Choosing the Venue

For when flipping a coin isn't helping

The venue plays a big part in your party's success. So if it's your first time to plan or throw a party, contacting the venue may be a real challenge. It needn't be! Browse through some of the following suggestions and you should have a better idea of what you're after in your big night!

If you don't know where to start, here are some tips...

Before Contacting the Venue
  • Get to know your guests. Figure out the number of guests you'll be having. What kind of people they are and what can entertain them - would they enjoy dancing, karaoke or even just a quiet dinner together? Answers to these questions can help you decide on an appropriate venue.

  • Budget. What kind of venue are you willing to pay for? Can afford to accommodate all your guests? What about Uncle Bill and Auntie Joan? Okay, maybe you can drop Bill... what about drinks? Are you going to offer a tab? Getting a rough idea of how much you're willing to spend will help you plan out what's in and what's out for your event.

    To build a list of possible venues, click through the venues pages we list to see all the different places on offer - Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. You can easily search for venues that will suit your budget and guest size. Try to narrow it down a bit, having ten or fewer options really helps when you start to contact the venue managers - and you can cut and paste your requirements and send them through myBirthdayVenue for free (once you've got a good idea of what you're after!)

  • Oh, and don't forget to have an idea on things like the date and time!

Contacting the Venue
  • Find out if the venue is available on your chosen date and time. Venues can be booked up on Fridays or Saturdays because they're the most popular days for parties. If you're flexible with the dates, find out if the venues offer better rates for weekday affairs.

  • Schedule an inspection. While we take a lot of time to provide you photos and information about the various bars and pubs, it would be advisable that you check out the venue before booking it.

  • Most venues don't allow outside caterers and their menus are seldom cheap. At parties, good food is always a winner; so it's important to make sure they're offering good grub. Feel free to ask for a taste test or order a sneaky meal from the kitchen on a regular trading night.

  • If you're planning a themed party, ask the venue manager if decorations are allowed and if there are any dress code restrictions. If there is a strict dress code policy you might want to put that on the invitations and tell your guests before they organise what they're going to wear.

Checking the Venue
  • Check that there will be enough space for all your guests - remember venues can be flexible in adding or removing seating to accommodate varying amounts of people within a particular space.

  • If there's going to be a dance floor, make sure it's going to be in a good, safe spot. Keeping the dance floor clear of the tables (if you have 'em) is always a good idea.

  • Check if there are sufficient toilets to accommodate your guests.

  • Find out about transport options - nearby parking and public transport are always a good thing for your guests. Some venues provide valet parking or chauffeur pick-up, don't be afraid to ask for more information if you're interested in splashing out!

  • Find out if the venue offers music, if you can bring your own iPod or laptop, or if they'll charge extra to B.Y.O. a DJ or live band.

  • If you have a theme, you can also ask if the bar staff can recommend a concoction to match - you might also need a sample of it!

  • Some venues have a coat check area or allocate a lockable room for valuables, if you think your guests will need this you can ask the venue manager if these facilities are available.

I hope these tips help you book a great venue for your next party!

Celebrating a 21st birthday? Have a look at our sister websites 21 Melbourne, 21 Sydney and 21 Perth to find the perfect venue for your twenty-first!

While the perfect venue may sometimes seem elusive, remember the best ingredient to party success is you and your guests having a fantastic time!

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Party Guides are our free party-planning articles!


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