Your choice of venue quite literally sets the scene for your entire event—so it’s one of the things we suggest you consider very early on in your event planning. Unless you’ve opted for a private residence, once you’ve sourced the venue of your dreams, you’ll need to work closely with the team at your site of choice to ensure your vision is translated into reality when the big day rolls around.

The National Gallery of Australia has a variety of venues options on offer, one of which you might remember from our recent workshop with the Floral Society. The gallery also has a team of event superstars who ensure the smooth-running of events held within their venue.

We asked Kate and her lovely team at the gallery to offer seven points of advice for working with your venue to help you on your way. If you’ve got an event around the corner, read on!

1. Your event manager is your new best friend

Develop a relationship with your event manager—they are knowledgeable and have many resources and networks that you could tap into to take your event to the next level. They also know their event space very intimately.Blog_Tips_HowtoWorkWithAnEventManager_07

2. Familiarise yourself with the space

Become familiar with the event space, as well as the equipment and facilities you can use. Before your hire, know what the venue can offer you in terms of audio visual equipment, styling items and catering equipment. Also, don’t get caught out by the limitations of your venue. We suggest checking if you can use candles, confetti, and can hang styling props, lighting or florals from the ceiling.Blog_Tips_HowtoWorkWithAnEventManager_06

Photography by Kelly Tunney

3. Marry your theme to your venue

Choose a theme that is enhanced by the venue and ask yourself; what features in the event space will tie in with my theme? In fact, will my theme even work in this space? Consider how can you create a point of difference for your event, using the venue as your guide.Blog_Tips_HowtoWorkWithAnEventManager_05

4. Consider your menu selection

Ask the venue for a menu tasting so you can familiarise yourself with the food and their catering style. Alternatively, an easy way to ensure a room full of well-fed guests is to ask the event manager about the most popular and well-received dishes on the menu.Blog_Tips_HowtoWorkWithAnEventManager_04

Photography by Tim Burgess

5. Plan, plan and plan some more

Your venue event manager will love you if you provide a detailed event schedule well in advance of the big day. This enables the venue to review your schedule to ensure it is achievable with the meal service times, room changes and so on. This will also leave yourself time to make any necessary changes—sans the last minute stress!Blog_Tips_HowtoWorkWithAnEventManager_03

Photography by Kelly Tunney

6. Confirm numbers

This one sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? But if your venue has a clear indication of numbers, they can plan your set up and catering requirements accordingly. Define your invite list and ask your guests to RSVP at least a week before you need to confirm with the venue. This will provide you with some time to chase up those lazy guests!Blog_Tips_HowtoWorkWithAnEventManager_02

7. Expect the unexpected

While venue event managers can usually avert most potential crises on the day, unfortunately they can not control the weather. If your event will be exposed to the elements, discuss back-up options in the case of wet weather. Having a plan B will eliminate a huge layer of stress on the day if wet weather decides to make an appearance.Blog_Tips_HowtoWorkWithAnEventManager_01

Photography by Keepsake Photo by the Keeffes