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Crafting Your Venue Shortlist: A Guide to Effectively Narrowing Down your Options

So, you're in the market for a venue to host your party. Before diving into a frenzied Google search, take a moment to jot down your needs. This initial step will help you curate a shortlist of potential venues, which you can then assess more thoroughly.


Consider the importance of location. Does it need to be nearby, centrally located, or perhaps nestled in a scenic spot outside the city? Define your preferred areas to streamline your search.


Does your event have a specific theme? Look for venues that can enhance and bring your theme to life.

Seated or Standing:

Decide whether your event will be seated or standing, as this will influence your venue requirements, menu options, and capacity considerations.

Capacity: Estimate your guest list to ensure the venue can comfortably accommodate your party size. Factor in any additional space needed for photo booths or decorations.


While most venues offer varied menus, note any specific culinary preferences or dietary requirements. Don't hesitate to inquire about custom menu options if needed.


List essential facilities required for your event, such as sound systems, screens, wheelchair access, and permission for DJs or bands. Clarify if decoration is allowed and whether you'll have exclusive use of the venue.


Define the desired ambiance, whether it's laid-back or upscale, to narrow down your options. Consider preferences for setting, views, and décor that align with your event's vibe.

Once you've outlined your requirements —location, facilities, theme, and vibe—it's time to embark on your search and swiftly identify potential venues. Streamlining your search saves time and ensures you focus on venues that align with your vision.

Start by unleashing your inner Google enthusiast. Every market boasts numerous venue listing sites equipped with selection criteria to help you sift through the abundance of options. In Auckland, key listing sites include and Additionally, a simple Google search for functions in your desired area will yield a plethora of results, both sponsored and organic.

Utilise your shortlist criteria to swiftly navigate through the options and compile a rough shortlist of 3 to 6 venues that align with your needs and warrant further exploration. Most venue websites feature galleries that offer a glimpse into their ambiance and setting, aiding in your decision-making process without having to leave home.

Pro Tip: Print out your criteria to keep yourself focused and ensure you stay on track during your search journey.

Don't worry about budget considerations at this stage. You can delve into those when comparing your shortlisted options more closely and deciding what to scrimp or splurge on.

Ready to start? Download our Shortlist Tool to focus your search, craft the perfect venue brief and kick off your research with confidence.


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