The location of a party is an important element of planning and the right venue can really add to the guest’s enjoyment. Finding space for a party or other event can be an intimidating process for those who don't do it on a regular basis. But with a little forethought before you start, it can be much easier and less time consuming. Consider these points if you're tasked with hiring a venue.
Establish an overall budget first. Whilst the venue is an important aspect of any party, things like food and drink are equally important. Once you have an overall party budget in mind, begin allocating the budget across the key expenses. These allocations can change overtime, but it is good to have a sense of what you can spend before getting too far into the process.
The number of guests is probably the most critical to determine. Getting a good headcount estimate early in the process will keep you from looking at spaces that cannot accommodate your needs. Too big a venue can make a party or event feeling lost in the space whilst a cramped area is uncomfortable for guests. Most party planners suggest the space be slightly undersized rather than oversized however.
Consider the time of year. If visiting a location in a different season, make sure you think ahead about weather conditions when the actual party is being held. This is obviously important if there is a desire for out of door space, but it is also something to consider if the location is located in the countryside where travel during bad weather may put guests off. Location is important to think about as ideally the party will be in a convenient spot for guests. Make sure to find out where car parks or public transportation is located.
If planning any special activities, make sure the space is appropriate. Most party venues will be able to accommodate standard things like a dance floor or speakers dais, but if you have something special in mind, let them know. As you look over potential venues, be sure to think about how things will be set-up and share what you have planned with the venue coordinator. This way you can benefit from their experience so the space is used to best advantage.
Food and refreshments is an important part of any party. If you'll be relying on the venue to provide the food and beverage, be very specific with your needs and make sure you sample their offerings. If they are not up to standard one can generally find an outside caterer. If using an outside caterer, be sure to connect the two early in the process so they can discuss space and equipment requirements.
It is also wise to think about any potential special needs you may have for the party. Will there be a lot of children or older adults? Children will need a place to congregate without disturbing the party. One might consider some special entertainment as well. For older adults one should make sure the layout is accommodating. Many more elegant rooms have raised and lowered areas that are very nice, but may make it difficult for some to get around.
The key to finding the right venue is thinking ahead and good planning. If one can visualize how they would like the party to unfold, problems during the gathering can usually be avoided.