We’re getting into the Christmas party season and the demand for venues is really starting to soar. As a Vancouver DJ, I’ve been to a lot of venues, and revisited a lot of venues, in the last while. I have started looking at them and saying, well if I was having an event, maybe I would like to be aware of a few things that I might like to consider if I want to hire out a particular venue for my function.
One of the first things that I’ve noticed going to these venues are blind spots and L corners. You might want to take a good look and see if your venue is an L shaped room. If you are having a part of the function at one end of the room and your DJ at the other end, the music is not going to be heard around the corner. There are rooms where the dinner is set up to be at one end of the room and the DJ is at the other end, and of course, the dinner music cannot be heard by the guests. Sound waves don't go around corners very well. To make a room like this work might require the DJ to set up a wireless speaker system at the corner of the blind spot or L section. This is not a problem for a DJ in Vancouver but will entail an extra expense for you. The same consideration should be given to venues that have the dinner in one room and dancing in another. In this case, a smaller PA system may need to be set up to cover both rooms. These type of rooms are not large challenges if you have the budget for the extra labor and equipment but it s one of the considerations you might want to keep in mind when choosing your venue.
You also might want to take a look at how convenient it is for your less mobile guests. Some venues are a little bit difficult to get into and while most are trying to meet the criteria of being handicapped compliant, there are still some venues that are difficult for people who are mobility challenged. Being aware if there are stars to climb and no elevators, a long way to the venue from the area where you’re parking, steep ramps and bathroom ease of access are very important for less mobile guests. In addition, an upstairs venue with no elevator so that it requires your entertainment to carry heavy equipment up a flight of stairs will be more expensive for you to hire than if they can easily load in from ground level or with an elevator.
Another big area that you might want to think about looking at is early closures, or early shutdowns of the venue. There are some venues that are attached to hotels, or hotel rooms may be above the venue. In these cases, the Vancouver DJ may have to shut down early, or around 10 PM, bring the music level quite low so that it is not as conducive to a party atmosphere as you would like. I have actually had to turn the bass off in my system and turn down until was about as loud as a radio in a few venues. Needless to say, this really killed the party and most clients who had rented out these venues were not aware that this had to be done. A good rule of thumb is to think about how long do you and your guests want it to party, how much of a party do I really want it to be. Do you want the party to be a more reserved cocktail type of affair or do you want it to be a lot more fun with a lot more partying and less restrictions. Take a good look at your venue and find out are there any hotel rooms attached or are there residents next door or nearby that is going to affect the level that the DJ can play. You also need to be clear with the venue on the time that the DJ can play, the time that the guests can dance and the time everything needs to be shutdown. Some of these venues are in neighborhood areas and they have to be noise compliant with the City of Vancouver bi-law so they may have to shut the doors or windows, at 10 PM. In the summer some venues can get quite hot and it can be quite a problem.
The key thing to take away about your venue is to ask a lot of questions to make sure there are no surprises. Just like the DJ Vancouver that you contract for your party, the venue should be a good fit for the vision that you have for your event.