This is a guest post written in collaboration with St James Hotel, Nottingham
When planning a party or event, whatever the occasion, the event space is crucial to the events overall success. It can seem an overwhelming task to find a venue that has everything you need and in the right location. Knowing the type of event and its purpose is the easy part, but when selecting a venue there are many more factors to consider.
Here are our 5 tips for finding the perfect venue for your party or event:
1. Know your guest list
One of the most important aspects of planning an event is knowing your guests. It is vital to know how many will be attending the event, and where the majority of them are travelling from. For example, if you are holding an event for 100 guests, and you know that 80% of those are based in Nottingham, then it makes sense to pick a venue close to Nottingham. In this case, you want to consider a venue such as St James Hotel. Also, one of the biggest limitations when ruling out venues is the capacity, so having an accurate estimate of numbers is essential.
2. Pick your dates
Timing of an event is very important and is the next biggest limiting factor after the guest list. The type of event can sometimes help determine the date, for example when planning a Christmas party, you will inevitably be choosing a date around December. Be careful to avoid major holidays that could affect your guests’ availability, such as school holidays and bank holidays. When choosing your venue, it is good to have a couple of potential dates in mind in case the venue you choose can’t accommodate your preferred date.
3. Decide on your budget
If you are lucky enough to have an open-ended budget, then you are sure to have a great event and an infinite selection of venue choices. However, if like most people, you are restricted by your financial resources, then it is a good idea to set a budget early on in the planning stage. Check out this guide to setting an event budget. Once you have a budget in mind, you can then start looking into venues that you can realistically afford.
4. The right type of event space
Depending on your event type, the venue you choose will need to be an appropriate space to host it properly. Think about all the facilities you will need for your event, such as a dance floor, PA system, projector screen and catering options. It is also important to look at any venue restrictions, some venues will only work with specific suppliers, whilst others won’t have a preferred supplier list meaning you need to search for them all yourself.
5. Research venue reputations
It is critical that you look into any potential venues reputation. The way a venue works with its customers can be the difference between an unforgettable event and an average one. Look online for venue review sites, there are a lot out there, so have a look at this guide to awesome venue websites. Keep an eye out for client testimonials and look thoroughly at online photos of the venue.
Once you have considered all of these aspects, the next step is to schedule some venue visits and take a look around your top choices. It is difficult to get a real feel for a venue until you go and see it for yourself, it is also beneficial to meet the staff and speak with them in person to get all the information you need for your perfect event.