How to Pick the Perfect Event Venue

How to Pick the Perfect Event Venue

Corporate events are a great way to promote your business, launch a new product, build team morale, or simply celebrate in style. The success of your event depends on choosing the right event venue for the occasion.

Narrowing down the choice can be challenging though, with so many stunning venues available. If you're planning a corporate event and need some event planning tips to nail the ideal location, keep reading for the most important factors to consider when choosing a venue.

Match the Venue to the Season

While the weather is predictably unpredictable, pairing your venue to the season is a good start to a perfect match. Getting this balance right will ensure that your attendees are comfortable and that you make the most of what each season has to offer. Consider the following elements to pick the right venue to match the season:

1. Mood and Atmosphere

If you're looking for a dash of extra atmosphere for your get-together, consider the seasons and the backdrop that your event will take place against.

A winter event carries an air of drama and luxury. If you live in a colder region that gets snow, for example, you'll have the stark whiteness of glistening snow and bare tree trunks as a backdrop to your occasion. Autumn clothes your event in golden shades of changing leaves and fresh breezes that require an extra layer or two for warmth.

Summery events have a built-in holiday feel reminiscent of fun days in the sun, while spring has a romantic charm of new buds and fresh greenery. Picking a venue that highlights the beauty of the outdoors will infuse your occasion with natural ambience.

2. Weather Affects Activities

If you're planning outdoor activities for your event you're better off choosing the summery months, unless, of course, you're planning an inter-departmental snowman building competition or some team-building tobogganing. Opt for a venue with a generous outdoor area and be sure to discuss any activities you have planned with the venue management before going ahead.

3. Event Dress Code

Bear in mind that the season and the venue will affect what the guests can wear. The dress code for an event on a warm, sunny day at an outdoor event will be very different from an indoor venue with a cosy fireplace or two.

Party venue

Venue Capacity

One of the easiest ways to narrow down your venues for events search is to determine the number of people you'll be inviting to your event. This is one of those details that's helpful to know before you start your venue hunt. A smaller venue is ideal for tiny groups as you want your guests to experience the intimacy of a venue that matches the number of people.

Large gatherings need space for attendees to spread out. With larger groups, it works well to have a venue that can overflow to a secondary venue if necessary. Plan for the availability of another room, or an outdoor area such as a patio or lawn.

Venue capacity is affected by your agenda for the day. Consider both activities and meals when you assess your venue requirements. If you're having a sit-down dinner, double-check that the number of tables and chairs you need will fit comfortably into the area to allow guests to eat without elbowing one another.

Budget Smart Venue Bookings

Corporate events usually happen within the limitations of a budget, and venue hire is likely to be one of the most expensive items on your list. If your dates are flexible, you may be able to cheat your budget. Get venue quotes for different times of the week, month and year, and schedule your event for the most budget-friendly time.

Times that are in less demand are likely to be more budget-friendly. Compare a mid-winter Wednesday to a summery Friday evening and you'll see a marked difference. Booking early may also help you secure a good reservation rate.

Another option is to explore whether an external caterer would be more cost-effective than using onsite catering. If you decide to go this route, make sure you check with the venue if this would be against their policy or not.


The logistics of a venue are all the practical elements that go into making the event a comfortable experience for your guests. Logistics that are well planned and organised tend to be invisible and operate seamlessly, while badly planned logistics can be spotted a mile off by the level of frustration in your attendees. Logistics includes things such as:

Accessible Location

Check whether the location you're considering is easy for guests to travel to. You want to make sure that attendees can get to your event easily, whether they're driving themselves there, or taking public transport.

Look for a venue conveniently close to public transport terminals for local guests, and airport access if you have guests flying in. Make sure there's enough onsite parking for the number of local guests you'll be inviting, and if a valet service is needed and provided.


For local attendees, safe, secure parking that's a comfortable walking distance from the venue is important. Some venues are close to a lot or garage where guests can park their cars for the duration of the event and leave them there with complete peace of mind. You want to be able to offer your guests nearby parking solutions that won't leave holes in their pockets.

If the parking is a distance away from the venue, consider hiring a few golf carts to ferry your guests right up to the venue and back again afterwards.

corporate awards venue

Technical Requirements

Keep the technical aspects of your program in mind when booking a venue. Will you need to rig up a screen and projector for a presentation? If so, is there a space suitable to accommodate a screen? Find out if the venue has a screen and built-in projector already available that you could use and what they'd charge for it.

Are you planning on hiring in special lighting or a laser light show? If so, check on floor space for rigging and proximity of a power source. Remember strobe lights require an epilepsy warning to be clearly on display.

If you are hiring a DJ to provide the music, check how much space they'll need to set up their speakers, booth and lighting. Check how much set-up time they'll need and make sure the venue will be open in good time.

You'll likely need to provide microphones for MCs, invited speakers, and performing artists. There are different types of microphones available that are best suited to different functions, so be sure to work with an AV hire company that can provide everything you require.

The venue may have audiovisual equipment for hire. If you're using their equipment, make sure you perform thorough pre-checks to make sure the quality of sound is what you need.

Complimentary WiFi

Strong internet connectivity may be high on your requirement list. If you're running a seminar or workshops, it may be essential for attendees to be able to access shared documents online, or be able to collaborate in shared workspaces. Most venues offer complimentary WiFi, but it's worth checking and not assuming that it will be available.

For a marketing event, WiFi access allows attendees to post product specials, giveaways, or new product information to social media channels to garner broader interest.

Venues and Live Music

If you intend to hire a band to provide evening entertainment for your corporate event, it's important to choose a venue that can accommodate them and make the most of the entertainment they offer. Here are some important things to consider when choosing a venue for an event with live music.


Choose your band before choosing the venue. Space requirements will be different depending on what type of band you book, for example, the amount of space needed for a roaming duo is very different from a full ensemble jazz band with a vocalist.

When hiring a live band, you'll need to find out how much space they need for the musicians themselves, as well as their equipment and power requirements. Will the band need to provide their own sound system or will this be provided by your AV company? Most party-bands provide a suitable PA system within their quote but always double-check with your entertainment agency.

Music Limitations

Find out if there's a music curfew around the event location you're considering and whether your event is likely to run over the time limitation set. Check if the venue has a sound limiter installed that may affect the type of entertainment you're able to book.

A sound limiter is a small device that keeps track of the volume level and will trip the power once a certain level is reached. They've become increasingly common over the past decade as a way to avoid noise complaints and adhere to licensing rules.

Venue Acoustics

Sound that's too loud may irritate attendees with sensitive ears, or cause others to shout to be heard over the music.

The construction of a room will greatly affect the acoustics and sound quality. Huge, open spaces with high ceilings often create a reverberant or echoey room that can be difficult for bands and musicians to work with. Test each venue to find one that offers the best sound quality within the space. Hiring a live band is a treat for your guests and it's worth putting in extra effort to make sure their contribution to your occasion is maximised.

Corporate Entertainment
Corporate Entertainment

Take your event to the next level with one of our live corporate bands

Consider the Purpose of Your Event

The venue requirements for corporate functions will vary depending on the purpose of the event. A conference with keynote speakers can fit comfortably into an auditorium setting, with rows of seating for attendees and a podium for the speaker. Bear in mind that you'll need a space for refreshments, either buffet tables at the back of the auditorium or a smaller room off to the side.

If your event is a practical workshop, aim for a venue that can accommodate tables and chairs that will give attendees comfortable, adequate working space. A workshop setting will generally have a presenter who'll need a space upfront to address the crowd. They may have a list of requirements to fulfil their function, too.

For a corporate event aimed toward a lively evening of party entertainment, you can tailor your requirements to what you have planned for your event, with careful thought given to the size and height of the stage, good sound quality, lighting effects, backdrops and possibly a smoke/haze machine. Smoke machines are great for adding atmosphere!

Venue Layout

Decor isn't the only consideration when it comes to setting up your venue, the internal layout of all the different elements is just as important. Think about the flow of people through the space and how it would be set up accordingly. Clear signage will help your guests feel comfortable in the space. Get an illustrated floor plan from the venue to help you remember specific details when it comes to comparing venues.

When planning for drinks and food, look at how you could arrange the floor plan of your space according to the type of meal you intend to offer. A sit-down meal will need tables, chairs and a seating plan. If you're serving finger foods, you can choose cocktail tables strategically positioned throughout the space, or buffet tables.

If your event has a keynote speaker or performers, investigate venues with a stage that can accommodate them and ensure that they are visible to all the attendees.

Use these questions to guide you as you plan the layout:

  • How will foot traffic flow through the space?
  • Are some areas likely to be more popular than others?
  • Is there sufficient space left open for mingling?
  • Where will the bar be?
  • If there isn't a stage, can a temporary one be hired in?
  • Are there long distances to walk between attractions or rooms?
  • How many emergency exits are there and where are they located?
  • Where will attendees register and receive information packs or welcome gifts?
  • Where should audio and video equipment be set up?

Before you view different venues, have a clear picture of what areas will need to fit into the space. That way you can visualise the different elements and see which venue provides the best solution.

themed event venue

Theme and Venue, a Perfect Partnership

If you have an event theme in mind, finding a venue that plays into that theme can enhance the magic of your event. Think of a Madhatter's Tea Party in a garden setting, or a medieval theme in an old castle. Even if there isn't a direct link between your theme and venue, you can pick a venue that lends itself to being dressed up to match your theme.

Consider the feel of the venue as well. Something dark with few windows lends itself to underground, spookier themes, or dramatic elegance. A lighter venue with many windows and spectacular sunset views gives an uplifting atmosphere that plays to whimsical themes. Choosing a venue to suit your theme elevates your occasion by adding an extra touch of intentionality.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Catering is a key element of a successful event. Find out from each venue whether they provide catering, or if you'd need to bring in an outside caterer. Be sure to get a quote for what they'd charge to cater in-house and compare it to other catering services on the market.

Catering Service Styles

Depending on your event and the space in the venue, there are different approaches to catering that you can opt for. If you find a venue that you fall in love with but doesn't suit what you had in mind for feeding your guests, you may find that a different catering style would be better suited to the venue and solve your problem. Consider these options:

  • Plated dinner service: a traditional, seated, multi-course meal.
  • Buffet tables: a casual option that allows guests to choose their food and needs less serving staff.
  • Food stations: similar to a buffet, tables are set up as stations for starters, sides, salads, soups, and mains.
  • Cocktail-style: buffet-style finger food, this option lends itself to an elegant setup or a casual feel.
  • Action stations: meals are prepared as guests watch the entertainment.
  • Family-style: communal platters are placed on each table for guests to help themselves.
  • Food truck catering: food trucks serve dishes, usually outdoors.
  • Finger food bar: light snacks are served in a casual manner.

Whichever style you choose, do your homework to make sure that the cost per head is within what you've budgeted for and will suit the occasion you are planning.

venue catering

Catering Questions to Ask

If you're are hiring a venue that will be providing your food and drink, there are a few angles to think about. Meet with the venue manager armed with the list of questions you need to ask, such as:

1. Are there food and beverage minimums?

It's standard practice for a venue to charge for a minimum number of guests. Find out what the venue's minimum is so that you can invite at least that many people. If that number is too high, you may need to find a venue that caters for a smaller number.

2. Can you give us sample menus and a quotation?

Some venues have standard menus, others can tailor their menus to your needs. Some offer menus that cater for different price ranges. Others may offer menus that focus on a type of cuisine, such as pizza, pasta, or seafood.

3. Can you accommodate vegetarians or other special dietary requirements?

It's important that a caterer is able is serve those with dietary restrictions. This includes providing for those who opt for gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or dairy-free meals. If there are members of your team who require special food for religious reasons, check with the caterer whether they're able to accommodate those needs as well.

4. Do you offer menus according to themes?

Themed meals can provide an interesting experience for attendees and help make the event more memorable for them. Menus that offer an international flavour such as Indian, Greek, or Mexican-themed menus are popular. Pairing your themed menu with live music from the region is a winning combination that will make sweet memories for your guests.

London venue

Venue Question Checklist

All venues are run differently and it's safer not to assume anything when booking a venue for an event. Asking many questions and covering all the bases is safer than trusting something will be there on the night and finding out it isn't. Here is a basic list of questions to ask a venue when planning an event:

  • Is there on-site parking available? (does the venue have parking on-site and how many vehicles can it accommodate?)
  • Do you offer a valet service?
  • Are there kitchen facilities available for use?
  • Does the venue provide security services onsite?
  • Do you need a venue with a wedding or alcohol licence?
  • Are there restrictions in place regarding noise or photography?
  • Find out about extra fees such as corkage, cancellation or overtime fees.
  • Does the venue hire out tables, chairs, table cloths, cutlery, glasses, cups and crockery?

Add your own questions to this list and take it with you when you speak to the venue manager to make sure you cover all the bases.

Picking Perfect Event Venues for Your Corporate Event

As you go about searching for the perfect event venues for your corporate events, you can use an online venue finder as a starting point to narrow down your search. Keep all the points above in mind, but more than that, be guided by your instincts. Drawing together all the different elements will deliver an event that achieves everything you want it to.

Whether your venue is a small indoor space or a huge outdoor auditorium, we have a band that will add a soundtrack to your occasion to make it unforgettable. Contact us for your live music needs.