One of the questions venue finders come up against is – so what is it that you do, exactly?
What is a venue finder – and what does the role involve?
What is a venue finder – in brief
A venue finder is a professional with experience and expertise in sourcing the ideal venues for events.
This may include business events such as conferences, meetings and networking, or leisure events such as weddings and parties.
The venue finder is a specialist in their field who can recommend the best venues to clients. A venue finder can also negotiate with the venue on the client’s behalf to secure a deal that suits everyone.
Why use a venue finder?
Experience and expertise
Due to experience, a good venue finder can often recommend suitable venues as soon as they receive a client’s brief.
Prior knowledge may mean they can suggest the perfect venue straight away. Venue finders also spend a lot of time visiting venues, so they know exactly what each has to offer the business or leisure client.
Something the venue finder also has is purchasing power. Their service is free to those seeking a venue, but venue finders make money because hotels and other places pay them a commission to send clients their way.
This gives venue finders purchasing power. From the venue’s point of view, it’s in their interests for the finder to keep sending them bookings. So a venue finder may be able to secure an exclusive discount that wouldn’t be offered when booking with them directly.
How venue finding works
When you use a venue finder, it begins with the first contact. This may be by phone or email: often the latter is easier if the client wants to include an outline of what they’re looking for. Then the venue finder can set to work, racking their brain, checking their files or contacting venues to find the perfect fit.
The process may include site visits, so the client can see what they’d be getting for their money and can visualise the event taking place. This can be of benefit to clients, but isn’t strictly necessary. Photos, floor plans and so on can paint a very accurate picture instead.
What they know – and who they know
Venue finders often have a background in hospitality or events. This experience can be put to good use when seeking the right venues, as such professionals know exactly what to look for.
A very important part of the venue finder’s role is building and maintaining relationships. They are likely to keep in regular contact with the venues they use, and often have a named contact they may have known for many years.
Venue finders are often the first people invited to a new hotel’s soft opening or launch party, as they are the ones venues want to impress! A venue they’ve actually visited – and ideally actually enjoyed spending time at – is more likely to stick in their mind that one they’ve never seen. And venues know that!
So what’s the point of using a venue finder, when you could simply contact venues directly? Well a venue finder can save you both time and money. Let’s give an example of how this might work in practice, to ensure it’s explained clearly.
Saving time and money
Imagine, for instance, that you’re a PA for a busy CEO. They ask you to find a venue for the company conference. It must be in London, have space for 100 people during the day and be able to accommodate the same number overnight.
Sounds simple enough, right? But where do you start, in a big city like London? How do you narrow down the options, rather than contacting every hotel in town? Which would obviously be very time-consuming.
Taking work off your hands
A venue finder can suggest venues and contact them on your behalf. But they can do more than that. They can explain the advantages of various room layouts, discuss the options for an evening dinner at the same hotel or centre. The venue finder will even know – or can find out – what equipment the venue can provide.
Obviously all this can save the PA who’s trying to locate a venue a lot of time. And it costs nothing as the venue finder earns a commission from the hotel, not the client.
So what if the PA already knows a great venue, and wants to go back there following last year’s very successful conference? What would be the point of using a venue finder in that scenario?
Well, the venue finder may be able to secure their client an exclusive discount. And can also contact the venue, saving the client time. For busy people, every minute saved is surely worthwhile.
Keeping everyone happy
The venue wants to make the venue finder happy and the venue finder wants to make their client smile. So it’s in the interests of both these parties to strike up a deal that everyone will be satisfied with.
What is a venue finder – FAQs
What should I look for when hiring a venue?
Factors to consider when hiring a venue include the budget, the location, the capacity, any catering required, the date, the style, the layout, any accommodation required and the amenities, equipment and services that can be supplied by the venue. If using any outdoor spaces, then the season and weather may also come into play.
Why is the location of the venue important?
Where your venue is may affect who turns up – whether that’s for a party, as an employee or even as a keynote speaker. If your venue is time-consuming to get to or hard to find, this could put people off. Some guests or attendees may also require overnight accommodation to enable them to attend from further away.
How do you set up a venue?
Typical steps involved in setting up a venue for an event may include moving furniture to achieve the correct layout, displaying signage or decorations, putting up directional signs or table plans and setting up equipment such as screens, podiums, microphones, stationery and more.