. Ensure you understand the terms, review with any required staff, and negotiate if necessary.
Seek Feedback and References
Reach out to event planners or individuals who have previously used the venue, or check online to see if there are any reviews. Their feedback and experiences can provide valuable insights into the venue's strengths and weaknesses, and save you from having the same headaches.
Make the Booking
Once you've found the perfect venue that meets all your criteria and fits your budget, don't hesitate to secure your date by signing the contract and paying the deposit. Venues can book up quickly, so make sure you move quickly to get the perfect spot!
Finding the perfect venue for your event is a meticulous process that requires careful planning and consideration. If it sounds overwhelming, then give us a call! We can help you find the perfect venue to set the stage for unforgettable experiences and cherished memories for both you and your guests!