How to choose the best venue for your event

Key takeaways:

  • Make a guest list
  • Choose a convenient location for your guests
  • Consider the type of event and its style
  • Stick with your budget and ask about extra costs
  • Tour venues and read client reviews
  • Get inspiration from other events

All kinds of little details need to come together when you’re planning an event. You have to think about timing, decorations, catering, guest lists, entertainment, and other elements. A successful event requires planning and one of the first steps you should take is choosing a venue. The venue you pick plays a big role in the success of your event, what you can do there, how many people you can host, and more.

Picking the right venue will allow you and your guests to have the best time. We feature eight tips to consider while choosing a venue for your next wedding, graduation party, employee appreciation night, or whatever type of event is coming up on your calendar. 

1. Make a guest list

Spend some time thinking about who you want to come and make a preliminary list. The number of people coming to your event will help you determine how much space you need.

You need to think about the people you’re inviting before you pick a location. Otherwise, you may get caught in a situation where you have to limit your guest list because of venue capacity limitations or you have a huge space for ten people. 

2. Choose an optimal location

Think about the location once you know who is coming and narrow in on a convenient spot for everyone. You may want to choose a venue that is close to the ceremony if you’re planning a wedding reception, for example. You would probably want to select a city that is easily accessible from a major airport if you have people flying in from around the country. Choosing a general location can also help you narrow down the list of potential venues.

3. Consider the type of event

Different types of events call for vastly different venues. A conference room at a convention center would be a great option for professional networking or team training events, for instance. A local amusement park, a hotel room with access to a pool, or a picnic shelter at a local park may be best suited for a children’s party, on the other hand. 

4. Think about your event’s vibe

Every event has a slightly different vibe and while choosing a venue, you should look for a space that emphasizes the theme or feel you want to create. A classic, elegant wedding might require you to rent a historic home or a grand ballroom in a luxury hotel. A more casual wedding, in contrast, may be hosted in a friend’s backyard or an edgy industrial-type setting. 

5. Stay within your budget

Think about your budget before you get too far into the process of choosing a venue. Decide how much you want to spend overall and how much to devote to various things such as food, entertainment, and the venue itself. Try to leave a buffer for unexpected expenses. 

6. Ask about amenities and extra fees

The rental cost of the venue is not the only expense you need to consider. Make sure that you ask what is included with the venue rental fee and request a list of fees for a la carte services. Some venues include tables, chairs, and setup costs but may charge extra for food or special amenities. Others simply give you the space and assess a la carte pricing for everything else. 

7. Tour event venues

The best way to make sure your venue will work for your event is to request a tour. Ask for a floor plan and a video tour if you cannot get to the venue in person. You want to make sure that the venue looks right for your big event but while touring the space, you should also look into the functionality of the venue. 

Does it have a kitchen on-site for caterers to use if needed? Does it have enough bathrooms for your guests? Does it have nursing rooms for mothers of young children if you’re planning a family-friendly event? Does it have an indoor option or a rain shelter if it’s an outdoor venue? Draw up a list of questions like this before you start touring venues.

8. Get inspiration from other events

You don’t have to start from scratch – gather inspiration from other events. Think about the events you have attended recently and consider what you liked about their venues. Ask your family, friends, and colleagues to give you feedback on the venues they have recently been in and use those ideas to create a list of wants and needs to reference. Search online for event planning websites to see what type of venues are used for different events.

9. Check out the venue’s reputation

Finally, do some due diligence before making your final decision. A venue may look perfect but you need to know about its business practices before you dive in and commit. Spend some time looking at reviews online and learning about the venue’s reputation. Ask the venue for references from previous clients if you cannot find information online. 

Let TooJay’s provide the catering

Choosing a venue is one of the first steps of event planning and once you check that off your list, it’s time to think about the menu. Let us take care of the cooking! 

At TooJay’s, we offer a tasty and expansive catering menu with everything from hot entrees for sit-down meals to party platters for snacking. We cater breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. We also offer same-day service on many of our menu items, which is great if you’re planning an event on the fly. Check out our menu and contact us today to learn more.