As a lot of you know, I was once part owner of what was called the "best playspace in the US". That was back in the pate 1990's but the memories from that time are still vivid.
One reason Inquisition was so good as a playspace was that we took great care in supplying what would make for a great playspace from a BDSM players point of view. The social area was minimal both from a conservation of space standpoint and from the mood we wanted to set. Inquisition was about play and we wanted it to embody "leatherspace" that elusive quality that would immediately overwhelm your senses and put you into the mood for serious play.
If you were seeking a dungeon space with lots of pillows. couches and seating for observation, you were in the wrong spot. There were a supply of folding chairs if needed but the crosses, horses tables and racks were the main attraction. Each had a side table for equipment, each had a dedicated spotlight so you could clearly see what you were doing. That meant no colored lights on play areas. A pink light or red bulb makes it very difficult to judge the effects your work is having ion the skin of your play partner!
We even striped off play areas with caution tape on the floor, clearly marking where it was safe to observe and walk without getting caught in a backswing of a flogger or whip. It was a special space indeed.
Music was provided from a sound system that had a small DJ booth right in the middle of the area. We usually programmed CDs for the evening, but occasionally had a live DJ for special events. A DJ who knew what BDSM was about and that made all the difference. Good music can flow with a party and enhance the scenes or it can be intrusive and annoying. Ours was never annoying!
All our DM's had radio headsets so they could communicate with each other and it kept tings flowing smoothly even during parties with over 300 people.
I sincerely miss Inquisition. I miss the feeling of leatherspace and the kind of play that happened there.
We had parties that catered to different tastes, mostly pansexual, some women's nights some men only and once in a while a "queer party", those were the best. When you hit a critical mass of gay men and lesbians who were all intent on having a good time and were sufficiently uninhibited things got wild, in a good way.
We even had the occasional "dick party". You had to have one to enter, not necessarily attached to you! The stories form those nights are legend.
The main point of this rant is this, a good dungeon in my opinion should be set up for people who really play, not gawkers or posers. Create that and they will come...and you can take that however you want!