Whether you’re looking to contain a kids' party, enjoy a winter wedding, or simply don't want to rely on the weather, if you've chosen to host your event indoors, we have all of the top tips to make sure that your day or night goes as smoothly as possible.
Let’s tackle the obvious first – the UK isn't exactly known for its reliable weather. Sometimes the snow comes down in June, we have April showers, and then before you know it – here comes the sun. However, cheesy song lyrics aside, holding an indoor event protects you and your guests against a washout. If you've ever dealt with the stress of checking the forecast 5 times a day before an outdoor event, you'll understand the wisdom of choosing to hold your event indoors to keep dry (and sane).
Facilities can be a little easier with indoor events too. Generally speaking, you're likely to already have the basics such as electric, toilet facilities and hopefully lighting and sound equipment if you need it – so no need for generators and the dreaded Portaloo!
There’s also your guests' comfort to consider. While we’ve mentioned the rain but on really hot days, intense sunshine can also create problems – particularly if the event is a long one.
Get working on that guest list
First things first – start with your guest list. The number of people attending will make a big impact on a lot of your further decisions such as the size of your venue, your catering requirements and (to some degree) your budget.
It's important to think about exactly who will be on your guest list too. For example, if you're hosting a corporate event which you are asking the press to attend, will your venue be in a location that's easily accessible from their office?
If you’re planning a wedding, guest lists can get out of control quite easily, so try and set some ground rules, and stick to them! It can be tricky, but telling aunt Mabel that she cannot bring her new toyboy will make you stronger we promise!
Choose your indoor venue wisely
Love making lists? It's time to get that fancy notepad out – and yes, if you want to colour coordinate it with your pen, that's cool. Before you get started on finding a venue, make a list of your must-haves. Depending on your event type, this can vary widely, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
Without sounding too much like Kirsty and Phil, - think location, location, location, location. Choosing a venue that is accessible for your guests can be make or break, particularly if you’re holding a corporate event. Do consider how guests are likely to travel to your venue – if by car – how much parking is available? If by public transport how far is it from the station, and can it walked in heels!
As we mentioned before, one of the great things about holding your event indoors is the fact that the facilities you need are more likely to be available. However, it’s time to delve a little deeper. Are you hoping that your guests will be able to dance the night away? If so, what sound system is in place? Need to show video – is there a projector in place? While you can always hire event furniture or AV equipment, make sure that you account for any extras required in your budget.
This can be a biggie with indoor venues… Do you want to hire out the entire space, or are you happy to share it with other events taking place at the same time? Depending on your budget, for some indoor venues such as large hotels, it’s likely that you may have an allocated space or room.
This is why the guest list is so important, and it can be a tricky balance. Of course, you want to make sure that your venue can accommodate all of your guests, but choose too big a space and you run the risk of looking well, let’s say a little unpopular.
Consider your catering needs
Good food and drink is the heart and soul of events (even if we do say so ourselves...) and is something that tends to live on in people's memories well after the day is over. Here are some important things to consider when catering indoors.
First things first – if you’re excited by the idea of lining up a candy cart, ice cream stand, and maybe a cocktail bar, make sure that your venue has the space to incorporate both the setup and the guest who will be queueing up to enjoy your delicious food and drink.
It sounds obvious, right? but if you're planning on setting up a food truck in the garden of your venue, it's wise to make sure that it's accessible. Make sure to check things like height restrictions as well as entry points.
Ventilation & Smoke Alarms
Hankering after a sizzling BBQ, or wok-fried Korean food? Think about ventilation! When choosing your cuisine and catering supplier it's worth considering whether this suits your indoor venue. Certain ways of cooking aren't so suited to confined spaces, so speak to both your supplier and your venue about the placement of your food stall and ventilation. After all – you don't want to be setting off the sprinklers!
Check out our top indoor suppliers!