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Confessions of an Event Planner: Finding the Perfect Venue

Choosing the right venue for an event can be an overwhelming, confusing and frustrating process.  With so many great options available, it can be hard to know where to start, let alone make the right choice.

So how can we help?  Well, we have put our years of industry experience to use to come up with 5 key areas you should consider when choosing a venue.  You’re welcome!

Key Area 1: Location, Location, Location!

No matter what city or country you are looking at holding your event in, it is important to first think about location.  Do you want to be removed from the hustle and bustle of normal routine? Or do you want something more easily accessible?  It might be the most beautiful venue in the world, located on a remote hill top with spectacular views… but can your attendees get there?  If the answer is no, and you don’t have the budget to organise accommodation or transfers for your attendees then you may not want to get too attached to this venue, no matter how pretty it is!

VENUES TO CONSIDER:

  • The National Wine Centre of Australia, Adelaide, SOUTH AUSTRALIA – With plenty of parking and public transport options nearby, this unique venue has a wide variety of spaces available to suit a multitude of events.
  • Doltone House, Various, NEW SOUTH WALES – Boasting 5 unique locations across Sydney, each with varying sized specialised event spaces, there is a perfectly located space for your next event.

Key Area 2: It’s all about Style

No we aren’t talking about the latest fashion trends!  What we mean here is, if you don’t have a massive styling budget to add all the bells and whistles, does the venue style match the theme or feel you are trying to achieve for your event?  Think about taking advantage of what the venue already has to offer.  If you are doing a tropical beach party, selecting a venue with a spectacular ocean view and coastal styling will highlight the theme and add to the overall experience.

VENUES TO CONSIDER:

  • Werribee Mansion, Werribee, VICTORIA – Beautifully combining old and new, Werribee Mansion boasts breath taking English gardens, 9 adaptable event spaces and boutique accommodation, all set on a stunning 19th Century estate.
  • Henry Jones Art Hotel, Hobart, TASMANIA – Set in one of Hobart’s oldest waterfront warehouses, this beautifully reimagined venue allows history and art to collide. The perfect combination of modernity and industrial this venue offers multiple function spaces, accommodation and delicious catering showcasing local produce.

Key Area 3: Watch this Space

You are ultimately going to be spending majority of your time in your chosen function space. So it is super important to really take the time to do a thorough site inspection of the room.  Really think about what you want to do in the room.  How will guests enter?  Is there enough room for everything you want to put in there?  How will you set the room up?  Also think about audio visual capabilities, bump in and bump out and don’t forget to ask if there is any noise or styling restrictions.

VENUES TO CONSIDER:

  • Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria, NEW SOUTH WALES – Whether you are planning a conference, product launch or Christmas party, the Grounds has 4 very unique spaces designed to cater for groups from 12 to 300.
  • RACV Cape Schanck, Cape Schanck, VICTORIA – Perfectly positioned to make the most of this spectacular location, RACV Cape Schanck offers flexible event spaces with stunning floor to ceiling views.

Key Area 4: But I don’t want to go Home!

Even if you aren’t planning on providing accommodation for your attendees, if it is a night time or multi-day function it is important to consider accommodation options for them.  Is there accommodation onsite?  Is there enough for all your attendees?  If not, what else is nearby?

VENUES TO CONSIDER:

  • Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Arnhem, NORTHERN TERRITORY – Set in the beautiful Mary River Wetlands, this is the ultimate glamping experience. With 10 cabins and 15 safari tents, this is the perfect venue to relax, unwind and get back to nature… with a few added luxuries of course!
  • QT Hotels, VARIOUS – As their tag line suggests, check out of the ordinary at QT. With venues located across Australia and New Zealand, each offers a completely unique accommodation experience.

Key Area 5:  I’m just here for the Food…

We are all guilty of getting a little hangry every now and again, so let’s avoid that at your next event shall we?  Now we aren’t saying you need to taste everything on the menu prior to the event, but think about not only the quality of the food you are serving, but also the style of food you want to serve (e.g. Food Stations, Canapes, Fine Dining, Share Platters).  Also don’t forget to ask the venue how they will accommodate special/dietary requirements to avoid any food disasters.  And if your attendees are real foodies, also consider where the venue’s produce is sourced.

VENUES TO CONSIDER:

  • Spicers Hidden Vale, Grandchester, QUEENSLAND – Whole heartedly embracing paddock to plate dining, the award winning restaurant makes this one a no brainer for event going foodies. Complete with onsite market garden, orchard, mango trees and beehives, all ingredients are either grown onsite or sourced from producers in the local area.
  • Marnong Estate, Mickleham, VICTORIA – Boasting spectacular views of the surrounding rolling hills, the food at Marnong Estate is exceptional. With onsite restaurant, Bankvale Run recently winning Hotel Restaurant of the Year, there is something on the menu to keep everyone happy.

One final piece of advice before you head off on your journey to venue bliss.  You may not always be in a position to do a site visit, but if the opportunity does arise I cannot recommend this enough.  Seeing a venue in person, being able to walk through and actually see and feel what your attendees will experience is invaluable.  Still not sure what to look for during a site visit?  Well, we have developed a FREE Site Inspection Checklist that you can download and take with you so that you don’t miss any of the important stuff.  So there you have it, now you are ready to go out there and find your dream venue with confidence!