Monday 15 March 2010

Venues Galore.


Social Networking at its best.

2 months ago I finally pinned down World's Best Daughter, Mme Mouse, about her impending 21st birthday. When I was a wee lass, a 21st birthday was akin to a wedding... halls needed to be booked about a year in advance, invitations took 6 weeks to print, flowers and food needed to be ordered months before the day.

These days, apparently, it's de rigeur to leave it all to the last minute.

So, as I mentioned, just over 2 months ago I finally stopped getting that "It's AGES away" look, and got Mme Mouse to make some decisions about the venue.

After some false starts ("No darling, you cannot have 350 people at the Aquarium"), we settled on a venue that sounded perfect... a cafe and art space, with provision for me to do some of the catering, a funky retro-fitted inner city vibe and well withing budget.

The 1000 £ BEND cafe.

2 months ago.

The past 8 weeks have been dedicated to weekly emails, almost daily phone calls, several in-person visits by Mme Mouse, only to be told, by email, ten days ago that the venue is now no longer available on the date we wanted it.

We were, to be fair, given several other dates that the venue was available for us, but up to the point of publication of this post, I have not yet heard back from the venue as to the availability of any of them.

I am NO business woman, but I cannot, for the life of me, see how a business can stay afloat with this sort of ethic.

Enter social networking tools.

Like Face Book and Twitter.

One 140 character post in my twitter stream resulted in the name and number of one Robyn from Venues Galore. Less than one week later, we have an awesome venue booked, with provision for pretty much everything we need and want. It's not a Scout Hall in the Boonies either, it's the uber funky and delicious Belgian Beef Cafe. With imported fixtures from **duh** Belgium, such as opulent chandeliers, and leather banquettes and Art Nouveau inspired interior, it positively radiates class!

They are available at the price we want to pay, on the day we want it, and the experience of booking and choosing food (such as twice cooked pork belly with pickled apple or the fried Gruyere and Emmenthal croquettes) has been seamless and painless.

I am usually ranting on about the inequality of food marketing and the problems of sourcing organic chevre in the suburbs.. and I am really not all on board for shout-outs, but both Robyn at Venues Galore and the Beer Cafe have been so stupendously accommodating and professional, I felt it was the least I could do.

Avoid all the hassles of getting bent over by people like 1000 £ BEND and go straight to the professionals.

Can't WAIT to report in on the actual event!