The journalism industry has something called the “5 Ws” that reporters are supposed to answer when they’re working on a story. Those are “who, what, when, where, and why?” Outside of a newsroom, the importance of those questions varies tremendously, and if you’re planning an event, the first and biggest question you need answered is, “Where?” Whether it’s a wedding, baby shower, bachelorette party, or something else, you need to find physical space to host the event before you can get too far along in the planning process. There are a few different ways you can go about finding the perfect venue.
Find events you liked
Look at your city and region and think of events that you have really enjoyed. Where were those events held, and what made the venues so special? Let’s say you want to host an elaborate 25th anniversary party in Brisbane. In that case, you’ll want to remember some events in Brisbane and do some digging into the venues that hosted those events. If you can’t quite remember where an event was held but know that the venue was great, try searching for the name of the event online. If you attended an art festival, search for the name of the art festival and the specific year you remember attending. You’ll likely find a website for the festival that tells you where it was held, and from there you can contact the people from the venue and ask about hosting your event there as well. They’ll no doubt love to hear that you had such a good time that you want to go back to the venue for another reason.
Make sure to describe the event in as much detail as possible. Some venues will be perfectly fine hosting an anniversary party but may not be as thrilled to host a wild graduation party with a lot of alcohol. Alcohol permitting laws will vary a lot from location to location as well. Some places will be fine with a BYOB (bring your own beer) policy, while others will require you to buy the alcohol on the premises. The latter is way more likely if you’re holding an event at a brewery or winery because, of course, the people running the place are going to want you and your guests to drink some of what they serve. Buildings associated with a religious organization may also have strict rules in place regarding alcohol, although the nature of those rules is going to vary a lot between denominations.
Are you holding a big event? Generally speaking, the bigger the event, the more likely it is that you’ll want to hire an event planner to help you out. It may very well cost you a bit more money in the long run, but that money is worth spending if it helps you save precious time. Professional event planners also have insider knowledge that most of us just won’t. They’ll know if that historic mansion downtown should be avoided because it’s on the verge of financial insolvency. If an under-the-radar catering company is worth taking a chance on, they can tell you that as well.
Of course, depending on the nature of the party, you may not even need a caterer. If you’re planning on serving cocktails and appetizers, you can just look up things like where to buy goat cheese a week or two before the party. It’s much easier to buy food for 20 or 30 people than it is for 200 or 300. Look at the guest list and think about how much time you’ll have to plan, and if all that planning time will cut into your ability to truly enjoy the party once it’s underway. If the answer is yes, hire an event planner with a good reputation. They can help locate a great venue, but they do a lot more than that. By the end of an elaborate party planning process, you’ll be glad to have someone like them on your team.