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13th May 2024

Venue Selection - The Essential Checklist

You’ve got a conference to organise, an awards ceremony to pull together, or a summer party to plan. There is one key factor that will make or break any event - that’s the venue.

Event planning is a careful balance between satisfying the event objectives and ensuring the guests leave delighted. You could say that the venue forms the skeleton on which to hang all of the other vital elements - the decoration, the catering, the logistics, everything is dependent on the venue. So it’s really important that your event venue is carefully considered.

We’ve delivered corporate and private events of all sizes, in multiple regions globally. We’ve created this venue checklist that you can use as a guide, and more information about each item is included below.

  • Good transport links

  • Accommodation

  • No cultural or legal restrictions

  • Access to cultural attractions

  • The wow factor

  • Relevance to brand

  • Aligned to brand values

  • Appropriate ambiance

  • Within budget

  • Suitable capacity

  • Includes necessary facilities

  • Accessibility

  • Non-restrictive policies

  • Great reputation

Location, location, location

When you plan an event location is one of the most important selling points of a venue. There are multiple considerations here:


Transport links are typically the biggest factor in location - it has to be accessible for everyone attending. If your attendees are arriving from around the world, being close to an airport is important, and if they’re travelling from around the country, rail links might be a priority. You can put on transport, but you will have to judge whether that’s feasible and whether a location is worth it. Once you know your transportation needs, you’ll know where you can start to search for a suitable venue.


If your event takes place over a number of days, having accommodation on site or very near by will be essential (noone wants to have to trek halfway across the city and back the next day). Assess the accommodation options and make sure there is availability during the time of your event.

Cultural and legal restrictions

Are there any cultural or legal restrictions in that location that would provide a challenge or barrier to your guests or your organisation? For example, if a country has strict laws against alcohol consumption, this may not be the best location for a celebration party, depending on the guests. It’s important to consider local culture, laws and the  political situation of a destination in order to avoid any sticky situations.

Cultural attractions

International venues can provide fantastic opportunities for guests to immerse themselves in local cultures. You might want to seek a venue that has ties to and/or is in close proximity to local attractions.

The wow factor

If you’re looking to impress guests, grand architecture or spectacular views might provide the wow factor needed to give an outstanding first impression and create an event that guests will never forget.

Brand alignment in venue selection

Just like a brochure or a website, your event is a representation of your brand. Venue choice can say a lot about your company. You might choose a venue based on its proven sustainability record, or its historical relevance, or what it represents. Some of the considerations here include:


A venue’s location may have a significance in relation to your business. A botanical garden for a wellness company; an aircraft hangar for a transport business; a safari park for a 4x4 company. If there’s a relevant venue type to your business, you might choose to stay on theme.


Many venues now take their responsibility to people and the planet very seriously. A venue’s corporate social responsibility record might be used as a deciding factor in choosing an event venue. Does the venue donate to local charities? Does it have a sustainable waste management protocol? Does it have an equal opportunities plan for employees. All of these could be considered when it comes to your selection.


Consider the ambiance and atmosphere of the venue and how it aligns with the tone and objectives of your event and your brand. Whether you're aiming for a formal setting or a more casual environment, choose a venue that complements your desired mood.

Practicalities for venue selection


Let’s not beat about the bush. You have a budget, you need to stick to it. So when you’re sussing out the best location, make sure that you’ve tallied up all of the associated costs, and check what’s included. You might have to pay for wifi access, or for furniture depending on the venue, and the smaller stuff can quickly add up.


Capacity can vary depending on the set up of a venue, so before you agree to any venue, ensure that it comfortably fits all of your attendees in the format that you are looking for. Sit down meals will require more space than finger buffets, for example, so the room layout is a crucial factor in venue selection.


Will you need audiovisual equipment? Do you need parking? Will you need on-site catering? It’s important you do due diligence to make sure the venue has everything that you need before your planning goes too far.


Is there wheelchair access? Are there ramps, elevators, accessible restrooms? Hearing loop inductors? Venues with greater accessibility can help to ensure that your guests feel welcome no matter their abilities.

Policies and contract considerations

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure the venue’s terms and conditions are suitable. If they want no noise after 11pm, that might scupper a late-night party, for example.

Venue reputation and reviews

Above all else, a venue’s reputation should be considered seriously. Do your research by looking at reviews from previous clients and attendees as these are lived experiences with the venue. Some issues can be forgiven - this depends on what matters to you. But issues around customer service shouldn’t be ignored if you want your event to run as smoothly as possible.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider. Viva Esprit are event experts and we’ll be delighted to help you organise your next event. Get in touch if you’re in need of some support.

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