As a venue finding agency, our special skill is finding the perfect venue for our clients’ events, whether they’re conferences, meetings, parties, launches, whatever. But it doesn’t always go to plan. Here’s some of the things that make our lives that bit harder…
1 ASKING FOR ONE THING, THEN BOOKING ANOTHER
How many times have clients come to us and asked for – say – a central London location, then after we’ve spent hours drilling down the perfect venue for them, they come back and say don’t worry, we’ve found something ourselves? AND IT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE TO WHAT THEY ASKED FOR! They’ve gone to Hertfordshire or something. Really?!
We do our best to try and head this off at the pass and get as much information as possible from our clients, obviously. But clients, please. If you can come to us with a clear brief and mean it, that helps us a lot!
2 THE ART OF DECEPTION
Just like dating profiles, a venue can look very different on its website than in real life. Carefully angled photography, possibly imaginary client testimonials – we’ve seen some proper 80s estate agency speak on websites too that says everything and nothing at the same time, but ultimately is a load of nonsense. So how do you know that the venue you’re looking at online is as good as it says it is?
Not only do we accompany our clients on our site visits, we spend a lot of time checking out venues first-hand and doing our research.
3 OUT OF DATE INFORMATION
You’d be surprised how many companies neglect their venue databases. Venues are updating their product all the time, with refurbishments, new décor, even new event spaces developed or expanded. It’s hard to keep on top of all those changes. We also offer hospitality bookings as part of the service, so it’s really important we keep up to date on this stuff
We update ours regularly to include hundreds of diverse and exciting venues all over the country. We even keep tabs on venues that haven’t opened yet! Whether our clients want stylish party venues or a conference room for over 500 delegates, we know we’ll have something suitable.
4 TRANSPORT AND TROUBLES
It’s often the case that there are circumstances beyond our control that affect the quality or smooth running of an event. This could be anything from refurbishments at the venue to roadworks or train strikes. Or finding the perfect venue but not being aware how hard it is to access the place. Any of these things – and more – can really affect how well it all runs and really destroy your timelines.
We check this stuff. We’re looking for venues with quick and reliable transport routes, especially if the liquor’s going to be flowing. We ask our clients: What type of event is this, and can people get there? And we check for train strikes or other disasters. All part of the service.
5 MISSING THE FINER DETAILS
Venue staff sometimes have a bad habit of assuming you know what you want, and you’d be amazed at the things that get forgotten; from microphones, stage blocks, table names, brand logos and lighting down to whether bottled water or pencils are included as part of the room setup.
Working closely with our clients we ask them about the little things they might have overlooked. We have a tried and tested checklist to run through with both client and venue before the event so everything – and everyone – is accounted for.
6 CONFUSED COMMUNICATION
This is a biggie and can mean a range of things – communication is imperative when booking a venue, and it’s not just venues, it’s clients too. It’s very frustrating to receive a brief from a client and then find that they haven’t included all the information you need, or worse, they’ve already contacted loads of venues and ruled them out without telling you. Tell us this stuff! Our absolute bugbear is clients who ask you to put together a proposal and then once you’ve spent hours working on it, reply to you saying, oh sorry I meant to tell you, we already booked something. As for venues – we don’t like it when you’re cagey, or we can’t get hold of you to talk about the event. We also don’t really like spending months working on an event with you and then find that the actual event is then managed by a duty manager with no communication history except a sparse job sheet. Really?
A good venue will take the time to talk to us, and try to ensure that our point of contact in the events team is the one who actually works the event with us. We also make a note of all our correspondence with venues so there’s no misinterpretation down the line. And we are firm with clients. Give us the full picture, or we just can’t do our job properly.
7 FINALLY – PRICING
As we pride ourselves on working to provide a good service to our clients, probably the hardest thing to work round is venues who give us a quote, and then we find they’ve offered a better rate elsewhere – either online or direct to the client. If venues do that to us, how can we trust them to work with them again? It makes us look really bad to our client, like we’ve bumped up the price to earn a few extra quid. We don’t do that.
We always make this clear when we work on our clients’ behalf. And if venues mess us around – unless it’s an obviously genuine mistake – it’s simple. We vote with our feet and just stop presenting that place to our clients.
We are really, really experienced venue finders. We know all the dodges, and we are very definitely working on behalf of our clients, even though our payment for this comes from the venues by way of commission. Our goal is to work with professional venues and make matches in heaven so that not only are our clients happy, we have worked efficiently with the venue and supported them through the whole process so they’re happy too.
If you’d like us to work with you – whether you’re a venue or a client – please get in touch. There must be hundreds of venues we’ve yet to hear about.
And as for clients – don’t you want us working on your behalf? Particularly as we don’t charge you direct?! Email us