How to find a corporate event venue for success
With the booming uk event industry worth around £42.3 billion and making up around 35% of the country’s economy, more and more businesses are using events as a tool to promote brand values and messages.
However, finding a corporate venue that best-suits your event can sometimes feel like a lucky dip - especially if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.
Luckily, successful venue finding isn’t all down to luck! Follow our guide as we advise you on how to carefully plan for a venue that maximises your event’s potential, and what to consider when it comes to choosing an ideal venue that fits your brief.
7 things to consider when finding your perfect corporate event venue
No matter the purpose of your event, the location of your chosen venue is important to ensure you attract the highest registration numbers.
- If you’ve set your sights on an event destination outside of familiar territory, does the location have a few reputable venues that you can compare?
- Does the area provide parking amenities for your delegates, and transport links to the venue?
- Is the venue situated amongst a good range of restaurants, bars, and activities, and an inviting cultural environment that could add to the benefits of attending your event?
2. The set-up
An imperfect venue set up - from poor AV equipment to lack of appropriate furniture - can hinder the success of an event. The set up not only impacts event delivery, but people’s impression of your business.
Therefore, an important part of the venue finding process is to check the quality of the venue’s set up and receive assurance that your chosen venue provider can cater for all requirements.
- Does the venue itself provide suitable AV and technology, staging, and furniture?
- If you’re using external suppliers, does the venue have the capability for all set up requirements?
- Remember that WiFi range and connectivity capabilities are important to confirm before deciding on your venue.
3. The venue interior
The appearance of a venue shapes the first impressions that people take from an event. And as we know, there’s no second chance at a first impression! Likewise, the theming of the space is essential to achieve the desired ‘feel’ of the event.
- Does the venue’s exterior, decor and space work well with your event theming? Does it set the right mood and reflect your own brand and event values?
- Do the venue’s acoustics work for the event and allow you to run your agenda perfectly?
4. The venue space
The venue’s size and space will impact your event itinerary and the number of delegates you can comfortably accommodate. According to Eventbrite the average size of a conference in the UK is 258 delegates. With many impressive UK venues offering spaces with the capacity to accommodate thousands of delegates, your venue choices are endless.
Although you may not have exact figures at this stage, it’s always wise to consider venues with extra space in case of any last minute invites or a change of plans.
- Does the venue have the required capacity for your planned event size and requirements?
- Is there additional space available should you need extra room for breakouts and activities?
- Is the venue accessible for disabled and elderly attendees?
To lower event costs and remain in budget, the venue may be able to provide add-on services from their own supplier network - though you may be able to source your own suppliers if necessary.
- Ask your selected venues if they can provide services such as accommodation, cleaning, and catering.
- Check whether the venues charge for additionals with hourly or day rates, or through per-person packages. Instead, they might charge a minimum spend instead for additionals such food and drink.
It’s vital to ensure that the venue provider has all correct licensing and measures in place to legally maintain a secure and safe environment throughout your event.
- The safety of your attendees and site team is paramount. In order to ensure this, you may need to hire additional security services to protect people and their belongings during your event.
Last but certainly not least, the price! Despite 39% of event planners expecting their events budget to increase compared to last year, cost is still one of the most restrictive factors of the event planning process. You will likely have a set or estimated budget for your event, and the venue is likely to eat up quite a lot of it. However, with a little negotiation, you may be able to keep costs down and remain.
Venue prices can vary widely, so we recommended you do your research into the different ways in which venues can charge you (i.e. by day rates or per person), or to use a free venue finding service to help you find great deals for your price range.
- Does the venue provide an off-the-shelf package? Or would it be more cost effective to acquire all requirements independently?
- Could you book a different venue type to save some money without affecting the feel of your event? A co-working hub or unusual bar could come at a lower cost than a hotel, depending on your event needs.
- Venues located further north may be more cost-effective than UK venues in London and the south, if it suits your event goals and remains accessible for delegates.
Quick venue-finding tips
Planning ahead - when to start looking:
Booking a venue should be one of the first things to confirm once you have an idea of your budget and event size. Popular venues can book up quickly, and the sooner you confirm your venue, the sooner you can nail down the event agenda and get promoting!
Write down your event objectives before researching venues:
Work out exactly what you want from your event before creating a brief for your venue providers. Think about what would engage your audience - what they value, their expectations, and the most suitable dates and times for them to attend.
Consider the key activities for your event, and what you want your attendees to get from the experience.
Use free resources:
Venue finding services and agencies may help you find unique venues that you may not have come across before. From renovated warehouses (eg. Hawker House) to world-renowned venues with the wow-factor (eg. Natural History Museum) - you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the seemingly endless range of venues available.
Is the venue flexible and transparent?:
Flexibility is essential when dealing with venue suppliers, saving you trouble down the line if any important event details such as dates and times are changed. Before signing a contract, ensure that your chosen venue provider offer the kind of flexibility you feel necessary.
Nitty-gritty details such as insurance levels and excess fees should also be confirmed in writing before any agreements are made. This will ensure that you’re sufficiently covered and won’t be in store for any surprising hidden costs.
Check online reviews to be sure that your chosen venue is reputable, and be sure to ask any questions (however uncomfortable) prior to making any final decisions.
Get a key point of contact:
Save time and stress by asking the venue to provide you with a key point of contact to deal with general enquiries and organisation. They may be able to take away a lot of pressure when it comes to team delegation and supplier management.
If you’d like any more advice on booking stand-out venues for your events, or to speak to one of our venue finding team, head to our contact page and we’d be happy to help.