How to Book a Venue on a Budget
Venues in the UK aren’t in the best negotiating or bargaining position today. But you are.
The austerity measures introduced here within the past two years has seen bookings for venues slashed as companies (both public sector and private) and individuals seek to cut back on their overall spend. Hotels and conference centres have even reduced costs for conferences and meeting spaces by up to 50 per cent in some cases.
This all means, of course, that negotiating with your chosen vendor and the rate of discounts available is even better than before. However, it’s not all plain sailing. The venues have more to lose. And you want to spend as little as possible. So in order to keep your spending to a minimum, it’s worth bearing in mind the following:
- Choose unpopular days or times for your conference eg Mondays and Fridays tend to be less heavily booked while afternoons are less expensive than mornings as a rule
- Quote a competitor’s price (have it in writing if possible). Your current venue co-ordinator will soon ‘re-negotiate’
- Try and get them to throw in extras such as the tea and coffee for free, a lunch upgrade or even AV equipment
- Simple lunches are often less expensive than a buffet
- Let them know that you’re looking for a regular venue space (but don’t lie, only if this is the case!)
- Get your own company staff to set up advertising banners etc prior to the conference rather than the venue staff having to do the fetching and carrying
- If it’s an impromptu meeting you’ve been asked to call, they’re probably not going to be able to rent the room out at this late stage anyway so look for a big reduction
- Get your numbers right from the start as there’s no point paying for people who don’t turn up (expect 10 per cent fewer guests than originally anticipated)
- Let the venue know you’ll definitely book them and they’ll be more willing to negotiate
- Always ask for reductions wherever possible – otherwise you won’t get…
If you don’t feel confident about negotiating with a vendor don’t worry. We’ve all been there and it does get easier with practice. In the meantime though here at www.venuefindingagency.com we can do some of the negotiating for you without charge (we always fight for the free tea/coffee option!). We’ll also check over the booking contract and other legal documents concerning the venue as a courtesy.