How to choose the perfect venue

Choosing a venue is one of the first and the most important parts of organising an event. The venue impacts on the rest of the event, it is imperative to get a venue that matches the atmosphere, nature and crucially the budget of your event. If you have a smaller budget there is little point is booking a grand expensive venue if it means the rest of the event suffers as a result. Set yourself an appropriate budget and stick to it, although always remember to try to negotiate prices down.

What type of event are you running? Is it a conference, an awards ceremony or a simple networking event?

Make sure that the style and the size of the venue reflects the type of event. If you have a conference it is likely that practicality and accessibility are important factors, rather than big rooms with grand ceilings. Decide what it is you need from the venue. Good technical set up for an awards ceremony, good transport/parking for a business conference?

Remember to check the details

When a venue says to you “This rooms fits 150 people” Ask what they mean, if you are running a gala dinner and want cabaret style tables and the room only fits 150 theatre style than you know you need to look elsewhere.  Find this information out first, before you fall in love with a venue.

What is your budget?

If you have a large budget event then it is likely you will get what you want, the only thing out of your control will be room availability. If you are on a lower budget then remember that you can do creative things to dress a room, see a rooms potential imagining it has been dressed for an awards evening, not what is presented to you immediately on a show around. Your guests will remember the venue, but they are more likely to focus on the food, the table dressings, and the atmosphere; so don’t put all your eggs in one basket. There is a huge range of brilliant venues that offer competitive prices.

On the other side of the scale if the venue has the wow factor, this could mean that you could keep spend down on dressing the room then that has added benefits. Also check the technical facilities, if there is a good technical provision in the cost then this will make you large savings hiring it in. Sometimes these additional factors justify the extra costs.

What are the facilities?

Check out everything, room size, the condition of the venue, room layout, in house technical set up, parking, light levels- can you have complete control, temperature control, is it on a main road- is this going to effect the noise level in your event? Make sure you ask all the right questions and go prepared.


Do you want catering at your event? If so what type of catering, many venues offer on site catering however the scale of this may vary, for instance if you want to feed 500 guests a three course meal, some venues simply will not be able to accommodate this. Ask the questions, what can they do, how long will it take them to serve and what is the cost? Is it worth bringing in outside caterers?

Is the event over two or more days?

If the event involves an overnight stay then it is worth looking at hotels as a potential venue. Many have great conference or meeting spaces and can offer competitive rates to include overnight stays. If you don’t want the event to be held in a hotel then make sure to check hotels in the area, do your research. Find out about different price range hotels, call the hotels and mention your event for 200 people and see what deals they can do for you, make them the preferred supplier of your event and the discounts could be huge. This information can then be passed back onto your guests.

 What are the staff like?

Call up a venue and talk to the staff, if they meet all the earlier requirements go visit the venue and meet with the event manager. This will be your main contact when organising your event and your relationship with them will impact on the overall event. Look for someone who is friendly, flexible and easy to get a hold of. If you have to wait a week before someone gets back to you then that is valuable time lost. Most venues have staff who will go above and beyond to help you, they have knowledge of the venue that you don’t so they may have some helpful suggestions on running your event, but make sure that they have your events interests at heart. Don’t go with someone who says “We always do it this way”.

 Holland Alexander. Events, Marketing & PR. London & Leicester Studios

REM Northamptonshire Heritage Awards Winners


press release                                                                


County museums are award winners 

Northamptonshire Museums and heritage sites were announced as award winners at the Renaissance Heritage Awards award ceremony held at Kelmarsh Hall on 22 July 2010.

 The ceremony celebrated the work of museums and heritage collections throughout the county, with Desborough Heritage Centre winning Museum of the Year.  

 The Awards recognise excellence in museums and heritage sites across the county, they are in their fourth year and this year are supported by Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited as well as Renaissance East Midlands.

 The 2010 winners are:

Best Event 2010

Joint Winners:

The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne for The Canal Village at War

and Rushden Historical Transport Society for 50th Anniversary of last timetabled train from Rushden Station

Best Exhibition 2010

Winner: Irchester Narrow Gauge Railway Trust for Ironstone Quarrying Before Mechanisation

 Inspiration Award for Best Special Project 2010

Joint Winners:

 The Tithe Barn Museum/ Prebendal Manor for Exploring Archaeology through the Senses

 and Sulgrave Manor for Washington Garden

Work with Children and Young People 2010

Winner: Naseby Battlefield for The Sound of Naseby Battlefield

 Collections Care and Development 2010

Winner: The Bromham Parochial Library at Canons Ashby

Museum of the Year 2010

Winner: Desborough Heritage Centre

 Judges Special Award 2010

Winner: Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

 People’s Choice Award 2010

Winner: The Canal Museum, Stoke Bruerne  

 Kate Dent, Head of Tourism at Northamptonshire Enterprise Ltd, said “What a fantastic climax to what has been such an exciting project for all of us, last night’s awards presentations really were the icing on the cake! We extend our huge congratulations to all the finalists and a special well done to the winners. All the museums involved have impressed us with the quality of service to visitors, what a perfect excuse for people to get out and about in Northamptonshire and experience the museums for themselves!”

 Jane Seddon, Northamptonshire Museum Development Officer and the co-ordinator for the Awards, said: “Choosing one winner from the high quality of entrants has been a really difficult task for the judges this year. The awards ceremony celebrates the work of all our county’s museums and heritage collections and reminds us how lucky we are to have access to such diverse and such high quality venues and exhibitions, providing great days out for all the family in Northamptonshire”.


The Northamptonshire Renaissance Heritage Awards ceremony is on Thursday July 22 at 6pm.

 Photo opportunity of the winners: 11pm

 For more information contact: 

Jane Seddon on 07825 061202  or

Catherine Hallsworth on 0116 252 7392

 Notes to Editors

The Northamptonshire Renaissance Heritage Awards are part of the East Midlands Renaissance Heritage Awards and similar awards are happening in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire and Rutland. 

 Renaissance is a £150 million programme to transform England’s regional museums. For the first time, investment from central government is helping regional museums across the country to raise their standards and deliver real results in support of education, learning, community development and economic regeneration. Renaissance is helping museums to meet people’s changing needs – and to change people’s lives. 

Holland Alexander.  Be Inspired. Events, Marketing &  PR Agency. London & Leicester