Choosing an event venue is one of the most important choices you’ll make in the planning process, but one reason event planners find it difficult to secure the right event venue is because they don’t know the right questions to ask.

7 Tips To Choosing The Right Event Venue

In today’s video, I share 7 tips to help you choose the right event venue for your next event. Watch it now!

For best results, follow this checklist.

1. Who is your target audience and what is the guest list size?

Before creating a short-list of event venues to look at, know who will attend your event and how many people you’ll invite. You’ll want to make sure that your venue can accommodate your expected guest list and is suitable for the audience.

If your event venue is too big for your event, use a hotel partition or a decorative partition (as seen in the picture) to recreate the space size.

If your event is by invite only, request that your attendees RSVP by clearly printing it on the invitation, but be aware that many people don’t respond so you may have to follow up with a phone call. RSVP is a French acronym that means ‘please respond’.

2. Know how to cater to your target audience

Knowing the demographics of your audience is vital to the selection of your event venue. For example, know the average income of your attendees, what their likes or dislikes are, what they are accustomed to, etc. If your audience is a group of CEOs then your venue should reflect their tastes and needs.

3. What is convenient for your guests?

Selecting an event venue location in proximity to where your guests’ live or work often reflects on the number of people that will attend. Something to consider is alcohol consumption and transportation.

You don’t want attendees to drink and drive so have free transportation options available after the event so they can get home safely or ensure taxis are ready when people leave the venue.

4. Weather

Keep an eye on the weather and adjust your needs accordingly. For example, if you’re organizing an event and it’s supposed to rain then have umbrellas on-hand or tents available for outdoor events.

5. Venue knowledge and experience

Before you decide to hire a venue for your event, ask them for a list of events they’ve planned, ask to see pictures of those events so you can see the various layout options, and ask for references.

You might want to speak to some of the staff as well so you know what expertise they have and how accommodating and friendly they are. Find out the ratio of servers to guests, what they’ll wear during your event, and whether or not they can or will work over-time if needed.

You’ll also want to know what the event venue will take care of and what you have to prepare for, i.e. decorating, set-up, tear-down. The more behind-the-scenes information you have, the better!

Walk around the outside of the venue, too, and check for possible noise issues, where neighbors are located, is decorating required outside the venue, possible hazards, where the fire exits are located, and parking or drop-off points for limousines, buses, or taxis.

event venue

6. What other services does the venue provide?

Before hiring a venue get a list of other services they provide, like:

  • Floral Arrangements. Does the event venue have an in-house floral designer?
  • Parking. Do they have their own parking facility or is parking nearby? Can you negotiate a better rate for your event?
  • Security. Depending on the type and size of your event, you may need to hire security. For large scale festivals where the City/Township is involved in planning then you’re often required to have police, fire fighters and/or paramedics on-hand. Also make sure the venue has fire extinguishers, working fire alarms, first-aid kits, and power backup. Know where the emergency exits are and have an emergency plan in place. Don’t overlook cell phone reception because you may need to rent two-way radios to communicate with your staff.
  • Restrictions. Venues often have unstated restrictions that include, but not limited to, decorating (inquire about posting on walls), photography/videographer, alcohol sales, bringing in outside food like cakes, and bringing in outside caterers.
  • Additional Services to consider. Many venues provide additional services like catering, floral arrangements, audio-visual services, staging and lighting, decor for event production, ticketing, transportation, and sight seeing tours for the guests.

7. What are the event venue fees?

Prior to choosing your venue, ask for a list of items the fee covers. Based on this checklist, you’ll want to know:

  • What is the event venue fee and are taxes included? Negotiate the fee so you get the best rate available.
  • What else is included in the venue fee? Dance floor, tables, chairs, linens, security, parking, and liability coverage, what is the corkage fee and is the liquor license valid and up-to-date?
  • What is not included in the venue fee?

For a complete venue checklist, I’ve included it in my certified event course

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

Use the comment box to share let me know your favorite type of venue to use for events.


  1. Rachel Lannister at6:27 pm

    Thank you for the tremendous read. In it you mentioned that you should consider the guests you will be having, and choosing a venue that will interest them. My brother is holding an party for his friend, to celebrate a big milestone in his life. Since it’ll be a lot of people his age, perhaps a club or golf course would be a nice place. Thanks for the terrific idea.

    1. Event Planning Blueprint at6:40 pm

      Agreed, choosing an age appropriate venue is important.

  2. Scott Adams at8:10 pm

    I’m glad that you mentioned making sure how parking works ahead of time. I have been planning an event, and I wasn’t sure how to select an event center to hold it at. I can see how it would be important to ask about parking ahead of time, so you can help people not get lost while looking for parking.

    1. Event Planning Blueprint at10:11 pm

      Events are moving puzzle pieces!

  3. Callum Palmer at3:00 am

    A great question is asked in the article about what other services are provided by the venue. For example, if you’re planning to invite a lot of people, then you want to make sure that the venue offers plenty of parking. It might also help to see if they have their own security team to protect your guests or if you’ll need to hire one yourself.

    1. Event Planning Blueprint at3:10 pm

      Thanks Callum! Security is mentioned under #6 🙂

  4. Aleshire Mueller at11:05 pm

    Thank you for pointing out the need to keep an eye out for the weather and have rain equipment prepared if the event will be held outdoors. I will keep note of that one as my sister’s birthday is planned to be held outdoors. Of course, we want to make sure that everything turns out perfectly, so I do not there is something wrong with being prepared.

  5. Rhianna Hawk at10:10 am

    I’m planning to throw a Christmas party for my close and extended family that live in the same area as me, and as you said, catering to my audience will be important. Most of my family falls into a sort of higher-end healthy eating demographic, so getting somewhere with higher quality food will be important. Luckily, there are a lot of places like that where I can reserve a venue for a party that are nearby, so getting something close to where they all live won’t be a problem.

    1. Event Planning Blueprint at5:22 pm

      Good luck with your party!

  6. Beth Arlington at11:03 pm

    You made a good point when you said that it’s important to consider the number of people that you’re planning to invite so you can find a place that can accommodate them. My husband and I are organizing our wedding anniversary party. We want to make sure that all our guests are going to be comfortable and will have the space to dance the night away. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Arthur Morrison at8:14 pm

    Not many people would think to do it but I like that the article recommends checking on other services that the venue provides outside of just hosting the venue. For example, it definitely helps to make sure that they offer parking. That way all of your guests will have plenty of places to park so that they can get to the event.

  8. Bethany at9:05 pm

    I agree that you must be aware of the number of people that will attend your event to find a venue that can accommodate all your guests. My fiance and I are planning to get married in June. This is why we want to find a good wedding venue. We’re planning to invite more than 200 guests, and we want to make sure that our wedding venue won’t look too overcrowded. Thanks!

    1. Event Planning Blueprint at10:30 pm

      You’re welcome and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!

  9. Ava Mupthy at12:37 am

    Thanks for pointing out the importance of choosing a venue that can accommodate the number of your expected guests. My fiance and I are planning to get married soon, and we are so excited. We want to invite all our friends, workmates, and relatives. We want them to enjoy our wedding party, so we want a wedding venue that won’t look and feel too overcrowded. We’ll consider all your tips.

  10. Ciara Shenectady at6:16 pm

    Thanks for pointing out that it’s important to choose an event venue that can accommodate the number of your expected guests. My fiance and I are planning to get married soon because we want to have our own family. We are looking for a wedding venue that won’t feel and look overcrowded because we want to ensure the comfort of our almost 250 guests. Thanks!

  11. Angela Waterford at1:11 pm

    I think my event already has a complete guest list size. All I have to do is to find a venue that will cater to my audience. Thanks for adding that it has to be convenient for my guests to go there so that it will be successful.

    1. Event Planning Blueprint at7:26 am

      you’re welcome!

  12. Janis at3:24 am

    Some of these still apply to events places even after the pandemic in some parts of the country and even the world. Right now, accessibility and accommodation seem to be what’s on top of the list.

    1. Melanie at6:41 pm

      The world and the world of events and venues is/has changed so much recently so, I’m sure this list is going to transform a few times in the years to come!

  13. Janis at8:31 am

    Agreed! And I’ll be sure to stay tuned to this list for our future events. Cheers and always keep safe Melanie 🙂

    1. Melanie at1:11 am

      Thank you, and you Janice!

  14. Eli Richardson at4:49 pm

    It really helped when you described what you should ask a venue vendor before choosing to work with them. My fiance and I are getting married next spring, so we’re thrilled to start touring venues this month, and we think your article will provide key insight for us. Thanks for the advice on checking a venue’s past events and references before hiring.

    1. Melanie at1:38 pm

      you’re welcome. I’m glad you found it useful for your own venue search!

  15. Robin Blanchard at9:43 pm

    Great checklist! All of these are tremendously important tips to choosing the perfect venue for your particular need. Loved the article!

    1. Melanie at1:32 pm

      Thanks, Robin, glad you liked the checklist!

  16. VP at8:57 am

    I love that tip about asking them for past events reference, so you can have a better idea of what can work for your event as well. Will definitely do that for our next event.

    1. Melanie at5:23 pm

      Let me know how it goes when you use it!

  17. Victoria Addington at6:04 am

    Thank you for the advice to keep an eye on the weather while selecting a place and adjust your needs accordingly. I believe that taking this into account would be beneficial since we need to make sure that the venue has plans in place in case it does rain. I’m assisting my sister with planning her wedding because it’s coming up in a few months. I’ll make sure to let her know about this so she can keep it in mind in choosing the location.

    1. Melanie at3:02 pm

      It’s not the venue’s responsibility to make accommodations for inclement weather, unless it’s a safety issue. So, the event or wedding planner is resonsible for ensuring there are umbrellas, etc. If you don’t have a wedding planner, then it’s your sister’s resonsibility.

  18. Elaina D'Agostino at8:36 am

    I loved your advice about choosing an event venue that is in close proximity to where the guests work and live. My mom is suggesting a banquet venue in the middle of town. It’s perfect because it’s close to where I and most of my friends work.

    1. Melanie at3:07 pm

      Thank you so much for reaching out, and I’m thrilled to hear that you found my advice helpful regarding event venue selection. It’s always a pleasure to assist you in making important decisions.

      Regarding your mom’s suggestion of a banquet venue in the middle of town, I must say it sounds like a fantastic choice, especially considering that it’s conveniently located near your workplace and where most of your friends reside. Proximity to both work and home is a significant advantage when planning events, as it saves time and makes it easier for guests to attend without any major inconveniences.

      Additionally, being in the heart of the town could offer additional benefits such as easy access to transportation options, nearby amenities, and the possibility of exploring the local attractions before or after the event. It adds a touch of vibrancy and excitement to the overall experience.

      I hope you have a wonderful time planning your event. Enjoy the celebration!


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