Frequently Asked Questions
If you've got questions, we've got answers!
Why should you not use us? We are a FREE service and can provide a no obligation quote for three venues that suit your requirements. With excellent connections within the conference industry we can secure fantastic rates and find that perfect venue for your conference, meeting, exhibition or event.
Yes, we are completely free service for clients to use. We generate an industry standard commission when we place business into our venue partners. This does not affect the price you pay in any way, in fact we challenge anybody to secure better rates. Agencies account for a third off all business placed into venues.
Finding the right Conference venue in the right location at the right price to meet the budget can be very time consuming and stressful for the Meeting booker, so why not use the FREE service provided by an experienced Conference Agency.
An experienced conference agent will understand what it takes to make the meeting successful. They will take the brief and source a minimum of three options in a location of the client’s choice. These days there are a number of other options available instead of hotels and conference centres, the choices may include unusual venues the client may not be familiar with, such as sporting venues, stately homes, castles and museums who all offer meeting facilities.
No request is too large or small for an experienced Conference agency to handle, from an interview room, to a national conference, gala dinner, road show or exhibition. The Agent will source suitable venues to meet the requirements and budget, negotiate discounted meeting rates and favourable terms to ensure cost reductions and wherever possible negotiate complimentary added value extras.
Most agencies will offer the client a dedicated expert venue finder to handle their request, so they will have one point of contact. If required, they will accompany the client on site inspections to the preferred options; give advice and assurance with contract signing, AV and Production support and all types of event management.
The service offered by Independent Conference Agents is FREE to use, and the consolidated buying power will give the client the opportunity to access Agency or Corporate rates that would not be available to them. The agency funds the service by earning a small commission from the venue when the event is booked.
The Conference Agent will also be able to offer advice on ways to pay for the event and ensure billing instructions are acceptable to the client.
Some agencies have their own dedicated, delegate registration systems for large conferences and staging and event management, other companies will be able to recommend tried and trusted partner companies to the client. Guest speakers and themed evenings will all come under the remit of the Conference agent. So one phone call will fulfil all the clients’ requirements.
An independent Conference agency will have access to thousands of venues in the UK and worldwide. They will have the buying power to ensure you obtain ‘value for money’ and the experience and expertise to fully understand your requirements and ensure your meeting is a great success.
For residential conferences, some hotels/venues will offer the client an inclusive 24 hour per person delegate rate, which could include the following –
The Day Delegate package –
2/3 servings of tea, coffee and biscuits of pastries
Still & Sparkling water
Flipchart & Pens
Plus overnight accommodation in single/double for single occupancy ensuite rooms and full English breakfast.
Some hotels and venues will only offer this package based on minimum numbers but the Conference Agent will advise the client on the best cost effective option available and negotiate free parking, WIFI etc based on the client’s requirements.
The all inclusive 24hour delegate package is often more cost effective and gives the client a reduction on the standard overnight accommodation rate.
The Conference Agent will compare rates at preferred venues and negotiate the best applicable option.
24 hour delegate rates are seasonal and vary throughout the year. Notice should be taken of ‘special offers’ available in the market place during quiet periods. Your conference agent will be able to advise you of offers available at the time of enquiry.
Based on minimum numbers dependant on the room size, the majority of hotels and venues will offer an inclusive per person day delegate rate, which will often be the most cost effective option for the client when booking a conference.
What is included in a day delegate rate?
Consolidated package offering an inclusive price per person plus VAT
2/3 servings of tea, coffee and biscuits or pastries
Still & Sparkling water
Flipchart and pens
Complimentary WIFI, car parking, restaurant lunch and some AV equipment may be included in some day delegate packages and the Agent will compare the packages on the client’s behalf, negotiate the best value for money package and include added benefits wherever possible.
For smaller numbers, or if lunch is not required and only minimum refreshments, the Agent will compare the room hire cost with the day delegate rate and offer the client the most cost effective option.
The simple answer is the accommodation and dinner cost –
Hotels and venues will often offer an all inclusive 24 hour rate package for delegates, (sometimes this is based on minimum numbers). This is often a more cost effective option for the client.
A BASIC 24 hour rate package would include –
Overnight accommodation with English breakfast in single or double for single occupancy en suite rooms
2/3 servings of tea, coffee and biscuits or pastries
Still & Sparking water available all day
Flip Chart and pens
LCD/Projector – more often than not included in the price
Dinner in the Restaurant
The 24 hour rate is an inclusive price per delegate plus VAT
Some 24 hour rate packages will include complimentary WIFI, car parking and some AV equipment. Also free newspapers and complimentary health and leisure club membership where applicable. Ask your Conference Booking agent to negotiate the best possible 24 hour rate on your behalf dependant on the requirements. Rates are negotiable and it is often possible to include added benefits into the package price.
There are various types of room layouts that may suit your requirements; these are examples of standard layouts:
Theatre – Ideal for large groups and presentations
U- shape – Recommended for training and presentations
V- Shape – Ideal for smaller meetings
Classroom – Suitable for formal working meetings
Hollow – Suitable for formal meeting where no visual aids are required
Boardroom – Suitable for formal meetings and
Oval – Suitable for dinners
Herringbone – good layout for informal meetings
Top Table – classic arrangement for larger functions and formal dinners
Banquet – Gives a good social atmosphere
Cabaret – Suitable for formal lunches and dinners
Informal – ideal for cocktail parties and receptions
It is important that both the venue and client are clear about their rights and responsibilities when booking a conference or event. A written document, usually in the form of a legal contract is the best way to achieve this and help to ensure there are no misunderstandings and details are not forgotten or overlooked.
Contracts for major events are a starting point for further negotiation – a roadmap for the way forward. With major events it is inevitable that requirements will be refined or changed as planning and preparations proceeds.
No single agreement will work perfectly for every event, venue or location. The wording and clauses will differ in each case, some will be simple agreements others more elaborate legal documents. In all cases it is imperative the contract is read thoroughly and understood to avoid future problems.
The issues listed below are by no means comprehensive but fairly common in major meetings. Some venues use more than one document to outline everything involved in the hiring arrangement. The detailed conditions of hire may be separate from the overall agreement or contract to hire. Regardless of how the information is presented, both venues and clients should expect the following clauses to be included in a sound contract.
Most contracts will begin with a preamble that identifies the parties, their physical addresses, company registration number, title, reference numbers and proposed event dates.
Many contracts start with a series of definitions; some are legal and some specific to the industry or venue. The aim is to ensure both parties have a clear understanding of the terminology contained in the contract to avoid repetition throughout the document. Some of the terminology used –
- Contracting parties – Commonly used descriptions are lessor/lessee and licensor/licensee. The ‘lessor/licensor is the venue operator and lessee/licensee is the client.
- Event – Name of the event is specified at the start of negotiations
- Venue – this should identify room names, parts of the venue that are contracted for use.
- Vacate – It is important that everyone understands exactly what leaving the venue at the end of the event entails. Usually is means the complete removal of everything brought in to the venue by the client. Leaving the venue as it was found is the general rule and common requirement and the implications of failing to do so, will probably be documented.
- Hazardous substances – The venue will be bound by health & safety regulations and will require full details of any hazardous substances that might be brought on site and could pose a risk of fire or damage to the venue or the health and safety of people in it.
- Force Majeure – It is a commonly used term used in many contracts and essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation in the event of a problem or circumstance beyond their control, i.e. act of God such as earthquake, flooding etc.
Summary of activities –
The contract should describe the event; detail all rooms to be used, stipulate occupancy dates and hours of occupancy. Including any ‘set up’ take down time. If the time limit set by the venue is exceeded, they may well charge for any additional time.
The main contract should contain a brief description of the event and then as sometimes happens; the entire event schedule can be detailed in a referenced attachment, together with detailed costs.
Inclusions and Exclusions
An inclusion clause or section will outline the specific amenities and facilities that are included in the venue hire price. It will specify room, equipment hire etc. To avoid misunderstandings, the contract should ensure any exclusion is listed. It should also specify what additional costs are involved if any excluded services is required.
The contract should clearly define what food and beverage is included and if this is being supplied by the venue or an external source.
Most venues will require a deposit to secure a large booking and many may seek staggered payments leading up to the event. Payment schedules will vary according to the size of the event, how far ahead it is booked and how busy the venue is. Always ensure the payment options are understood and agreed in advance, a payment option might be 10% on confirmation of the booking, with staggered payments and the balance maybe 30 days before the event.
The contract should be very specific about the terms and costs involved with cancellations. As with payments, policies on cancellations will vary depending on the size of the event, the notification period and whether or not a replacement event of the same size and duration can be booked.
In general if the client does not fulfil the contracted payment requirements, the venue is under no obligation to hold the space. Each venue will have different requirements for the postponement of an event. Generally the closer the postponement to the date of the event, the heavier the financial penalty unless the venue is able to re sell the space.
The insurance clause sets out the types and limits of insurance cover parties to a contract must secure and maintain. This ensures that if something goes wrong, each party is assured that the other has the wherewithal to pay for the damages or loss for which it is responsible.
The Indemnification clause is intended to manage liability exposure and is commonly used by the venue to ask their clients to indemnify them, their owners, officers and directors from any legal action arising in connection with the client’s event, but which is not due to the venue’s own negligence.
Contact the venue. Any amendments to the original contract should be in writing and agreed to- and signed by both parties.
“It’s a god sent service in my busy life!! Jayne Winstanley has been exceptionally helpful and has gone out of her way to assist even on her day off!! Real dedication. Thank you Jayne!”
– Ranjan, Prospects