Choosing the perfect venue is one of the most important decisions, since it plays a huge role in the success of an event and setting the ambiance you need to create your dream event. A popular misconception is that the ideal dream venues are accompanied by a large cheque, which may be true sometimes but isn’t always the case.

We, at BoaGoa have collaborated on a set of carefully researched tips to help you choose the best place for your needs.

Ashley Dias

Ashley Dias

BoaGoa

1. Visit and shortlist venues as early as possible.

Good venues with decent price tags are booked like hot cakes, hence it’s very important to personally visit as many venues as possible as soon as the date of your event has been finalized. Visualize what you would want your event to be like and how you would have the place set up at each of the locations so that all your requirements are covered.
Having a good idea about the small details such as how the guests would be seated, where the platform for the band and the banquet would be placed and how the entrance would be decorated is vital. This would also help you give all the vendors a clearer picture of what you are expecting.

Our recommendation would be not to finalize a venue before visiting multiple venues around your location, since your ideal venue might be the next one.

2. Scope out the size of the venue.
The venue should be able to accommodate at least 10-15% more guests based on the guest list you are expecting. Selecting a venue is one of the first steps in planning an event, hence there is a possibility the number of invitees may increase over time. The seating capacity should be determined based on the type of seating you prefer, for instance a theater style seating could accommodate much more people as compared to banquet style.

3. Budget for the venue.
You need to ensure that the venue shouldn’t absorb a huge portion of the overall budget you are comfortable with. Keeping the cost of an event within a budget involves making adjustments to the amount reserved for other components as well such as the band and the caterers.

Touch base with your co-organizers often and re-evaluate how much you’re spending in different areas. Talk about which items could be compromised on, and how that would affect your original plan.

4. Assess the weather conditions.
If your event is planned close to the monsoon season (June to October) or if there are chances of rain, you would need to plan accordingly.
If the probability of rain is moderate, do consider venues that have an indoor space that could at least accommodate guests and the food.
If the probability is high, consider an indoor air-conditioned venue for the event.

5. Enquire about Cut-Off Time for the venue.
Different venues have a different cut-off times at which the event must end depending on government rules and location. Hence, it is very important to check this for each venue and determine if it suits your requirement. These timings would have to be informed to all the vendors to ensure that everything operates smoothly. 

6. Check the amenities offered by the venue.
Verifying the amenities being provided at the venue such as parking space, parking guides, power backups, the quality of seating arrangement and lighting is very important to avoid surprises at a later stage. The amenities offered in the deal could be a deciding factor, as the budget of the event would increase if you have to procure them separately.

7. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on the venue.
Once you finalize a venue, always negotiate based on the research you’ve done and the cost quotations received from the management of the other venues. The budget of the venue often increases because of the additional costs of food and drink included in the default packages. Check if the bar and caterers can be arranged separately to reduce the overall cost without compromising on quality.
Alternatively, do check for available packages or additional benefits the venue can provide you inclusive in the final cost. You might end up with an absolute steal of a deal.

8. Inquire about the necessary licenses needed
Many venues haven’t already procured licenses for Sound and Alcohol. Hence confirm with the venue if this will be arranged by the venue. Not having these licenses might cause the event to be interrupted by police or local government authorities.

9. Review the Terms and Conditions of the venue.
Venues usually have their own terms and conditions which might affect how your event functions. For instance, there may be a fixed time after which decorators and bands are allowed to setup on the day of the event. Some venues do not allow non-vegetarian menus or certain parts of the venue may have restricted access. It is better to cross check these terms with the venue before finalizing.

10. Discuss Payment.
Review the payment model with the venue such as what percentage of the total cost must be put down in order to book and what are their cancellation, refund and mode of payment policies. Make sure all these terms are provided by email or officially documented and not just through verbal agreement. This could turn out to be very useful in further discussions or in case of a conflict.

We certainly hope that these tips help you select the best venue and to hold the event of your dreams. Do visit the event planner designed in the BoaGoa app with curated checklists and vendor management for easy and effective planning.