It’s important to lay down client expectations clearly, so it would be best practice to have SMART objectives written down for their event. It’s also important to explicitly let your clients know how realistic their expectations are with the possible limitations you may have; for example, budgeting, space requirements, access and time restrictions.
There are also some obvious requirements depending on the nature of the event. If it’s a corporate networking event, is there ample space for people to mingle? If it’s a sports event, is there enough available seating/space for audiences to observe?
Don’t promise things that may be impossible to achieve. In other words, don’t promise Glastonbury and give them Fyre Festival!
BUT WHAT MAKES A GOOD VENUE?
Put yourself in the shoes of the attending guests; what are your first impressions towards the venue itself? What are the potential risks?
YOUR INITIAL VISIT
Pre-book your visits and ensure that you will be meeting with the managers and the team that will be available to you on the day of your event. On the day of your visit, ensure that you show up on time, dress appropriately – as any event professional should. It’s also important to treat the management team of the venue as your peers and be ruthless in order to scope out all the details to save money and time. Walk round with the manager and let your expectations be known to the management team in terms of prices, space and arrangements. Say you are selecting your client’s potential wedding venue, these details could be absolutely crucial, and you want to be able to answer every potential question that they may have.
Never do the initial recce with your clients with you, and always make your price expectations known. Also, don’t forget to take pictures!
You’re able to negotiate your deal with the venue. You can negotiate on price, cut-off time/numbers, and off-the-shelf services such as extra spaces, lighting, staging and equipment. You may find that you’re more successful in negotiating once you are a return customer to the venue. This is because you’ve proved your value and they will want you to use their services again in the future.
VISITING THE VENUE WITH YOUR CLIENT
When it comes to taking your client(s) around the venue, they should have already seen pictures that you’ve taken, and you should be able to answer any questions they have. They shouldn’t discover any extra hidden charges.
When you feel as though you’ve found the perfect venue, understand everything that is included in the contract (including the small print). Don’t forget to always release the other bookings that you’ve made – you don’t want to burn any bridges with venues that you could potentially book in the future!