This week I’ve been scouring London looking for the best venue for a client’s event. Thankfully I picked a sunny day, traversing the capital to find something that would fit the bill. My visits included some of the city’s finest and most exclusive hotels and venues, including the Crypt at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Mondarin Hotel’s Rumpus Room and the enchanting Cahoot’s bar.

Finding the right venue can be an interesting expedition, but with some many unique and quirky options open to you, what should you really be looking for?

Here are my top tips for finding the perfect space for your event:

Budget. Have a clear idea of what you want to spend before making appointments for viewings. As well as a hire fee, many venues also set a minimum spend for things like catering and drinks, so be clear on what these prices are and if they’re in budget.

Event tone. Are you planning a large media launch or a low key celebration? Are you looking for a classic and elegant space or would you prefer a themed bar? Ask yourself important questions about what you and your guests expect from the venue and make a list of those that fit. Personally you may adore one specific setting but the tone of the place may be wrong for the event. Take another team member along to viewings with you so that you have at least two perspectives on each place.

Timings. The time of day or day of the week can massively impact your venue choice. Some locations only offer weekday bookings because of regular weekend trade, others may have limitations on what time they can stay open until because of noise restrictions and residential neighbourhoods. If you have your heart set on an outside function during the summer, check that the type of event you want can be accommodated during your running times. It pays to be flexible – some venues will have lower rates for booking earlier in the week or during less popular months of the year.

Extras. Whether you opt for a function room that’s a blank canvas or a space that is oozing with character, you will need to consider what extras you need to budget for. Will you need to bring in lighting and sound equipment and what support can the event organisers provide you with on-site. Many venues have their preferred supplier list who can do these extra jobs for you competitively with little fuss, but these costs can soon mount up if you haven’t planned for them.

The wow-effect. Whatever the scale or budget of your event, it is reflective of your brand so the venue needs to be suitably impressive. That doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Clever lighting, displays and best use of furniture can be maximised to create the right flow for guests, and little details incorporated into the room design for maximum appeal.

Contact us for event management support.