September 21, 2016
Later this autumn we will embark on a roadshow that involves visiting approximately 30 towns and cities around the country; going north to Newcastle and Middlesbrough, west to Liverpool and Exeter, east to Peterborough and Norwich and south to Crawley and Southampton. Dublin, Belfast and Cardiff are also part of the tour.
Unlike some of the specialist venue agencies, we don’t tend to offer venue sourcing as a standalone service but, based on our many years of experience and that we get about quite a bit, we like to think we are pretty good at sourcing, negotiating and selecting venues that work for our clients’ events.
That said we don’t believe anyone specialist or otherwise can ever say they know all there is to know where event venues are concerned. Venues famously seem to delight in changing ownership, changing names, adding bits on, closing bits down, changing the use of parts of their venues and that’s before you consider new locations opening and others closing down.
It’s a constantly changing landscape which is why we work to the mantra that we will never recommend signing a contract unless we have visited the venue prior to doing so even if it is a venue that we know well.
For our ‘Around Britain & Ireland tour’ we will be visiting a town hall, a purpose built conference centre and a cricket stadium but mostly we will be using the 3 and 4 star hotel chain groups simply because they are located close to the town and city centres we visit which makes access easy for attendees and they have the combination of large and smaller spaces that our events require.
We have said elsewhere in our blog posts that we passionately believe that the venue chosen to host an event should match the personality and voice of the event it is scheduled to host and that cost and sometimes simply perception of cost can cast a positive light or a negative shadow on an event. Therefore, getting the choice of venue voice right is always a critical requirement for all conference and event managers.
For these reasons the price points and level of service together with the overall look and feel of the venues we choose are closely aligned with the expectations that event attendees have of our client’s brand.
The final piece of the jigsaw is of course ‘people’. The right venue with a great location, ideal facilities and competitive rates can be undone by poorly briefed staff or someone whose responsibilities extend to multiple locations at the venue meaning they are never available when you need them.
The reverse is also true where a good venue can become a great venue through the pro-activeness and customer service skills of the duty event manager and support. There are a number of these locations we are very much looking forward to returning to and a few where we know we will need to be on our guard.