How much time do you spend searching different venues for a meeting or event? This can be a time-consuming, and sometimes, daunting process, especially when you don’t really know what you’re looking for. New venues are popping up all the time and with so many different types of venues, how are you supposed to know what’s the best?
Not only are there lots of venues out there, there’s also a lot of venue finding agencies who can do all the searching for you – removing the stress, time and effort from you. But with so many agencies, what’s the secret to knowing who to use? Anita Lowe, Chief Executive for Venues and Events International, shares her thoughts on the topic…
Knowledge and expertise. All agencies say they have knowledge and expertise on venues, but how much do they really know? We say we pride ourselves on it, because we genuinely do. Last year alone, we visited 202 venues, attended 98 Fam trips – both UK and International and had 156 suppliers visit our office. That’s a lot of people to see and a lot of hotels and venues to have knowledge on. And that’s just in a year. We have people who work within our business who have been in the industry for 20 years or more – they have the knowledge and expertise themselves that they’re sharing with the younger generation who are keen to learn themselves.
Buying power and negotiation. An agency who has built up strong relationships with their hotel partners and venues will have good buying power. This buying power leads into negotiation. As venue-finding specialists we’re experts in the art of negotiation and know how to ensure there is always some form of added value to any booking. We’ll never just take the first offer and will always try and get something for free!
Act as a barrier from the chasing calls. Hotels and venues are always wanting to confirm bookings and ensure they get the business. Even if you tell them you’ll get back to them by a certain date, no doubt they’ll drop you a friendly line, just to remind you their still there, and try to confirm that piece of business. An effective Agency will protect you from this bombardment and field the calls and emails on your behalf.
Understanding not only your brief but the company culture to get the right fit. Using an agency will save you time, but only if they fully understand your brief. There’s no point in not capturing all the relevant information about your event at the initial stage, as this won’t result in an effective venue find solution. We take the time to understand each and every one of our clients, get behind their brand, and ensure we know the reasoning behind every event to ensure we find the perfect fit.
Providing efficient support and resource network. By understanding the brief means the agency can be efficient in everything they do and won’t just stop at finding the venue. They’ll work with you to determine what other elements of the meeting needs to be considered. How are you inviting your delegates? Do you need support in delegate registration? Do you have so many in attendance on the day that you need support with set-up and the running of the event itself to allow you to manage what you need to manage? A good Agency will ask all these questions at the initial stages, which not only highlights everything that goes on behind a successful meeting, but the actual budget to ensure there’s no hidden costs at the event.
Trust. Trust in my mind is always the most important element to a successful venue finding agency. Every agency can carry out any of the above, but a client has to trust you in order to place business with you. It’s the relationship you build with clients that make you unique, keeping you proactively informed of any developments and being honest with you at every stage. That’s why clients come back to us time and time again – because they trust us, and we’re seen as partners of choice.
If you’d like to know more about Venues and Events International, understand how they live and breathe events to make them a success, get in touch with the team.