“It’s all about the location.”

Stephany Sofos

Selecting the right location for your event is of paramount importance for its success. You need to match your site to the type of event, while ensuring it is convenient and accessible to your guests. Begin with an overview of your event and note all your requirements, for example dressing rooms for entertainers or an area to prepare displays or a cosy place for the bride to wait in. Imagine all the space requirements for the type of event you are organizing. Establish a preliminary cost sheet and then start investigating the possible venues. Keep updating and amending the cost sheet as you progress.CHOOSING A LOCATION FOR YOUR EVENT By Asif Zaidi

Think of the possibilities: Don’t feel limited to restaurants, hotels, or banquet halls. There are numerous other possibilities, some of them more unique, that you can think of. For example, a golf club, an art gallery, an airport hangar, a warehouse, a modish boutique, or putting tents over a parking lot or a tennis court or hiring a yacht. Guided by your objective and your budget, any suitable space can be taken over and transformed, constrained only by your imagination. What is important is to think hard to find the best fit within your budget. Discovering new venues and creating one-of-a-kind events is how you carve out memorable occasions. However, be aware of any restrictions. Art galleries, heritage buildings etc. have some rules about what cannot take place there. For example, you may not be allowed to attach anything to the walls or may not be allowed to serve food in certain areas.

Access time: While selecting a venue, make sure what precedes your event. Be clear about the exclusive access time to the facility. Make sure that the right to use time for décor and set-up has been clearly agreed. Do not feel limited by the furniture at the venue, most facilities will be willing to remove furniture to create more space for your guests. Determine beforehand who will provide the cleaning crew. It cannot be taken for granted.

Noise restrictions: Find out about any noise restrictions. If the facility is located in the midst of a residential area, there are likely to be some rules for how loudly music can be played and how late can your event last.

Food, drinks and tableware: If it is a team building event and the guests are participating in some physical activities, serve alcohol after and not before the physical activity. Ask to take a look at the tableware that will be used at the facility to ensure that the china, the glassware, and the cutlery are up to the standard you expect. Good quality utensils add to an event.

The staff at the venue: Find out about the quality of the staff at the venue. How experienced are they? Have they handled the events of this nature before? Ask the facility to provide you with their best and most professional people. Discuss important aspects of protocol with the management of the facility so that they can apprise their staff accordingly. While efficiency is a constant, staff’s demeanour and appearance have to sit well with the occasion your event honours.

Weather Forecast: When organizing an outdoor event, thoroughly check the weather forecast and, should there be slightest risk, keep a plan B ready.

The final touches: Review your contracts and function sheets with all concerned people to ensure that nothing has been overlooked. Have all your paperwork -permits, licences, contracts etc.- available at the time of your event so that you can deal with any concerns or disputes right away.

(For help with your event please write to us at [email protected])

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