Things don’t really start taking shape until you book and confirm the venue for your event. Although this is the obvious starting point, it is not always the easiest of decisions to make, especially here in Australia where we are spoiled for choice with some amazing venues. We have venues that inspire themes, intimacy, romance, productivity and many blank canvases to do with what we choose! We have venue spaces that cater specifically for small intimate gatherings of 10 to 60 people right up to the thousands. Below are some of the key things to think about while you are searching out the venue for your next event.

1. Location
Does your event need to be located in a specific area?
CBD, Specific Suburbs, A Regional Centre or equal distances between 2 states etc

2. Guest Numbers
Can the venue fit your numbers? Will there be break out rooms for conferences? Pre-function area? Ask for a floor plan which shows how the room will look with your numbers. Don't forget there are many tricks to make a venue seem smaller, or perhaps you want to use this space for a sense of opulence!

3. Food and Beverages
What packages do they offer? Have you sampled the food or aware of their reputation? Do they do alternate mains as standard or is there an extra charge for this (likewise, can you reduce the costs if you just have one choice). Will drinks be served by waiters, or only bar service? Will bottles be left on the tables during meals? For conferences do they supply a coffee station etc?

4. What do your guests need?
Do you have a lot of smokers? Consider a venue with a balcony or outdoor space. Where are your guests coming from? Consider a venue that is easy to access. Formal or Informal - you know your guests, what sort of venue will suit them and the company image.

5. What is included?
Ask the question! Does the cost include; Lectern, Microphone, Screens, White Table Linen, White Napkins, Dance Floor, Stage, Table Centre Pieces etc. These are all basic items that are considered standard includes at some venue, while other have additional charge. It is important to know what is included to create an accurate budget, plus you may be able to save some money along the way!

6. General Public
Does the General Public have access at any stage? Are the entrances guarded to insure general public cannot access your area? Is there an additional charge for security guards? Are they needed? Is there other events going on which may clash with yours? It happens! Ask the question!

7. Time
How long before the function do you have access to the venue? Depending on how elaborate the theme is, it may take several hours to set up. Will there be an additional charge to have early access? How long after the event is finished before guests have to be out of the area? How long do you have to pack down the event? Are there additional costs if it takes longer than this?

8. Paperwork & Cancellation Policy
Read your paperwork! There may be hidden costs such as clean up fees, security fees etc. Make sure you are aware of the venues cancellation policy before you sign the contract. It may be as simple as booking for 320 people when you are expecting 350 as some venues charge for a drop in numbers but are happy to take on an increase.

9. More, More, More
There are a number of other factors that go into deciding which venue is best for you. Things such as signage and accessibility, early delivery by suppliers, on site storage, security, floor plans and room set up, restrictions on decor etc

If you need more help deciding which venue is right for you, or where to find venues which may be suitable for your budget and your guests have a look at our boutique venue finding service or call Event-ism to arrange a meeting to discuss all this and more.