March 26, 2015
Events are much celebrated occasions and one of the biggest draws to your event is where you choose to hold it. Picture the scene – two invites pop through your door. Dash it and darn it, you want to go to both but the geography won’t allow it. Will you go to the local town hall or would you rather enjoy the sumptuous London skyline from atop the Gherkin, a building which isn’t even accessible to the general public? It’s really a no-brainer.
Of course, your event doesn’t always have to provide a wow factor, but it’s good to think about exactly what you require when booking your venue. So here are five top tips to consider in order to keep the stress gremlins (or humanimals) at bay.
What is the event for?
It’s as simple as that. What is the event for? Let’s be honest, it’s going to have an extremely different vibe depending on if you’re celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary or solemnly attending a funeral. Is it an awards do where guests are encouraged to be raucous or is it a more subdued affair? It’s a case of first narrowing down your venue choices by simply selecting based on appearance. What kind of vibe are you going for and how can you best achieve that within your budget?
How many guests?
This is an important consideration that many ignore when first locating their ‘perfect’ venue. But is it really perfect? If you’re only inviting a select number of guests, then although it may seem like a wonderful idea to book a sumptuous space at the V&A, the room will end up appearing sparse and guests will assume that various names on the guestlist simply haven’t turned up. Not a good look. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you don’t want to find yourself caught out by an influx of attendees that you didn’t envisage, resulting in a horrendously overcrowded event. Your popularity clearly went further than you thought!
So do the sums and work out what works best for you, saving money and time in the long run. Our bookers know the various rooms available at stunning venues in London and across the UK. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and book something slightly larger than you think you’ll need, which will also help with the entertainment later on (see point 5).
How easy is the venue to get to?
You could find the best venue of all time but if it’s in the middle of nowhere and your event is on a weeknight (see point 4), then chances are you won’t get the turn out you’d hoped for. When choosing your venue, it’s best to ensure that no matter what happens, guests will be able to arrive without difficulty. If everyone is arriving by taxi, then that should be fine unless roadworks are planned within the surrounding area. Likewise for a London event, TfL plan their engineering works far in advance so it’s always best to check what’s going on before you put down your deposit. The venue may be cheap for when you want it but there could well be a reason for that.
When is the event?
There’s not just a cost issue at play here – various venues are of course going to be more expensive around well-celebrated holidays – but also weather considerations. If you’re considering an outdoor event then it may be pertinent to book something for summer or convince all you guests to turn up in their swimming costumes. You know, just in case. There’s also the consideration of holding something on a week night as opposed to a weekend and being aware that venue calendars fill up alarmingly quickly. Once you have your date confirmed, book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
What sort of entertainment are you looking to provide?
This is perhaps the point that many don’t think of until late in the day, which can easily be avoided by thinking ahead. Depending on their technical requirements, the acts may have to gain access to the venue in advance, will probably need to be catered for (think about green room facilities) and depending on your event, a venue may not allow the entertainment which you wish to put on. Added to this, the room may be the perfect size for the twelve dinner tables but what about allowing enough space for the band? Ah.
Booking your event need not be stressful as long as you start your planning way in advance and thinking about the possible problems before they arise.
Planning an event? Get in touch
Here at Sternberg Clarke we know how to handle a challenge and we stop at nothing to ensure your event is a night – or day – to remember. Check out our create page and learn more about how we can customise your entertainment to match your needs.
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By Henry Fosdike