Don’t always settle for the first venue that fits the requirements; you may not have considered the newest venues, because you don’t know about them. Disused buildings or tunnels, crypts under cathedrals or exclusive rooftops are all venues that you may not even think of.
5. Capacity and Minimums
Knowing the minimum and maximum capacity of your desired layout is crucial; whilst 500 people won’t be able to comfortably fit into a 250-person capacity, likewise 250 people will look lost in a 500-capacity venue despite being able to fit. Remember if building a set with back projection this will take up a lot of the space and needs to be allowed for. As a general rule, capacity decreases by a third.
What are the f+b minimums for each venue? Be careful not to guarantee numbers too high even if it is cheaper per person. You will be charged for this number of people, even if less show up.
Whilst narrowing down your selection of venues, it is useful to ask for a floor plan of the venue which will help locate fire exits, power outlets and decide how the flow of traffic will work.
Fire exits cannot be covered, power outlets are needed for setting up AV, and placement of various parts of the event for example registration will depend on traffic flow. If you need a green room, where could this be located? Can your predicted numbers of people easily get from room to room?
7. Start searching early
Maybe an obvious point, and not often in your control, but the earlier the venue search starts, the better. Venues get booked up extremely far in advance, particularly recurring events that happen year on year. Aside from the benefit of more venues likely to be available on the preferred dates, this then gives more time to get everything else organized.