6 Tips for Choosing a Venue

Choosing a venue for an event can easily become an overwhelming task, especially when you have many options to choose from. A venue can very well end up making or breaking your event, so selecting the right place is crucial. You can make your venue selection process go smoothly by researching and understanding your options ahead of time.


Photo via Lin and Jirsa Photography


Here are 6 venue selection tips to help find the best place for your event

1) Size

Be mindful of how many attendees you’re planning for. A cozy setting may sound nice when you’re first starting the venue selection process. Keep in mind though that your guests prefer having enough space for spreading out to mingle. On the other hand, you should avoid selecting a venue that is too large, especially for a small gathering, since this may overwhelm your attendees.

2) Location

The venue you select for your event should be one that is easy for guests to find and access. However, it’s also important that you keep your guests’ safety in mind. Choose areas which are familiar, especially for locally-hosted events. Consider locations which are centrally located for local guests, or easily accessible by public transportation. If you are expecting guests from out of town, you may want to also find venues which are in close proximity to, or at least easily reached from, the closest airport(s).

3) Style/Atmosphere

The style and atmosphere of a venue go a long way towards setting the tone for your event. The type of event you are hosting is probably the most important factor of this part of your venue selection process. For example, weddings and cocktail parties typically call for a more formalized setting than a corporate event, but not always. Keep in mind that the décor and seating arrangements you choose for the venue will also play into your event’s atmosphere.

4) Facilities/Amenities

Depending on your event budget, you may find a venue which offers all the amenities you need for your event. For example, some provide equipment, silverware, dishes, and even a kitchen. You may be pleasantly surprised that your favorite venue fits into your budget, so don’t hesitate to check around.

The following checklist can also help you with venue selection:

  • Condition of the grounds and parking.
  • Condition of carpet, paint, and decor.
  • Condition and appropriately sized draperies/skirting.
  • Adequate room size and capacity to hold event.
  • Flexibility to adjust room layout/tables.
  • No visual obstructions within room.
  • Indoor lighting (flexibility to adjust/dim sections).
  • Ability to control natural light.
  • Limited noise distractions in hallways/behind walls.
  • Event room away from kitchen.
  • Nearby restroom access.
  • Nearby medical access.

Source: About.com

5) Audio Visual & Technology

Nearly every event requires at least some type of audiovisual (AV) equipment and/or event technology. Finding out whether your desired venue offers the equipment and technology you need before your event can save you time and trouble in the long run.

6) Catering Options

One of the most highly anticipated aspects of any event revolves around its food and drinks. The menu you choose is important, as well how it is presented. The venue you select may have in-house catering, or you may decide to hire a catering company. Many venues work closely with caterers and will gladly provide you with the names of caterers they recommend.


You can find a list of some of our favorite Portland area partners on our website, or by clicking here. This list includes gorgeous venues for a variety of events.

If you’re planning an event in the Portland-Metro area and looking for a caterer, we would love to help you. Please contact us online or give us a call at (503) 222-4553.


Related Resource

Catersource Finding the Right Event Venue