By Jade McKenzie
After hitting up Byron Bay in April, I then went on a whirlwind trip to Sydney, flying in late one evening, spending the next day with my lovely friend Miss KMS checking out venues and then flying home again the next morning for Mothers Day.
Venues are like real estate. What you see on a website isn't always what you get. And as someone who recommends venues regularly through my event management services and virtual event assistance services, I make the effort to visit as many as I can in person so I know that they are up to a certain standard.
This trip was certainly a success with some cool finds at some nice prices. Sydney is, of course, one of the more pricier cities in Australia to book a venue at. So no matter what your price range or meeting/workshop/mastermind/retreat needs are, there is something for you on this list:
The Hughenden Boutique Hotel - Woollahra
I've booked two clients now into this function room space and I am completely impressed by not only the quality of the function room, but also the price. They offer half day rates as well as a full day rate and are so amazingly reasonable in cost with the half day rate in the function room being under $500. The function room can cater for up to 140 people cocktail style and 80 people seated (though I would suggest if you are going theatre style then to have room for a 'stage' area, an aisle down the middle and some room up the back for mingling, you wouldn't want to go over 50). It has recently been fully refurbished which means it is picture perfect and they have fully integrated audio visual support with hidden plasma screen, audio system and sound system. This room is perfect for day workshops or evening seminars, lectures or networking events.
But that's not all... You should have seen our jaws drop when the lovely Christian showed us through the Superintendants Residence. Located across the road, this heritage listed sandstone building was built in 1881 for the superintendent of Centennial Park. It has since been converted into ultra-luxury accommodation for up to 8 people and would be PERFECT for any event looking to use onsite accommodation such as an intimate retreat or mastermind, or even for weddings where the bridal party would like to stay on site and then the party will happen on the grounds (which can hold up to 250 people and hold different styles of marquees). It features marble fireplaces, high ceilings, empire chandeliers and 1890s polished floorboards, all combined with modern designer kitchen and bathrooms. It's beautiful.
Not to mention that there is a Rangers Residence as well that has accommodation for up to 6 people and can accommodate events of up to 40 people. We didn't want to leave. And I want to go back! Seriously, who's going to stay with me for long weekend?!
All photo credits belong to The Hughenden Hotel
Hotel 1888 - Pyrmont
If you are looking for a beautiful boardroom located in the Sydney CBD that is comfortable enough to run your workshop in all day, good looking enough that you feel like you are somewhere special, offers onsite catering and all day tea and coffee but is well within your budget, then Hotel 1888 is a great choice. For $500 the boardroom is yours for the day and includes includes complimentary wiFi, full audio visual set up, flipchart and whiteboard if needed plus T2 Tea and Nespresso Coffee. This is incredible value for money within the Sydney CBD and it has the added advantage of the onsite accomodation for guests travelling from interstate plus the eatery right outside the door. This space can take 12 people boardroom style or up to 25 for a smaller event that has more casual seating. This is well worth checking out. Email me if you would like an introduction or visit their website.
Photo credit Hotel 1888
Create or Die - Marrickville
For those of you looking for something more warehousey and industrial, Create or Die is going to rock your socks off. I am in LOVE with this place and it's ever changing look and feel. I look at this place and I can see so many different ways to utilise it, it really does lend itself to anything from workshops to launches, film nights to parties, dinners to small markets, creative sets to evening lectures. If you are seeking unique, arty, creative and inspiring, this is it. It also has a cute front yard area where you can relax with a drink or some nibbles if you are going to self cater and there is the Bourke Street Bakery a few doors down too so you don't have to wander too far for food during the day. And make sure you have enough battery life in your phone for all the selfies you are going to take around the place. Hello Christopher Walken wall! Cost of venue hire depends on the type of event you are running and the number of people. Contact me for an intro to the owner or visit their website.
Photo credits belong to Create of Die
Novotel Sydney Central - Sydney CBD
This is another one in the CBD for you and this one took me by surprise. I decided to stay in this hotel as it's in the city, it's right near Central station so you know there'll be lots of eateries and shops around and as it turns out, it's a cheap cab fare to the airport - bonus! Another bonus is that they have some really gorgeous event spaces up on the first floor. A lot of my clients look for a Sydney venue that can fit up to 30 u-shape, has loads of natural light, is near public transport or has parking nearby (the hotel has a car park attached), has catering onsite and has inbuilt AV. Well, luckily for my clients and for you, this ballroom features all of those things. For those with numbers of 30 and under, the Port Jackson room (the first third of the ballroom) is perfect for you. The natural light, AV and the amount of space in the room is a real winner. The full ballroom is fabulous for more structured and larger style events like formal dinners or conferences. I absolutely loved the first floor pre-function space as well, and having been recently renovated, it is ready to party! This would be great for any cocktail style function including networking events or launches. The staff were amazing here and are incredibly helpful and friendly, you would be taken care of so well here I have no doubt. For an intro, feel free to drop me a line or you can go to their website here.
Photo credits belong to Novotel Sydney Central
If you are stuck for a venue and need some help finding the perfect one for an upcoming event, no matter where or when it is, don't hesitate to take a look at my Virtual Event Assistance service. I take the stress away for my clients by finding them their perfect venue and getting them the best price. You can also search for more event venues through my free Find A Venue search.