7 Top Tips For Choosing An Event Space
The success of any event is partly determined by the suitability of the space or venue itself. Get it wrong and it could be a disaster, but get it right and your event could be a cracker!
Drawing upon our many years of experience in events management and AV installation, we have compiled a list of top tips for choosing a space to suit your event.
Be clear on what the budget is from the outset. Although you might want the river-front, roof-top space with free-flowing Pol Roger, the budget might not (and probably won’t) allow for it. You can create a fantastic event without spending a fortune. For example, lighting and special effects can transform even the ugliest of spaces. If you have a clearly defined budget from the get-go, costs won’t spiral and you won’t be left feeling bankrupt.
2. Know Your Guests
A key part of choosing an event space is knowing who your guests will be and how many you expect to attend. The number of people will definitely influence your choice of event space so make sure you have an estimate in mind (e.g. 50-65 or 200-250). The guests you are inviting will also influence the type of event space – a small hen’s party and a 50th birthday bash for 150 guests will require very different event spaces and styles.
3. Event Days and Times
Check the school holidays calendar as well as public holidays as this may affect the desired date for your event (and if the event space is available).
Very often, you might get the event space you want, but not the date, or vice versa. Try and be flexible where possible and have 2 or 3 potential dates in mind.
4. Scope Out
Once you have the event date and guest list narrowed down, you need to have a look at the potential locations. List down 3 or 4 criteria that are important for your event (e.g. sea views, accommodates 300 people, in-house catering, etc.) then search for event spaces that might match these and do a site visit. Don’t be afraid to scope out a few different venues before deciding which one to go for. A hotel or function space are very popular for weddings and corporate events, but a winery cellar, modern warehouse or museum hall can be really fun alternative options. When scoping an event space, consider also:
- Event theme
- Location – is the event indoors, alfresco or a combination of both?
- Venue fees – what are they and what is included?
- Space – is there enough for the type of event you are planning (including a dance floor)?
- Parking – is there enough and is it free or paid?
- Unique features of the space that meet your criteria for the event
Unfortunately, AV is often on of the last things considered when it comes to event planning. And yet it is one of the first things your guests will notice if it is not working properly! Make sure you use quality AV equipment from a reputable company to ensure quality sound and lighting for the duration of your event. Things to consider include:
- Audio – are you delivering a speech? Is there going to be dancing? You will need to ask the venue if you can use their audio system, or arrange to hire your own.
- Vision – are you delivering a PowerPoint? You will need to connect your laptop to the venue’s projector or TV. Are you hosting a sports night? Make sure you have enough big screens to broadcast the game. A big LED screen provides a ‘wow’ factor and is the best way to watch the game.
- Lighting – this will depend on the theme of the event. There is a huge range of lighting that can create any colour or effect you want, including lighting with a company’s logo or a person’s initials.
- Staging – do you need a low riser for the wedding table? Or a high catwalk stage for a fashion event? You may be able to use the venue’s staging if available or arrange to hire some.
- Special Effects – if you want to add some extra intrigue and excitement, look at hiring a dry ice machine, bubble machine or snow machine, depending on your event theme.
Some venues have a preferred supplier list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use them. Very often, sourcing outside suppliers can be less expensive. These might include: security, audio-visual, catering and furniture hire among others. Don’t be afraid to shop around for different suppliers.
7. Other Events
If you are having your event in a hotel, function space or hospitality venue, it is highly likely there will be other events or at least other people there at the same time as your event. Make sure there is sufficient signage for your guests to follow so they don’t get lost (including signage for the toilets). Keep in mind the noise factor – if you are having speeches, you don’t want there to be lots of noise from the room next door disrupting your event.
So whether you’re planning a wedding, corporate event, or an intimate cocktail party, the event space has the power to define the experience your guests have. You only have one chance to make a good impression on your guests – so make it a great one!