Searching For Your Event Venue
Choosing the right venue and location can make or break the success of an event. This is often the most challenging part of the event planning process, as even a small oversight can have huge ramifications…
Researching, visiting and negotiating with venues can be time consuming and confusing, so here are some great tips on what to look for when searching for your event venue…
Be Flexible: Every destination has a peak season, and planning an event during this time can be challenging on a tight budget. To keep costs in check, look at alternative destinations for your event that provide quality facilities with excellent service, but with a better price tag.
Time of year and availability have a large role to play in getting the best rates. Venues try to counter slow periods by offering low rates. If you are flexible and provide venues with alternative dates, you can often negotiate better pricing.
Be specific: As with all aspects of event management, attention to detail is critical in the selection process. Misunderstandings about requirements and overlooked details can lead to unpleasant surprises on site, as well as additional charges. The more information you provide in your Request for Proposal, the better the venue will be able to determine if their venue is a good fit. Be sure to review event orders closely to catch errors and avoid hidden fees.
Know Your Event History: Knowing the value of your event can help with negotiating better rates and incentives. The best way to work out the value of the event is to keep accurate records of past events, including total registrations and numbers. Venues want to know if you have held this event before, and how many people actually attended, so they can confidently block off rooms or allow enough space.
Keep in mind that almost every venue’s contract will include a food and beverage minimum, meaning if your attendees don’t show, you will still have to pay. If you have accurate records, you can increase negotiating power and be awarded first choice.
Collect Multiple Bids and Negotiate Multi- Year deals: If you compare carefully and leverage bids from multiple venues, you will have more negotiating power. Keep in mind that sales managers at these venues have sales quotas to meet, so the more guaranteed business they can show, the better for them. For this reason, if you try to negotiate multi-year deals, you will receive better packages with extras and improved rates. Venues that can’t offer reduced rates may suddenly be very flexible if it is mentioned that you need a venue for the next three years. Be sure to mention the possibility of becoming a repeat customer during negotiation, and make sure you are knowledgeable about any current promotions or incentives currently being offered by venues to score the best deal.
Make Use of Free Online Sourcing Tools: You no longer need to manually research destinations and venues and send requests- there are now free online sourcing tools and electronic requests for proposals which simplify the process and reduce costs.
These tools allow you to search detailed profiles of hundreds of thousands of event venues worldwide, send requests to the most qualified venues, then compare bids, availability and offerings.
Choosing the right venue can be time consuming, however it is worth investing the time to make sure that your event -and your budget- will be a success!