As an administrative professional, you may be tasked with helping plan and coordinate corporate events. Are you looking for tips on how to book and negotiate a corporate venue for an upcoming event? You’re in the right place!
In this article, we’ll share our top 10 tips for booking and negotiating a venue. Whether you’re planning a conference, seminar, retreat, or another event, having the right venue is vital to its overall success.
Choosing the right corporate venue for an event is crucial. This is because the venue helps to set the tone and atmosphere for your event. A well-chosen venue enhances the event and also reflects positively on the company hosting it!
Here are some things to consider when ensuring the venue matches the tone of your event:
Does the venue align with the event’s objectives and theme?
What facilities and space do you need to accommodate the vision for the event comfortably?
Is the venue easily accessible for attendees flying or driving in from afar?
Are there adequate parking and transportation options nearby?
Is the venue suitable for your company’s brand image?
Pro tip: Don’t overlook the last point—it is essential!
A corporate venue should be professional and prestigious, leaving a lasting impression on clients, partners, and employees attending.
It is important to thoroughly research potential venues before making a decision. Take the time to look at various options in different locations and think about whether the corporate event venue fits your needs. Consider the following during your research:
Number of attendees the venue can accommodate
The type of event and if the venue is a good fit
Any specific requirements needed for your event, such as WiFi, audiovisual equipment, breakout rooms for brainstorming sessions, and more
What is their reputation? Research their website, social media pages, and reviews for a better idea
There are various online resources and directories specifically tailored to corporate events. These platforms provide detailed information about each venue, including photos, floor plans, and a list of amenities. These directories include EventUp, Cvent, BizBash, among others.
When planning a corporate event, staying within your budget is a critical factor.
Prior to booking anything for your corporate event, you should have an overall budget in mind. Furthermore, you need to separate out which portion of that budget is allotted just for the venue rental. Ensure that you leave room in your budget for refreshments and catering, executive travel expenses, and memorable gifts for the attendees.
Many corporate event venues will have an option for in-house catering. Be sure to include that in your research when you’re narrowing down your top three locations.
Finally, the decor is another item to consider in your budget. Whether it’s fresh flowers, entertainment, or renting audio equipment, factoring in decorative elements is key in planning a successful event.
Once you’ve completed thorough research according to your budget, it’s time to contact your options. This will allow you to gather more information, ask specific questions, and gauge the responsiveness and professionalism of the venue staff.
Be prepared to provide details about your event, such as the date, estimated number of attendees, and any specific requirements you have. Of course, whether the venue is available on your desired date or not will be one of the biggest factors here.
When it comes to negotiating a corporate venue, asking the right questions is of the utmost importance. This will ensure you have all the information needed to make an informed decision and negotiate the best possible deal.
Here are some key questions to ask during your search for the perfect venue:
Can they accommodate your event’s size and requirements?
What is included in the rental fee?
What amenities are not included but can be purchased in addition to the basic rental fee?
Do they offer catering or have any catering restrictions?
Are there any hidden fees such as service charges, cleaning fees, security deposits, pet fees, or parking fees?
What is the cancellation policy?
Is the venue accessible for attendees with disabilities?
Are there any noise restrictions or curfews that may interfere with your event?
When negotiating rates, ensure you are well-prepared and informed. Gather information on the standard rates for similar venues in the area. This will give you a benchmark price to work with during negotiations.
Also, be clear about your event’s budget limitations and ask about any discounts or special packages they may be offering.
Finally, try to be flexible and willing to negotiate on certain aspects of your event for a better price. For example, can you be flexible with your event date in exchange for a better rate during an off-season or promotional month?
Once you have negotiated the rates and packages, look into any additional services or amenities that the corporate venue offers. These amenities often enhance your event and leave a lasting impression on attendees, so see if you can fit any of them within your budget.
These could include a team-building event offered onsite, airport transportation for attendees, or special entertainment packages.
The contract is an essential part of your corporate event. Before signing anything, check the following:
Event date, time, and location
Venue rental rate
That any added amenities and services you’ve agreed upon are included
Also, read the fine print regarding cancellation and refund policies, any minimum spending requirements, and other terms that may impact your event or budget.
Here are some final steps to take prior to the big event to ensure a seamless, successful experience.
Confirm all the details with the venue one to two weeks prior to your event
Ensure all attendees have the event details
Ensure all vendor contracts are signed and that you have a copy of each one
Confirm transportation arrangements as needed
Plan for emergencies. Have a contingency plan in place for unexpected issues such as bad weather, power outages, canceled flights, and ill or absent presenters.
Last but certainly not least, remember to enjoy your event! Now that you’ve done your research, negotiated the best rates, and planned a great corporate event, you deserve to sit back and appreciate your hard work.
With a well-prepared and thought-out plan for your event, it is sure to be a success.
Remember, you can always lean on ASAP for advice on event planning, venue negotiation, and much more. We are here to support executive assistants, office managers, and administrative professionals through all aspects of their roles!
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