Venue Finding: The search & selection process.

As anyone who has ever planned a company event, award dinner, wedding or even a summer picnic will tell you; the key to a perfect event is in large part down to finding the perfect venue. Inviting your guests to a location that has been carefully chosen and prepared to create the environment your event was intended to convey is a big step towards making them walk away happy.

Experienced hosts will also readily tell you that this part of planning an event can easily be the most time-consuming and frustrating part of the process.

This article contains a few quick-tips to help you save time, energy and money during your search for that all-important venue.

Let someone else do the hard part!

Using a professional venue finding service or event planning agency is the surest and easiest way to find the right venue for your event and DOESN�T have to cost the earth. In fact, if you know where to look, there are readily available free search tools such as online venue finders, compiled by event agencies that have reviewed and recommended venues suitable for various types of events.

Be sure to only use websites that work directly with the venues they are advertising. Genuine agencies will allow you to search venues, see detailed profiles and even make enquiries for free.

London venue hire is a particularly competitive market and a professional agency may be able to help you find information about best availability and pricing options quicker than you spending hours or even days trawling through lots of irrelevant and outdated online information.

Remember that event agencies do this for a living and spend a huge part of their time gathering updated information and working directly with the venues in their portfolio so will be able to help you with any queries you may have and will often be happy to hand out free advice over the phone or email.

To search for venues in London and the UK, check out this Free Venue Finder tool FREE UK VENUE FINDER TOOL

Location

Location is one of the most important considerations when looking for a venue. Unless you are planning a once in a lifetime occasion, most of your guests won�t be prepared to travel more than a 45 minute journey to get to your event.

For example if your event is outside of Central London and takes place on a weekday, many people have to consider their commute time from work and also their journey home afterwards so public transport, and appropriate timing is key. Knowing your audience and their travel requirements is essential.

Many things have to be taken into account when choosing the location of your event.

Do you need outdoor space? Do you need a wedding licence? Will there be much setting up and deliveries that need special parking permits and loading bays? Is there disabled access? Does the venue have an alcohol licence? What about onsite catering or will you need a dedicated area for contract caterers to work? Is the venue a heritage site, which you won�t be able to alter or decorate? Does the venue have public liability insurance?

As before, the answers to many of these questions can be found by looking at online venue finding agencies or even better, working directly with an event manager who has first-hand experience of the venues in question.

Interior vs Exterior.

Unless you are specifically planning an outdoor event (which brings it�s own set of considerations) your guests will be spending the majority of their time inside your chosen venue. Therefore whilst some venues may be visually stunning from the outside, you have to carefully review the interiors in order to make sure the wow factor is continued inside the building. Remember to carefully inspect the more functional aspects of a venue as well as the nicer parts too. The washroom facilities, catering areas and fire exits are just as important as the lighting behind the bar or the impressive entrance hall.

Budget

Balancing the budget for your event is a time-consuming art form. Whilst the location is one of the most important factors, it is vital to ensure you have left enough budget for the many other components your event will require such as:

Catering / Technical production / Event theme / design / Invite printing / Security / Entertainment / Decoration / Venue Dressing / Floristry / Goody Bags / Banners / Branding / Transport / Waiting staff / Insurance / Photographer

And that�s just the initial checklist! There will be a hundred other small details, each important to create the right environment for your event.

To talk to a professional Event Planner about planning your event visit London Event Planning Agency

To help with your budget, make sure you hire a venue that isn�t too big for your intended number of guests. Apart from being a waste of money, your event will look less than successful if the venue is half empty. (So keeping on top of those RSVP�s well in advance is crucial)

Always negotiate with the venue you are enquiring about. Depending on the time of year, the economic climate, the duration and even the purpose of your event, you may be able to get a better rate than publicly advertised. For instance some venues will give you a healthy discount if your event is for a registered charity.

For a Free Venue Finding website with a list of unique and prestigious UK and London venues for hire, take a look at UK Venue Finder

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