6 March 2024

The Art of Venue Finding

One of the services I offer is venue finding. It is therefore imperative for me to be on top of what event spaces and venues are out there, what they have in terms of facilities, an idea of their costs and capacity, as well as new openings.

I have to be careful as I can easily spend many hours and days looking at venues! I am proud to say my venue list is extensive with options for all types of events. However, for this blog, I wanted to share the stages of a venue finder and what exactly goes into finding that perfect space for your event.

Always visit in person

As many of you will know, my work tends to happen around the south and London (as well as the odd international trip!), so I spend a lot of time investing in venues and knowing what’s on offer. I always make time to visit venues, get to know the team there and understand why it is so special. Each venue is unique and has bespoke qualities, so it is my job to really understand these and to experience them for myself. I always visit venues in person as I need to feel their energy and vibe and see the facilities onsite available to my clients’ events.

You can get a certain feel for a place through their website, social media and online videos, but I never work with a venue, or recommend one, that I hadn’t visited myself or hadn’t come highly recommended to me by another industry colleague. In order for an event to be successful, there has to be a good working relationship between my team and theirs. I have to fully understand the space and its possibilities as well as ensure I have met my clients’ brief fully.

Understand costs and capacities

Venues at different times of the year can vary wildly. Often, venues can offer much more in the summer months with outside space, so I make sure to understand what exactly the venue can offer and for how many people. As well as this, I always get a sense of cost. Clients often come to me with an idea of how much they want to spend, so I can quickly decipher which venues may be a possibility and which are not. Doing this work when I meet the venue and understanding their costs saves me so much time in the long run and allows me to manage client expectations.

What are the limitations when working with the venue?

When getting to know a venue, I always ask what possibilities are available. For example, can we exclusively hire the venue (this is a particular need for clients wanting retreats), what private event spaces are available and what facilities does the venue offer (i.e. AV, workshop spaces, large rooms for award ceremonies, private dining, etc)? I get to know what events they have held there before, ask what issues there have been, if any (such as travel getting to the space) as well as the suppliers they use. Often, a venue has a trusted list of suppliers (as do I) so I understand how they like to work. Is it just with their list or can I bring my own into the mix? The idea is that I have asked all the questions so when a client contacts me with a brief, I can confidentially give them a list of venues that would suit and offer them a fabulous event.

Maintain connections

Once I have met the team at a venue, I ensure I keep in touch with them, sign up to their mailing list and follow them on social media. This allows me to be one of the first in the know of changes or news as well as keep an open dialogue with the team in case they need event management services. With Oxleaze Barn in the Cotswolds, I am on their books as a regular collaborator as I know the space and its possibilities so well, so we are both confident of always delivering an exceptional event.

Have an event in mind? Call Lucy on 07989 229 984

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