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I always say that there are two things which stop an event from being what I want it to be. The first is a budget that is too small to achieve what I want. The second, is the limitations of the venue.

The main ‘venue limitation’ is ceilings that are too low, which will mean I cannot hang a projector, lights or decorations. If there are restricted views of the stage (often, because of pillars) then some of my audience will be uncomfortable and unhappy.

Other limitations I look out for include whether there is enough parking; is there good delivery access; will my guests have to walk over mud or grass to get into the place; is there outside lighting; are there taxis nearby…

In London, there are many historic venues and palaces that will not allow red wine to be served in case it is spilled onto marble floors and stains them. I know one venue that does not allow brown food to be served for the same reason. And another venue will not allow buffet catering because food gets dropped on the carpet, so if you book it for an event, the food must be served to guests seated at tables.

This is all part of the elimination process of choosing a suitable venue for an event. If I am organising a car launch, for example, I must use a venue with doors wide enough to get a car in!

So, when I go to view a venue to see what great things I can do there, I am as much looking for what I cannot do!