I have been doing a lot of venue finding for our clients recently and blimey I have never known anything like it, it’s so busy.
Venue finding is a love/ hate job at the best of times. I love it when I find that perfect venue, the one that ticks all the boxes, but it always takes far longer than you think, with lots of going back and forth to get the information you need from a venue and I hate being defeated, so sometimes get a little obsessed with finding the elusive perfect venue.
We are finding that lead times are much shorter, so many of the events I have been trying to place are for between now and Christmas and venues are incredibly busy, so choice has been limited.
Struggling to find a venue at short notice?
Here’s a few tips for finding that short notice venue.
- Write a brief
Write a detailed brief that you can send out to venues, it also helps you focus on the detail as well as what space you need, the format of the event and your priorities.
- Be flexible with dates
Try not to have a fixed date, the more date options you have the more likely you are to find a venue available on your dates.
- Widen your location search
Obviously start with your preferred location as looking across a huge area can be equally problematic but be prepared to widen the search or look at similar locations if needed.
- Reduce the length of your event.
Finding space for a one-day event is much easier than a 3+ day event, so consider what time you really need, but don’t forget to include any set up and de-rig time.
- Consider Hybrid
If you are struggling to find a venue that is large enough, could you reduce the audience size and look at doing a hybrid event? We have also heard of people doing their event across two locations as they couldn’t get a venue large enough, so again be prepared to think outside of the box.
- Flexible formats
Cabaret style is still a very popular format but requires so much more space than theatre style. Try experimenting with formats and layouts. You might be able to work with a smaller space but still enable engagement and interaction.
- Ask chains to forward your brief to all their hotels in the area.
This is an easy way of contacting more venues or approach central booking teams.
- Venue budget
If your venue budget is based on pre-pandemic events, you will probably need to increase this. Accommodation costs have seen a massive increase especially in London and Day Delegate Rates are also creeping up.
- Do a site visit
Site visits are really important and help you get a better understanding of the space and can save you time in the long run as you will get a better understanding of what is possible and start to build a relationship with the venue.
- Be able to make a quick decision
As there is so much demand for space, we are finding that venues can’t hold space for too long and they are getting interest from others, so if something fits the bill make sure you secure it quickly before another company does.
My event isn’t until next year, I don’t need to find a venue yet, or do I?
I have been also looking for venues for Spring 2023 events and these are also starting to get pretty booked up, so if you are planning on holding an event next year, I would get those venues booked so you have more choice and flexibility. The rest of the event planning can wait, but at least you know the venue has been booked.
If you need help finding a venue for your event or have a venue and want help with planning and delivering your next event, please get in touch to discuss how we can help. Let’s chat at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07968 307175/01159 255440.