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party planning

21st Birthday Venue Hunting 101

Goldfish Cocktails

A mate's 21st birthday party is coming up late June and she's a tad frazzled over how to go about finding a venue amongst the diamonds of possibilities in Brisbane. So I made this list!

  1. Determine your budget. Are your parents paying? Awesome! Now pay attention to this fact and ensure they're part of the decision-making process.
  2. List possible venues. It's all about your favourite places to be and favourite people to be around, so think about the crowd you're inviting and the suitability of the venue. I had my 21st last July at The Plough Inn, Southbank because I was inviting college friends, new friends, old friends and family members. The relaxed atmosphere was great for comfortable discussions and the service was superb. I loved it! Other cute 21sts I've attended have been at house parties, alleyway cocktail bars and more. Sure, be imaginative; but match your guests, not vice versa.
  3. E-mail for quotes. Take note of how quickly they can return the details. Don't feel compelled to do business with someone you do not like, but this depends on how much you'd love to party at their establishment.
  4. Shortlist. Try to get it down to about three, but this depends on how much time you have on your hands to look around.
  5. Venue test run. Go for a drink, meal, dance or whatever activity you're planning for your big gig. The aim here is to get a feel for the atmosphere. You wouldn't buy a pair of shoes without trying them on now, would you?
  6. Formal visit. Chat to the functions manager about what you require, who will attend, any special needs you have. Be specific and they'll be able to offer you better service.
  7. Negotiate. Do feel free to state that another venue is willing to do XYZ for a better price. If they want your business, they will do their best to accommodate. And don't forget to check with the parents.
  8. Confirm! In writing of course. Pay all deposits, etc as soon as possible too.

So that's the planning done of seeking a neat party venue. One last thing is to thank them after your 21st for their hospitality and perhaps even leave them a testimonial which they can use later on. But I know you'll all do that because you're a smashing party host!

Happy hunting!