Managing an event is an all-encompassing task. One that takes time, organisation, multi-tasking to the extreme, patience and flexibility amongst other requirements so wouldn’t outsourcing part of the task be working smarter not harder
See below to explore the Top 10 reasons why you should consider using a venue finder when planning an event.
1.TIME IS TICKING
Bottom line, utilising your valuable time as a planner is essential to successful event organisation. You could be utilising hours of the day and days of the week researching for the right venues and destinations, contacting them for availability, chasing them for more information (cause let’s face it – there is always something missing), compiling the information so you can compare it all to make an informed decision and negotiating to get the best prices whilst trying to manage the overall budget. If you use a venue finder, all that and more are taken off your shoulders and outsourced to the specialists that do this day in and day out. Saving you time which you can re-allocate to the content and agenda and the many other things event-related that require your attention.
2.MONEY MONEY MONEY
Think about it – you are an event planner of a company or an office manager trying to organise a board retreat and you call up some hotels to get availability and rates. To them, you are one client. When a venue finder calls up hotels to get availability and rates, they represent more than one client meaning the potential for more business from multiple-sources. So, in most cases venue-finders can negotiate better rates with suppliers in order to secure you a better deal.
Venue finders come equipped with great knowledge of destinations and venues that you might not otherwise be familiar with.They are constantly keeping themselves updated by engaging with suppliers, attending industry trade-shows, taking part in familiarisation trips, joining webinars and being visited by their Account Managers from venues all around the world. They will have a database of contacts to hit straight away as soon they know what it is you are looking for which means you’ll get options quicker. And they pride themselves on getting venues you might not have thought of but would work perfectly for the event.
Most venue finders have internal systems and programmes in place that allow them to distribute leads and manage proposals so they can submit cost-comparison reports to you with as much or as little detail as you require so that you can make a well informed decision. This means you don’t have to invest in such systems because you are using a specialist that has one already.
In order to sell the world, one should be well travelled which is what most venue finders are. Through familiarisation trips, trade shows and/or personal travels, they strengthen their knowledge through experience and interaction. What’s most important is visiting a destination, making contacts locally and connecting personally allows venue finders to deliver some fantastic options to clients than just finding a hotel online and sending them an enquiry. The personal touch makes a huge difference.
Everyone knows how stressful managing an event can be and finding the right venue definitely adds to that stress. If you use a venue finder, you alleviate a lot of that stress because you’ve ‘handed’ it over to a trusted specialist. Using a venue finder doesn’t mean you lose control, lose relationships or are any less involved in the selection of a venue and destination. This is very important to note that good venue finders ensure that you will be involved in the selection and sourcing, will have a good relationship with the end supplier, be in direct contact with them to discuss finer details and more than anything, put you in the spotlight and on a pedestal. They are the intermediary there to make your life easier and make you look good.
In many ways, a venue finder is an extension of your team and acts like an implant without the additional cost. They are ‘representing’ your company as the ‘client’ to these suppliers and so they need to understand your company culture, the type of venues that meet your objectives and represent your company style wise. They can visit the venues on your behalf and report back. They can organise the site inspections and accompany you to ensure there’s ‘extra’ eyes and ears for anything you might have missed. And there are no strings attached because once the venue is decided, they leave you in the capable hands of the supplier until the next time you need their services.
This is an interesting one that personally I think is a very important point when it comes to using a venue finder. Our industry is about people and relationships and people will evolve and move around in their careers moving from one destination to another, one role to another, one venue to another and one side to another. People move around and venues change but it’s easier to develop a relationship with a venue finder than with a sales contact at a venue because if the sales contact leaves or venue closes, the venue finder is still your main point of contact.
9.THE EXTRA STUFF
Sourcing venues isn’t the only thing venue finders are excellent at, they can also help with connecting you to the right suppliers locally at the destination of your event should you be thinking of doing offsite catering and team-building activities for example. They can also connect you with providers of services like transfers, production, speakers, photographers, DJs and the like. It all interconnects and so they can provide so much more than just venue support.
It is a complimentary service provided by most venue finders most of the time. You don’t pay but nobody ever worked for free so what’s the catch? There is no catch. Venue finders get a ‘placement fee’ from most venues and hotels usually by way of a ‘commission’ which can vary in percentage depending on the supplier. It is very important to note that this does not affect the offer that you get from the suppliers. It does not mean that if you went ‘direct’ you could have saved that certain fee. This fee comes from a different budget that venues allocate to intermediaries like venue finders and third-party agents.