Choosing the best venue for your event can be crucial to its success and there are many factors to consider. Here are a few pointers…
There are some great venues around but they can be expensive when food is also provided.
The other option is choosing a more affordable venue but adding your own decoration and sourcing an outside caterer or providing the food yourself.
It’s also worth considering the bar costs, too expensive and some guests may be put off and leave early.
Some venues now try to force their resident DJ as part of the package however these can be very hit and miss.
There are good ones but there are also bad ones that are paid much less by the venue so they also get a cut of the DJs fee.
If a venue tries to enforce a charge for using your own DJ don’t be afraid to challenge it, in most cases they will back down.
Date and times
When selecting your date its always worth checking there are no major sporting events happening on that date as you may find invited guests do not turn up or are glued to a TV in the bar or their phone.
Saturday nights carry the highest premium in most venues but this is also the best night for a party as some may have to work on a Saturday or finish late on a Friday night.
Start and finish times also need to be considered especially if you anticipate people may leave early if they have work the next day.
Guests may be bringing children along and so may have to leave earlier than the finish time, the last thing you want is to have an empty room at 11pm when you have booked until midnight.
Ideally, you want your all of your guests to attend, to be relaxed, enjoy the evening and stay until the end.
Whilst the best looking venue may be a bit of a drive it could prove awkward for guests that may have to travel and subsequently choose to drive rather than have a few drinks and get taxis.
And the worst case scenario is they find the venue too far or too much hassle and don’t attend.
So always look to choose a venue that’s close enough for everyone to attend or maybe provide transport if you are really set on a remote venue.
There is not much worse than booking a huge venue with not enough people to fill it, it becomes difficult to create atmosphere and can ultimately kill a party off before it even gets going.
Typically, you can expect around 80% attendance of all those invited, so look to book a venue based on these numbers.
The seated figure can sometimes be misleading as some venues will use the dancefloor area early on for tables and chairs but then opens up to give a larger dancefloor.
Other venues will have the seated areas seperate from the large dancefloor area so bare this in mind.
A packed venue will always look better than a half-empty one, even if people have to queue at the bar sometimes.
The room layout can also have a big influence on the success of the party.
If your seating area is too far from the dancefloor this then makes it difficult to entice people up to dance.
Having the bar in a seperate room also causes problems as some will stay at the bar.
If you are planning on other entertainment like photobooths or a band then this will need to be factored into your venue decision.
Please also ensure the venue has adequate access if there are any less-able guests.
For big weddings where you want everything to be perfect the dancefloor is a key ingredient for the First Dance, white LED dancefloors are all the rage at the moment but are expensive to hire.
Most venues will have traditional wooden dancefloors which look great when projecting hearts or stars on them.
That said, you don’t need a big dancefloor, some of the best parties are in small venues dancing on carpet.
Venues with a stage give a great focal point for the entertainment but beware of stages that have difficult access for guests to request songs or speak to the DJ.
Increasingly, venues are coming under pressure from killjoy local residents that do not want to hear any noise in the evenings. Sometimes, these turn out to be new residents that have only just moved in to the dismay of the venue owners.
Once the local council have become involved many venues have sound limiters fitted to monitor and control the noise.
If the sound level inside the room goes over a certain level it cuts the power to the stage so that the performer or DJs equipment cuts out, obviously this can cause damage to equipment so is the worst case scenario.
Many sound limiter systems have been set so low that the crowd noise from singing and clapping can cut the power even if the music is low.
So please ask any potential venues if they have sound limiters installed, and if they have seek assurances of what sort of party you can realistically have.
Smoke and Haze
As mentioned in my post below smoke and haze makes a big difference to look and feel of any party.
Smoke and Haze makes a big difference to the look and feel of a party.
However, many venues are installing sensitive optical smoke sensors without realising the damaging effect it has on party atmosphere.
Please contact me in advance if the venue does not know as I know most local venues.
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