If you’ve been tasked with planning a private party or event at a suitable venue, you may be feeling a little daunted. After all, there’s so much that needs to be on point, from the venue to the food. If you’re wondering where to start, here are ten tips to get you going.
Determine your budget
The first thing you need to do is set a budget for your event. Try to be realistic, taking into account everything you might need, from the venue and catering to the decorations and any giveaways. Work out where you want to indulge and where you can afford to save.
Select the venue
The second job on the list is to book your private venue hire. If you have a venue in mind, check availability with them as soon as possible to see if they have the dates you’re after. If you’re yet to choose, consider what kind of event you’re having. Is it a company party, a client dinner, a wedding or perhaps a birthday or hen celebration, for example? Shortlist places that fit your needs and offer the kind of atmosphere you require. Places with a modern, secluded and spacious feel are popular and can often be decorated according to your needs.
Arrange a viewing
Most venues offering private hire will offer a viewing, so you can scout out a space to see if you’d like to book it. This is highly recommended to ensure the venue can meet your requirements. It’s a great opportunity to meet the staff you’ll be working with to ensure a smooth event, and to discuss requirements such as catering, seating arrangements, live entertainment and any other details. If you like a venue but it is too large for your needs, you can often reserve a dedicated section of it, rather than the whole space.
Draw up a guest list
Now the venue for your private party hire is booked, you’ll likely have a rough idea of how many people will be attending. With a venue, date and time arranged, you can draw up your guest list. Who you invite depends on the event itself – if it’s a work do, perhaps all staff in the office will be invited. Or if it’s a client event, you may only be inviting your top clients or prospects. If it’s a hen party, you may only want a select few to join you.
Plan the menu
Many venues that are available for private event hire offer catering services, whether you’re after food or drinks only. You can liaise with the staff directly to choose a suitable menu, or some venues may work with you to design a custom menu or allow you to hire external caterers. With more and more people turning vegetarian or vegan, it’s a good idea to have several options available to suit all diets, and the nature of the event will determine how you want the food to be served. Are you having a formal sit-down meal or is it more of a light bites and canapés standing event?
Decide on a theme
Are you hosting a themed party? If so, you’ll need to communicate this to the guests and perhaps decorate your chosen venue accordingly. Let them know if there is any kind of dress code and give them plenty of notice so guests can plan ahead.
Consider what kind of entertainment (if any) will be necessary for your party. It may be that for an adult’s birthday nothing is required, whereas for an office event or kids’ party, games or entertainment is a must. Do you need to hire a DJ, professional entertainers, a live band, or a photographer? Whatever you’re planning, be sure to discuss your ideas with the venue to make sure they can accommodate your needs.
After all that hard work, you’ll want to ensure as many people as possible can attend. Send invitations several weeks in advance so guests have time to check their diaries, respond, and choose menu options if necessary. Be sure to include the venue location, date and time, and information such as the theme and entertainment.
If you require any specific details such as how to get to the venue, or any access requirements for guests that may need it, the venue can often supply this for inclusion in your invitations. Especially if it’s a corporate event, it’s important to offer an inclusive event that can cater to potential disabilities. It’s also extremely important to ensure any dietary requirements and allergies are communicated to the catering staff.
Lastly, you’ll want to get an idea of numbers closer to your event, so you can confirm the final requirements for catering and make any necessary adjustments to the venue setup on the day. It’s important the venue can comfortably accommodate the number of guests confirmed to attend.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to host your party or event, Studio Five Restaurant offers a versatile space with a rich history, having once been home to Europe’s largest TV studio (read more on that here). Our restaurant is located within Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, just 12 minutes from Baker Street in central London and a few minutes from Wembley Park tube station. It is a modern restaurant that provides an ideal setting for private events. To arrange a viewing and check availability, please email us or complete our private hire form.