Four key things to consider when choosing a venue

Procuring venues for meetings and events can sometimes seem like a daunting task, especially when you are required to offer your client both value for money and, ultimately, a return on their investment and their overall experience. Here, Lisa Hatswell, MD of Unique Venues of London, offers a few pointers which business travel buyers should consider when booking a venue for an event.

Budget
The best place to start is looking at the budget you have for the event.

You need to adopt a holistic approach. Have you taken it all into account – catering, A/V, production in tandem with the venue?

Ask the venue’s insight into how you can make the most with your budget and work from there. For example, this might be working with a specific set of approved suppliers or keeping everything in house; always ‘ask’ to get the most from your event.

Aims and objectives
Every conference, meeting, or event is different. Understanding the aims and objectives from the start will give an astute indication as to what venues you might book.

Get the feel for the client and understand their needs. Their primary objective might be a big expo-style conference, but they might want something extra to set it apart. It’s what we call the ‘added value’ factor.

It might be that singular, historic hall for a lavish canape reception dressed to impress or the ornate, intimate dining room for a serious director-to-director business dinner.

Flexibility
Big conference and expo programmes can be a daunting challenge.

Booking multiple venues for various different corporate demographics, from the most junior assistant to the board director, requires careful preparation, otherwise the process can become overwhelming. As such, having a broad overview of the various venue options available is advantageous.

From spacious, big-capacity venues for a large-scale conference to a private dining room in a Georgian townhouse for an exclusive ‘fringe’ dinner, it’s always advisable to have a plethora of different-sized spaces in mind.

Relationships
As with many business transactions, establishing a good relationship with a venue can yield great fruits down the road.

It’s no secret that loyalty is rewarded. Fostering a healthy and ongoing dialogue with your venue manager will ensure that you are made aware of the latest offers as soon as they are available, which can significantly reduce costs.

Furthermore, returning clients and repeat bookers may also sometimes enjoy preferential rates – a sign of faith from the venue – recognising the long-term value of your business.

To find out more about Unique Venues of London visit uniquevenuesoflondon.co.uk

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