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Home Faq's Hints and Tips Event planning tips and ideas

Event Budget - How to create one and what to look for.

When starting to plan your event, you first need to create your budget.

You may be preparing a budget for your boss or for your client and it is your responsibility to get it right and include all the costs. Also keep a look out for those hidden costs that can ultimately cost you a lot more!

It may be worth looking at the areas you need to spend money and see if any of the expenses can come out of another budget within the office eg. printing and invitations could come out of a stationary budget or flyers could be part of a marketing budget? If you are working for a client you could ask them the same question and see if they can allocate some of the budget to other areas within their organisation?

Each venue and supplier has a different way of preparing their quotations, sometimes you really have to look at them closely to find all of the costs.

Below I have listed some areas to look out for:

- Inclusive or exclusive of GST?

- Is there an extra charge for alternate serves for main?

- Is there an extra charge to have 2 red and 2 white wine selections?

- Do you need security? This is usually a cost that is included a lot later down the track

- Does the basic audio visual package include everything you need?

- Do they require an Audio technician on-site for the duration of your event if you are using their equipment?

- Crew meals - you must feed your entertainment

- Cleaning - This is usually a cost that is included a lot later down the track

My advice is to talk to each of your contacts, ask them if there are the additional costs you can expect that have not been detailed in the proposal? Let them know that you need to know about all of the possible charges, even if they are overestimated, I would prefer to overestimate charges and then be able to reduce the budget rather than add to it for an oversight.

Good Luck and Happy Eventing!

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Choosing Flowers for Events

1. Determine the budget allocated for the flower decorations

2. Source an experienced florist who will be able to give you ideas to create designs that will be practical, complimenting, cost effective and still achieves a level of 'WOW'

3. These days different materials come to be used to create interest. A tall vase with a bunch of tall twisted branches of blossom creates height. Lotus leaves and bark can be used to create texture for containers. Berries and fruits can be used with flowers to bring out certain textures and features of the arrangements. Simple arrangements like white Singapore orchids immersed in water in a tall rectangular vase with small floating candles is quite common for small intimate functions.

4. Booking a florist in advance is recommended, as this will allow the florist to organise for the blooms to be perfectly open for the function day. As closed blooms will have no effect compared to open blooms. Should you need the arrangements to last for a few days- the florist can arrange to have some showy- lasting blooms and some half open blooms to create an impact, especially if the arrangement is for a stage, impact is crucial for the audience to appreciate the arrangement.

At Kellee Flowers we have executed many arrangements for tables centerpieces, stage arrangements, foyer decorations or registration desk arrangements. We understand how each arrangement needs to be designed to achieve maximum impact.

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Thank you to - Kellie Pham  from Kellie Flowers
Corporate/Wedding Flowers Specialist.


Best Function Venues Melbourne

Best Function Venues Melbourne

Melbourne offers some exciting and unique function venues for all types of events.

From small conferences and birthday parties to large exhibitions and functions Melbourne offers some amazing venues.

Venues 2 Events makes it easy to find the best Melbourne Venue to suit your event. Our easy search enables you to add as many locations or venue types which will all appear in the one search result. You can check out your chosen venues websites, access their phone numbers or simply add as many venues as you like to your wishlist, send one enquiry and sit back and wait for their responses.

Don’t forget to check out Bars and Restaurants, many offer exclusive hire for your function or event.

To find The Best Venue for your Event this link Best Function Venues Melbourne

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What is a Conference Day Delegate Package?

Conference Day Delegate Package:
Conference venues and hotels will provide both a Day Delegate Package and Half Day Delegate Package. The Day Delegate package will usually include morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea as a standard. You may also find some of them include coffee and tea on arrival, room hire, whiteboard, flipchart, data projector, screen, room set up and usually water, mints, pads and pens. Half day packages are also available – usually lunch with either morning or afternoon tea. Check to see what the inclusions are and if your venue can provide a variety of catering options. Don’t forget to check the minimum amount of guests required for day delegate packages.

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What is a Working Lunch?

Working Lunch - Hotels and conference venues will generally provide 2 lunch options in their delegate package. The first is the sit down buffet lunch in the hotel restaurant, this allows delegates a break from the conference room and to mingle with their colleagues and to refresh before the afternoon session. The second option is the working lunch where lunch will be served to the conference room or to an area immediately adjacent to the conference room. This style of Lunch is consumed standing up and may consist of trays of sandwiches, salads and desserts or a more traditional buffet delivered to the conference room.

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Ten Reasons To Choose A Hotel As Your Wedding Venue

 

If you’re a potential newly-wed, the anticipation of the big day is as much part of the wonder and excitement of the marriage celebration as the day itself. The last thing you want is for that to be ruined by the stress of selecting and managing a venue from the myriad available.  The setting you choose for your nuptials is a big deal, to be sure. For one day, everyone you care about will be in one place and the memories you lay down from that one day will be those you most want to revisit over the rest of your life. The experience needs to be exceptional for everyone, not just the bride and groom, a hassle-free day where all can relax, enjoy, be entertained and waited upon in a venue which knows what it is doing and pulls out all the stops so you don’t have to worry about anything, but sealing the knot with your true love. In short, you want the day to flow like the magical fairy tale that it is.

The number of option for venues can be overwhelming – where do you start?  This is where hotels have the advantage because they provide a one stop shop with all the staff and facilities to plan and deliver a beautiful event. Here are ten reasons why a hotel can offer you the perfect venue for your wedding.

 

1. Wedding Planner / Co-Ordinator

The biggest plus is that most hotels can provide a wedding planner to take care of every detail from music to menu, so why pay for an expensive wedding co-ordinator on top of everything.

2. Catering

Whatever style of wedding you’re after – be it traditional, banquet, or a more interactive event with cocktails and canapés, hotels can offer the facilities to cater for your choice.  That way too, you can make an event to suit your vision – whether it’s a small, intimate affair you’re after or the biggest party of your life.

3. Ceremony Venue

Prefer to be outdoors but don’t want to hold your breath up until the last minute watching the weather?  Many hotels have gardens, providing an additional place for guests to circulate, but keeping the option of an undercover space if the weather should turn, which is always the risk.

4. Convenience

Being able to accommodate your guests on the same site as the venue is a huge plus cutting out the need to for them to travel between venue and accommodation and allowing them to relax without worrying about transport after drinking celebratory bubbles. Most hotels have a baby sitting service for people with young children so that the parents can stay with the wedding party and celebrate and pop back to their room if needed.

5. Trying before you buy

You can try before you buy.  Most hotels will let you trial your planned menu so there can be no doubt on the day itself that you picked a winner.

6. Day Spas & Beauty

A big plus removing the preparation stress from the start of the day is that many hotels have spa facilities, meaning the bridal party’s makeup and hair can be taken care of on site.

7. Wine list / choice

Your wedding is likely to be the biggest party you ever give and you’ll want the wining and dining to be particularly special for your guests. Good hotels will stock a good cellar, meaning you get a good choice of champagnes and wines to pick from, not to mention more variety.

8. Venue reputation

With some untested venues, you may have doubts about quality which you cannot put to the test until the day has come and it’s too late to back out. The great advantage of a hotel is it is likely to be part of a chain and its reputation will be known to you. Even if it’s a one off, you can check reviews online to assess a venues performance. Trip Advisor is the world’s largest travel site and the best place to start.

9. Memories

When your feet are sore from dancing and your mouth from grinning from ear to ear, your wedding night accommodation is taken care of and also becomes a special place to celebrate your anniversary for the years that follow. Don’t forget you have also just saved on the cost of a getaway car or limousine.

10. Post wedding celebrations

And the fun doesn’t have to end there. All staying under one roof means that in the morning, everyone can catch up for a post wedding celebration in the hotel for breakfast

There is no reason spend that special build up to your big day rushing round like a headless chicken trying to put it all together.  For weddings, a hotel becomes your genie-in-a-bottle, pulling out all the magic to make your big day the best event your life.

 

 

About The Author

Malcolm Mathie is General Manager of Hills Lodge Hotel. Malcolm grew up in Sydney and has been involved in the hotel industry for over 20 years, starting his career in 1994. In his spare time, Malcolm likes to ski and spend time with his wife Maree, and three children.

 

 

 

What does Plenary and Break Out Room mean?

Plenary & Break Out Rooms

Plenary is the main conference room that fits your total number of guests in the one room. When booking your venue ensure the Plenary can cater not only for your total number of guests but for a stage, display tables, rear projection or any extra space that may be required. Most large hotels and venues include data projectors and projection screens however sometimes they are at an additional cost.

Break out rooms are important for when your main conference group needs to split into smaller groups. Break out rooms ensure each session can be run without the disruption and noise level associated with several groups in the one room. Ensure your venue has enough break out rooms allowing them to run simultaneously, also ensure they are large enough to fit the right number of guests and any extra equipment you may need.

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What is theatre style set up?

Theater Style

Seats or chairs are placed in rows like a theatre where conference attendees are facing the stage and will listen to or watch presentations, this set up has no provision for note taking, laptops or refreshments. Theatre style set up can accommodate large groups where there is no interaction between attendees required

We find that most people only think about straight rows for theatre style set ups, however your seating can be arranged to suit your room size and desired feel of your conference.. Other options to consider are semi circle or angled in a V shape and think about if you need an aisle down the centre. Remember to offset each row so that attendees don’t have to look around the person in front of them. Check with your venue to make sure they can accommodate your preferred set up as their capacities may only be based on the traditional straight row.

So that attendees can move in and out easily and without too much disturbance it’s preferable to allow 60cm between rows, again check with your venue to make sure you have the space. Also take a note of the width of your chairs, standard banquet chairs are usually 460mm wide which is narrower than the average person so allow from 6cm – 15cm gap between them for your guests comfort.

Pros: Theatre style is ideal for large groups.
Cons: Allows minimal group interaction and as there are no desks it is difficult for refreshments and for attendees to take notes.

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What does Cabaret Style mean?

Cabaret Style or Open Rounds:

The cabaret style set-up is usually round tables with delegates seated around 2/3rds of the table, usually 6-8 people sitting around a table made for 10. Essentially you take away the two seats with their back to the screen. This allows all delegates a clear view and with no delegates having their back to the stage or presenter.

Cabaret style is ideal for awards nights and presentation nights when a banquet meal is being served and most of the evening is dedicated to speeches and presentations. It is also a useful set up for conferences or business meetings, where delegates need to take notes or break to discuss topics between themselves.

This style can also be used for square tables, where you would simply take away the seats with their back to the screen or main presentation area.

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How do you set up a Boardroom?

Boardroom Style - Boardroom style seating incorporates a rectangular or oval table set with chairs around all sides and ends. Boardroom style seating is ideal for small business meetings, Board of Directors meetings, committee meetings or strategy sessions of up to14-16 people. The chairperson, facilitator or presenter will either sit or stand at one end of the table. All delegates will be able to see each other and interact easily with other participants.

Many facilities offer rooms with permanent conference tables in a variety of shapes.

For slightly larger groups standard conference tables can be placed together to form a square, rectangle or hollow square. Remember, the larger the set-up, the harder it is for attendees to see others at the opposite end to them.

Boardroom set up offers a good working atmosphere where participants can see each other and interact easily. However it is not ideal for audio-visual presentations, speakers or very large groups.

A good event organizer will ensure there are pens, writing pads, water and mints for their attendees.

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How do you set up a room in Classroom style?

Classroom Style - This arrangement comprises rows of tables all facing the front, a presenters table, stage &/or lectern is set up at the front of the room facing the 'class'. The classroom set up is ideal for larger groups and more formal training sessions or conferences requiring note taking, or for delegates use their laptops and reference materials. This is the most comfortable set-up for long sessions and allows refreshments to be placed within reach of each attendee. The number of people that a classroom set-up is suited is only limited by the size of the room. With large groups of 70 or more delegates you will need a microphone and PA system to ensure the presentation is heard clearly by all delegates, check with your speakers to see if they require a lapel or hand held microphone as many presenters like to walk around while presenting. Dual projection screens for visual displays may also be required for larger groups.

Set-up hints

Tables that extend beyond the stage or podium should be angled toward the speaker.

Allow approximately 600cm of table space for each person or if they have laptops and a large amount of hand outs allow more space if possible.

The space between each table should be a minimum of 90cm to 110cm if space allows, allowing delegates to move in and out without disturbing the rest of the conference.

Pros
Delegates have desk for note taking, laptops and refreshments
Presenter can see all participants and make eye contact
Accommodates large groups in less space
Delegates are facing the presenters and audio visual presentations

Cons
Allows minimal interaction between delegates
Participants only see each other’s backs

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How many attendees is a U-Shape set up suitable for?

U-Shape - The U-Shape conference set up consists of tables set in a u-shape with chairs set around the outside of the U, a presenters table will be set up at the front of the room separate from the U and close to any audio visual equipment. This set up is ideal for committee meetings or training seminars for where there are speakers or audio visual presentations, and where you require interaction between delegates This set up caters comfortably for 25 -30 delegates, larger groups will find that it becomes more difficult to interact successfully.

Set-up tips: A minimum of 600cm of table space is required per attendee.

Skirt the inside of the “U” if attendees are being seated only on the outside.

Avoid the “U” set-up for groups greater than 30, as the sides of the “U” become too long and may not promote participation from all attendees.

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What is a Residential Conference?

Residential Conference Accommodation -  A residential conference is when there is an accommodation component to your conference eg. your guests are staying ‘in residence’ or in other words staying at the hotel, usually the same hotel where the conference in being held during the day. When organising a residential conference the accommodation is a large proportion of the costs. Hotels will offer single or twin share accommodation. Single or Double occupancy refers to the number of people in the room not the size of the bed, conference hotels will generally provide rooms with a Queen size bed. A twin share room will provide 2 separate beds which will generally be two Queen sized beds. Providing your delegates with twin share accommodation is one of the ways of reducing the costs of a residential conference.
You may want to provide breakfast for them and hotels will always be able to provide a 'Bed and Breakfast' room rate. I ALWAYS recommend asking the hotel for breakfast ‘on consumption’ this means you only pay for the amount of breakfasts your guests consume. You will find when on conference some guests may skip breakfast for the much needed sleep in or they simply aren’t a breakfast person.

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Tip for saving money on your Residential Conference

Tip for saving money on your residential conference

If your delegates are staying overnight in the hotel you may want to provide breakfast for them, hotels will always most likely provide you with 'Bed and Breakfast' room rate. I ALWAYS recommend asking the hotel for breakfast ‘on consumption’ this means you only pay for the number of breakfasts your guests actually consume. This one really simple thing saved my client close to $9,000 when I had 190 guests in a hotel over 3 days. The reason is that when on conference some guests may skip breakfast for the much needed sleep in or they simply aren’t a breakfast person.

Imagine what you could do with $9,000! So get those residential breakfasts on a consumption basis, I’d love to hear how much money this little tip has saved you.

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What is a Rear Projector or Rear Projection?

What is a Rear Projector or Rear Projection?

Rear projection is just that, projecting from the rear. Instead of the data projector sitting in front of the screen it sits at the back of the screen. Rear projection is commonly used when the ceilings in the venue are quite low, this allows you to have a large screen from the floor to the ceiling.

Rear Projection is also used if you have a presenter that likes to walk around the stage, as if you used front projection each time your presenter walks in-front of the projection light they will cast a shadow onto the screen.

In our opinion rear projection looks a lot cleaner that having a tripod screen with front projection. It is a little more expensive and you also need more room in your venue as you have to allow anywhere from 8 – 15m behind the screen for the projection throw.

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What is a Data Projection Screen?

What is a Data Projection Screen: A data projection screen allows you to project an image presentation or video onto the screen for all guests at your event to see and refer to. Most venues will have screens built into either the wall (wall mounted) or ceilings (ceiling mounted) of the venue.

Ensure there are block out blinds or heavy curtains in the venue if there are lots of windows. Natural daylight can wash out the images on the screen making it hard for your guests to see what you are displaying.

What are Block out Blinds

Block out blinds are used when there is a lot of natural light that filters into a function space during the day. Block out Blinds are used to ‘block out’ the sunlight so the vision on the screen is not washed out, ensuring everyone can see a crisp and clear presentation.

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What are Block out Blinds?

Block out blinds are used when there is a lot of natural light that filters into a function space during the day. Block out Blinds are used to ‘block out’ the sunlight so the vision on the screen is not washed out, ensuring everyone can see a crisp and clear presentation.

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Can I submit one enquiry to multiple venues?

Yes! Simply add your favourite venues/supplier to your 'WISHLIST'.

To email them all at the same time click your pink shopping cart at the top right of your screen. Enter in your request and contact details then hit 'SUBMIT'. Your enquiry will be sent to all venues/suppliers in your WISHLIST

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How long until I receive a response?

You will usually hear back from our venue and supplier partners within 24 hours. Upon submitting an enquiry you will also receive an email listing each venue/supplier and their contact details so you can monitor the follow up process.

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How to Organise a Work Christmas Party

So you have been given the job of organising your work Christmas party – easy thinks your boss but not so! There is a lot to organize and of course you have to fit it in around your normal work as well! Don’t despair here are some simple tips that will help you.

1.    Start early! Select a date and time, pick three days and circulate a flyer around the office and agree on a date that most people can attend.

2.    The Budget! Is your company paying for the whole event? Find out how much per person they want to spend. If employees have to contribute or pay for their partner then be mindful of the cost so all can participate.

3.    The Place! Will it be held at your office where you will need to organize catering or at a restaurant or function venue? For an Office Party you need to be aware of food safety and office health and safety issues and of course the clean up and rubbish removal especially if it is held the day you break up for holidays. If booking a restaurant or function venue ensure you get a quote with everything included so there are no nasty shocks at the end.

4.    The menu! Most venues have a set Christmas menu selection and a range of options from cocktail, buffet to sit down menu and will work with you to keep within your budget. If you are holding an office party food doesn’t have to be expensive, platters from good catering providers or supermarkets are very cost effective, some fruit markets supply fruit platters and a fun thing is to make you own lolly bar.

5.    Beverages! Decide whether alcohol will be served, many businesses are conscious of their staff’s safety and are holding "alcohol free" parties. Alternatively many companies will offer Taxi Cards to staff so check with your manager. When purchasing alcohol for office parties check out the local hotels they offer returns for any unused alcohol as well as glass hire. Venues offer packages by the hour or beverages on consumption, again your budget will dictate whether your company is offering a free bar or cash only bar or perhaps you can organize a bar tab.

6.    Entertainment! Office parties are usually fairly casual and organizing some music on an ipod will give a nice background feel, you may also have to organize a Santa outfit for the jolliest person! For entertainment at a venue or restaurant ask the event coordinator if they have any regular entertainers, you can also check out entertainment companies that offer comedians, magicians, bands or the venue will have sound equipment where you can supply your own music for the evening. Again don’t forget the Red Suited gentleman to hand out Kris Kringles or lollies.

7.    Themeing: Even if you have a very small budget try to allocate some towards making it as festive as possible, it’s amazing what you can find in the fabulous $2 shops. If you are holding it at a venue they will sometimes include this in your package, otherwise ask if you can theme the venue yourself but you will have to check out the occupational health and safety rules for this. If your budget allows, a themeing company will make your event a Christmas wonderland, your venue will be able to suggest a themeing company.

8.    Guest List & Invitations: For a staff Christmas Party an email invitation is sufficient but to make sure you get the all important acceptances back send them a reminder email a day before the deadline. If you are organizing a large party or inviting guests from outside the company, a formal invitation is required. Make sure you include an RSVP deadline, special dietary requirements, date, address, map and parking information. Send a reminder email a day before your deadline for your venue numbers. Also follow up with reminders a week before and two days before the event.

9.    Event Run Sheet: Don’t overlook this vital step! A simple excel spreadsheet outlining the order of the evening with arrival time, how long canapés are being served, when the entrée, main meal and dessert are being served? Are there any speeches or entertainment in between, list everything down so that your evening will run without a hitch. Venues will have an event coordinator for the evening and will be able to help you with this.

10.    Have Fun and Merry Christmas!

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