If there is a problem or if something doesn’t quite work for your event you need to count on their venue expertise and knowledge to find a solution or workaround. The biggest frustration that event planners have when negotiating with venues is slow response times, cited by 51% of respondents. Loyalty programmes offer massive scope for negotiation as points are often considered “marketing” rather than “cost of sales”. The negotiation tactics we deploy, therefore, may differ widely from location to location. Are the refreshments offered to you palatable? If the online RFP is direct to a venue or a hotel chain it may allow you to check real-time availability, immediately ruling out property which can’t meet your demands. Ask the caterer for a tasting – this will enable you to check that they are providing quality food that is tasty and well-presented and that will suit the event you are catering for. Power and electrical capabilities are going to vary wildly between hotels built within the last 10 years, those built in the 1960’s, and those (like many in Europe and beyond) built hundreds of years ago but slowly renovated over time. The feedback collected offered terrific insight into how event professionals select venues and signaled a growing shift in their decision-making process. What will it cost to insure at this location? Event Staff Responsibilities: Unloading equipment from trucks and setting up venues for events, including chairs and building stages. Could any or all of these spaces be used to enhance the event experience - to display event schedules, for example, or for simple wayfinding? If your cameras aren’t remotely controlled – you may need an operator for some or all of the cameras. (If you decide you need to create a softer surface through canopies or drapes, don’t forget to add it to your budget. ), and concentrate on quality. Anonymous. As a result, the event will proceed smoothly without a problem. Think of these as value add-ons that can help you to decide between otherwise equal venues. So before we jump into tactics, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate our overall strategy for negotiation. Are there speed options? Within some venue finding platforms, you can also integrate your company calendar to ensure no internal diary clashes for the dates you are considering. What do we want to achieve/accomplish with our event? When running an event venue, knowing what your venue can and can’t offer gives your prospective clients clarity as they event plan and sets expectations for their event. Access is usually the most important criteria in destination and venue selection – if attendees can’t get easily to the event then they won’t show up – but if our strategic purpose were to “go off the grid” and take attendees out of their comfort zone then we might select a remote destination or venue in direct fulfillment of this objective. How do you know if they’re providing the bandwidth they’re promising they can deliver? Poor customer service is the most annoying frustration event professionals have with venues, side by side with poor response times (clearly the brainchild of the former). What general research do we plan to conduct - online search, printed directories, word of mouth, consultation with other event professionals? In the proposal, a winning venue option will have demonstrated their enthusiasm for winning your business and securing the event. Events are increasingly more about creating wow factors. What seating options do you have? There are very few limits on venue options these days. Unique venues are often incredibly creative spaces that challenge attendees to break schemes and evaluate the event on the basis of what they see rather than on their expectations. We might need to shave $1,500 off our venue rental fee but, as the saying goes, “there are many ways to skin a cat”. Now ask these same questions of the venue. Venue style, decor, catering, and amenities are always going to be important parts of choosing a location for your meeting and event, but now is the time to start working on your technical venue checklist as well. Its geographical location and reputation convey meaning to your invited guests before they RSVP. Most event planners select venues based on things like availability and parking, and while those pieces are important, you can bring an added dimension to your event when you select a venue based on less common concerns. ), What is going on in town during your event? Get the support you need for free!All Purplepass users get unlimited training and guest support. The Department of Environmental Health issues health permits as long as certain very specific conditions are met. Search engines and venue marketplaces are the clear winners in the research stage of the selection process, followed by social media and online reviews. As health and fitness become more important for attendees, event professionals echo their clients’ needs through venue selection. Many planners in the survey explained that they use an online tool when researching venues only and not for the rest of the negotiation process. But the more technology-driven we become, the more we ultimately rely on the power of human capital. David Shuster, Executive Producer at Summit Productions, sums it up by saying it as it is: “The venue of the future must have a uniqueness to separate it from competition, be flexible with its layout configurations”. The quality of your initial RFP can hugely influence the quality of the responses. Plenty of people don’t know what a health permit is, but even one-time event organizers will need to secure a health permit if food and/or drinks will be sold to the public. Is all contact with the venue slick and efficient? Have a full command of all figures so that in any face to face negotiation you can quickly calculate the impact of 10% or 12.5% discount if it’s offered. Be ready to answer any questions venues may have about the proposal or event. You need to be fair and understand their needs too. If they serve bad coffee, this could be what you should expect at your meeting. You will find some of those answers in this section. Venues of the future are cutting-edge and use advanced hardware, but the truly smart ones know that without the software of human relationships it’s all empty boxes and loud, meaningless noises. Find out what kind of internet is coming into the venue. This means that provision has been made but if you manage to negotiate it for free then a real saving has been made on the budget. A venue of the future will always be customer focused, right through the sales and negotiation process, the planning process and to the live event itself. Here is some criteria to judge the responses against and find the venues that stand out above the others. This is particularly important for large events in Europe where hotel venues are often smaller than in the US so accommodation may have to be across 2 or more hotels, Store past booking data and/or rates offered for previous inquiries, Compare the final deal offered and if the business went ahead (or identify what the sticking points were for that specific project), Check if there are other quotes and communications with this venue active at the current time which may add extra bargaining power or enable them to match a current offer on the table, View colleagues that have used the venue before so that you can find information first hand, Read reviews and notes other planners have submitted relating to the venue, Rank the venue options in terms of preference and favorite those that are of particular interest, Share progress with colleagues by highlighting the stage that the booking is at and updating when it is confirmed, Allowing you to confirm your expectations and terms right from the initial inquiry stage, Keeping track of all negotiation discussions and revised proposals submitted, Use the final agreed terms to create the final contract. As no two events are alike, venues are requested to accommodate special needs of large groups. Price It’s crucial to select a destination or venue that offers real value for attendees, not just low price. The final booking is overwhelmingly made directly with the venue. Are there large banners fastened to ceiling flying points? After the event, that data can be used to show the ROI of different portions of the event. For example, in Los Angeles, special event permit information can be found and applied for  online. The venue you choose for your event sets the mood and tone before your audience even steps inside. Working as ushers and ensuring that seating arrangements adhere to fire code regulations. What is the overall strategic purpose of this event? To test the site pull up a number of venues at random to ensure that they have complete listings with all the information you need. Is the venue fully accessible? Of those that do use eRFPs though 59% believe that it helps them to negotiate better deals. What are you known for? What do you think of when you think of it? The worst-case scenario would be to find out at the last minute that a permit was required, with no time to get it, leading to the possibility of having to cancel or face huge fines. The event details are listed below: [Date] [Time ] [Number of guests] [Cocktail reception vs. plated dinner?] The obvious benefits include session tracking with precise accounting of how many people saw what session, and for how long. David Shuster, Executive Producer at Summit Productions, sums it up by saying it as it is: “The venue of the future must have a uniqueness to separate it from competition… Find out who is responsible for changing the displays, and how quickly they can be changed. If located in California read below: “California Seller’s Permit: If you are doing business in California and intend to sell or lease tangible personal property subject to sales tax sold at retail, you are required to have a seller’s permit and prominently display it at your place of business.”. Finding what’s in it for the venue, making them understand the value the event can bring. Ideally, you want to select a venue that is in line with your event branding. Additionally, I urge venues never to present an in-house service provider on a site inspection without advance notice. Automated Quotes and Online Venue Booking. The search and filter tools on online venue marketplaces are great at narrowing down the options, but there is generally the opportunity to add extra information to a text box before the RFP is circulated to venues. If they cannot deliver on something you have requested in the RFP they will offer alternative solutions or options, just as any event planner would. Flexibility is, in fact, one of the most prominent elements of the research. Despite rampant smartphone adoption and broadband speeds to match, most (78%) eventprofs feel that WiFi availability and performance is still a big issue for events. Strategy is all about the final destination, the big plan, the overall goal while tactics are the milestones along the road, the pieces that make up the jigsaw, the specific objectives that lead to the goal. children, the elderly or disabled will have different needs). DSL lines will only work for very small events – you need at least fiber optic or coaxial cable, Look for enterprise-grade WiFi access hardware from the likes of Cisco, Xirrus, Ruckus and Aruba mounted at 1m – 2m height for maximum coverage, Make sure you have separate Virtual Local Area Networks (VLAN) for attendees, live streaming, exhibitors etc, When inspecting a venue, take note of the location, and, Check if the venue offers conference tables and other, A word of warning when it comes to power, though - many facilities will not only charge you for “special” power drops but will also charge for the use of standard power outlets in the walls or floors, others will run an actual power meter on your event, keeping track of how much power you consume, so it’s important to make sure you. Think of venue selection’s influence on your event. They should also remember the need to be open and transparent and to display prices clearly on their website as more than 50% of event planners expect this to be the case. ), What entertainment needs do you have (speakers, bands, etc.)? Missing or inaccurate information should ring alarm bells: how can you be sure that the results returned by the online tool truly fit what you are looking for? “, Lorraine Mariella CSEP, CMP solemnly concludes: “In the future, we will look back and laugh at the fact that venues charged for WiFi.”. A high profile event with celebrities may see fans and unauthorized media trying to access the venue, which is a security risk. It shows that you have thought about all the key health and safety aspects related to your event. Think about what you wish you could offer and then see if there are any venues that could help you make these items part of your event. Above all that requires clarity around why we might choose one destination or venue over another. Some hotels, reasonably, might ask for upfront payment but then agree to deduct all the set-up charges from the final invoice, if the business confirms. Thus your trump card in negotiating with venues of the future will always be the warmth of your smile, the strength of your handshake and the trustworthiness of your word. Now you know what to look for when selecting an event venue for your corporate venue with the help of an event venue checklist. Since the 1950’s to today, there has been a steady march forward, and meetings and events have become more and more reliant on technology to deliver on their promises to their attendees. This kind of real-time data can be a powerful tool to the tech-savvy planner, giving them almost a clairvoyant ability to head off problems before they occur. It also could be a simple as recognizing them as they enter the registration area, so that by the time they approach the desk, their badge is printed and ready to go. The following section will tie up all practicalities of venue selection. Meetings and events people work in a multiplicity of venues from hotel meeting rooms and ballrooms to sports stadia to private lofts in edgy neighbourhoods! Hourly? Excellence in service defines the Venue of the Future. [Budget per person ] [A/V requirements] [Any other special requirements] Please advise on the items below. Book a venue at least 4-6 months in advance so that you will have enough time to plan other critical things, such … There are some vital checks and telltale signs that can reveal whether this is a good venue to work with. Probably the most hotly debated subjects in meeting and event technology today are those surrounding WiFi and Internet access. Venues that offer food and beverage, AV and production as part of the events package will often agree on discounts on total event spend, taking all elements into account. Whatever the limitations, make note of them in advance to save yourself a headache and cost in the end. Offering “Free WiFI” as a key benefit in your venue may sound like a great thing, but to the truly experienced event planner it’s akin to offering “Free Wine” with the Gala Dinner. It’d be inappropriate, maybe even dangerous, to provide any cursory list of dos and don’ts but here are some guiding principles to follow when negotiating contracts with venues: Amongst the venues that responded to our survey, interestingly, there’s a majority of non-traditional locations - with 32% stating that they work for an “unusual” venue - 29% were from the hotel sector. You might be able to share production and setup costs and save both of you money. When asked to comment on the venue of the future, it’s clear that event professionals want to be respected by the venue. It’s also customary when negotiating on accommodation to request free site inspection rooms. Perhaps, in the future, we will see more computerized space management systems that allow venues to publish their available space, dates and rates and facilitate direct bookings without a middleman? Our surveys show how “free WiFi” is still the item most negotiated on with venues but as event professionals, we need to be fully aware of what our requirements might be in terms of bandwidth and speeds and negotiate around these items instead. Yes! Now venue managers are applying the same principles to conferences, corporate meetings, events and exhibitions by charging event organizers for any prime real estate space they use for branding purposes. Unlike a pre-recorded or programmed 3D Tour some venues will now pop on a head camera and walk through the venue and talk you through the space, as if you were there in person with the Sales Manager for a site visit. Detail rooms available as well as restaurants, bars, and other places within walking distance. To get the best deals we would recommend using a suitable eRFP tool right through to the contracting stage. Some don’t allow outside AV. Until now venue finding and contracting has been a lengthy and sometimes painful process too - but with the use of event technology it needn’t (and shouldn’t) be that way. look for off-season dates, i.e. A picture really is worth a thousand words! Tools which allow you to “walk” the corridors and areas between the event rooms can be very revealing and can help you identify questions to be asked or areas you should negotiate more closely with the venue. Cons: These types of unique options are the camping of the venue world. Different towns and cities have their own regulations about noise in public spaces, but most prohibit loud activity, including music, between 10pm-7am. within 30 minutes of a specific airport, main room for 450 cabaret style, 6 breakout rooms for 60 theater style, xxx hotel rooms, spa on site, etc, Can pull data from your event management platform to avoid you having to cut and paste or re-enter data. At the end of the day - or week or year - what makes a great event planner is the manner by which maximum event impact is achieved within the confines of the money there is to make it happen. consumption?] Among these regulations, there are premises licenses which are one of the legal requirements that you can obtain from relevant authorities in your area. Find out who else has booked the venue that you’re considering, reach out to them and ask them to share their negotiation successes – what worked for them? 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