We all want a positive relationship with our venue. Take a look at the below advice on how best to maximise your experience and work with your venue better.
Give them background on your event and ensure they are invested. Tell them a bit about your event, who will be there, why it is taking place. Instantly this will portray the importance of the event and they can share your passion for making it successful. It’s hard to give your all if you don’t know why you are putting effort into something.
Build and nurture a relationship. We are in a relationships business after all. Strong relationships flourish so take the time to build that relationship in a positive manner. Relationships grow organically if you give them time and invest in them. When it comes to negotiation and flexibility individuals are more likely to want to help if they have a strong rapport.
See the space. It’s extremely hard to convey space at a venue if you have not seen it first-hand. Visiting a venue and meeting your contact not only reinforces the point above, but will also answer plenty of questions you may have. You may also find that whilst walking around the venue your contact will provide further information you didn’t know was possible e.g. private check in desks, reserved parking, signage opportunities etc. It saves both you and them plenty of e-mails.
Be proactive. Here at Hippo our ethos is to be ‘proactive, not reactive’. Thinking ahead and answering questions before they are even asked is a key skill. Be proactive and place yourself in the position of the venue. Envision what requirements they will need; an agenda, what F&B you will require, if there any speeches during your dinner, what your signage need to read, where the signage should go, room layouts, dietary, what AV you’ll require, arrival times, agenda for your Product Launch or Conference etc.
Set yourself up a document which contains all the information you can envision them needing. Send this through to them before they ask for it and give them a chance to come back with any missed information or queries. The more you help the venue, the more they will help you.
Templates. Often venues have their own templates with information they require, for example accommodation and dietary requirements. Generally, they prefer to receive information back using these documents as they are most familiar with the layout and details, however from an agency/client standpoint we tend to use our own. Ensure the templates you use include all the same information they have detailed in theirs – this way there’s minimal chance of missing details or unclear data, ensuring a smooth handover process.
Realistic response times. Start your planning early and allow for realistic response times. Venue staff have busy schedules with meetings, site visits and live events occurring on a daily basis. Often away from their desk setting a realistic response time for your queries aids them. Also, why not pick up the phone is it’s a quick query? You receive the information faster and lessens e-mail traffic, whilst also providing another opportunity to strengthen the relationship.
Use their Website and Brochures. Venues will always send through documents containing a whole load of relevant information. We are all guilty of not reading through these documents in great detail, but it’s certainly worth spending the extra minutes. Familiarise yourself with each document, know what it contains, as it may have the answers you’re looking for. Websites often have pictures and capacity charts whilst brochures may contain information of what’s already included in DDR’s and floor plans.
Ask their advice. No-one knows the venue better than the people that work there. If you have a logistical challenge or are looking for inspiring ideas, chances are the venue have an answer. Don’t forget, they run events in the same spaces day in, day out – they know what the spaces are capable of.
Thank them. A first impression is just as important as a last. Following your event, take the time to write and thank them for their efforts throughout both the pre-planning and on-site elements of the event. A small touch goes a long way – they’re more likely to remember if you don’t say thank you than if you do, so keep relations positive, it’s only to your advantage should you ever use the venue again.
Here are Hippo we value our long established relationships with our suppliers.