Corporate events and meetings represent big portions of operating budgets. When you can help these clients save costs without sacrificing quality, you’re sure to make a positive impression. All it takes is a little creative planning and an open mind to unlock hidden savings and special venue rental deals.
Here are 8 tips for getting more value from your venue.
1. Pick a less popular day of the week.
If you have flexibility in scheduling, consider renting the venue at a time when it is less likely to be booked. Since venues have more bookings on weekends for events like weddings and parties, rental rates are usually highest on Friday nights and Saturdays. Ask about discounts for holding your meeting earlier in the week.
2. Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Rental venue fees are rarely set in stone, and even if you aren’t successful, it can’t hurt to ask about a lower rate. Memorize this handy phrase: “Is this the best price you can offer?” Chances are, it’s not, especially if you’re able to negotiate on some terms that keep costs down for the venue, as well.
3. Keep an eye on large regional event schedules.
If you’re planning a small or medium-size event or meeting, you don’t want to try to compete for space against popular regional events. Everything becomes more expensive when there are large conventions nearby. Parking, hotel meeting spaces, and even the cost of catering can go up.
4. Offer to schedule successive events at the venue.
Are you planning an annual meeting or event? Offering to hold successive events at the same venue can be a valuable bargaining chip. Be sure to check over your contract carefully if you agree to this type of arrangement. You may not have enough details to nail down a price a year in advance. Ideally, you should be able to negotiate a new rate each year and choose the amenities you’ll need based on expected attendees closer to the next event date.
5. Compare venue costs with other planners.
Reach out to your local event planning network connections to get information about the deals they’ve been securing at local venues. Be ready to share what you’re hearing from venue reps on pricing, as well. This kind of insider knowledge is powerful when it comes to pricing negotiations.
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6. Be honest about your limitations and needs.
A venue’s representative can’t read your mind, but there’s a good chance they will be responsive to your honesty about what you can and can’t afford. Remember, the venue wants to secure your business for this meeting, but they also want to establish a fruitful, ongoing relationship. Repeat business is crucial in the venue rental sector.
7. Get creative.
Do some brainstorming to try to come up with cost-saving ideas that won’t impact your event. Here are a few ideas:
- Ask the venue if you could save costs by keeping an extra bathroom closed.
- Opt for a fantastic dessert or refreshment spread instead of a sit- down meal.
- Bring in your own volunteers to handle duties like coat check instead of hiring them through the venue.
- If you’re hosting a sit-down meal, cut down on staffing needs by having the tables set up with desserts in the center at the beginning of the meal.
8. Barter services in exchange for rental space.
Do you offer a service that might benefit the venue? Could your client provide a useful product to the venue in exchange for rental space? You might even get some traction by offering to promote their venue uniquely. This can be especially effective if you’re an independent event planner with the potential to steer clients their way in the future.
Bonus tip: Set a realistic budget from the start.
Sit down for some “real talk” with your client ahead of the meeting planning process. Often, the best way to save money on an event is by trimming the overall budget before you even start talking to venues.
Draw on your experience with other clients to identify areas where your client may be able to save on costs. Do they really need a valet? Perhaps there are savings to be found by offering house wines instead of specific bottles during the cocktail hour. Lots of little adjustments can add up to significant savings.
Looking for a new meeting venue?
Pursell Farms Is the Perfectly Unexpected Place for Your Next Corporate Event
Set among the idyllic Appalachian Foothills, Pursell Farms offers an experience you can’t find at other meeting venues. We combine Southern Alabama charm with modern tech amenities and a peaceful, refreshing natural setting. We have rental spaces to fit events of any size.
Set up a site visit today! We’d love to show you how we can help make your next meeting or event one to remember, at a price that works within your budget.