Here’s a little video from the massive 800+ guest corporate affair we recently handled over at San Francisco’s Bently Reserve. We set up a large 8 QSC K12 speaker array to spread sound throughout the Banking Hall, and even with a packed room, the audio sounded fantastic (and could be kept at a volume conducive to holding a conversation).
The Banking Hall at the Bently is a very popular wedding venue as well, but as a room with really poor acoustics (the room is loud, but echoes badly due to all the reflective surfaces and can sound muddy), I will generally advise clients (who have the budget to do so) to go with a 4 or 6 speaker array (short of erecting a stage and going with an impractically expensive line array system, this is the best option), with speakers located on both sides of the space.
For background music, and for speeches / toasts, a standard 2 speaker “wedding DJ” setup just isn’t optimal in the Banking Hall space. It may seem counter-intuitive to use MORE speakers in an attempt to keep the volume LOWER (and thus reduce the echo effect), but multiple speakers spread throughout the space really makes a huge difference in a space like that that was not initially designed for event use.
In any case, the Bently is a beautiful venue, and if you are booking there, its surely worth considering adding a bit to the budget to optimize the sound as much as possible.