You have sourced the perfect venue. It's the right price, it's available on your preferred date and it has everything you need. Keep the love affair with your venue going and identify potential issues before the day of your event.
During the planning stage, take the time to sit down and think about the things that have reaaaallllly annoyed you at other people's events or what you totaaaalllly loved. This will help ensure that these little things don't cause undue stress and a nervous twitch on the day of your event. Trust me, I've had my fair share of twitches over the years....
These are a few of the things I look for when inspecting a venue for the first time
Seriously. They should all be in working order, be clean, be well stocked with toilet paper, have a good amount of paper towel or have a working hand dryer and not smell like a sewer. Because eww.
At a cocktail party you may not care about whether you can hear electrical equipment, passersby outside, high heels on floorboards, road rage or the receptionist, however, at a spoken word event when you want all the focus on your speakers, ANY noise can become irritating and distracting. Don't find out too late! Ask to inspect the venue at the time your event will be held and take your time to sit in the room for a little while to identify anything that may drive you and the guests batty.
There is nothing worse than rocking up to venue to set up for an event and realising you will need to spend half an hour polishing, buffing and dusting various items. Look at fixed items like curtains, shelving, bar tops and light fixtures and moveable items such as furniture. You seriously don't want that heart attack moment when you have to inspect whether the huge stain on the curtains is old vomit or candlewax 20 minutes before guests arrive (it was candlewax). When inspecting an unfamiliar venue also make sure you also sneak a peak at the glasses and crockery if you can. Old red lippy on the edge of water glasses or dirty plates just don't cut it. Yes, that's happened too.
If your event is top heavy with banners, gift bags, floral arrangements, workbooks, name tags, centrepieces, decor, servingware and other such items, make sure you look at access well in advance. Is there an unloading area out the back or right at the front? Can you drop things off early in storage? Are there two flights of stairs and no elevator? Do you have to walk awkwardly through a busy bar or restaurant with oversized boxes sticking out at weird angles? How tired are you going to be after 4 or 5 trips from the car and will this impact on your setup time? Factor all of this into your bump in time and don't forget to enlist the help of some peeps with serious muscle power.