Lack of communication and financial expectations the biggest challenges for venues

Communication and client expectations are the top challenges for venues working with agencies, C&IT can reveal.

Glasgow's SECC and Hydro venues
Glasgow's SECC and Hydro venues

Last week event agencies listed inflated prices and last-minute cancellations as some of their ‘bugbears’ when booking venues. This week C&IT has turned the tables, asking event space respresentatives for their advice on how agencies can improve relationships with venues.

Match the brief to the venue

According to Jennifer Connery, head of corporate events at Thorpe Park, choosing the right venue for a client is key. "Agencies need to ensure we’re right for their client. We want to provide the best event experience so it’s important that agencies really match us," she explained. She added that the more details the venue has about the client’s overall objectives, the more compelling the proposal will be.

Kathleen Warden, director of conference sales at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), said that venues want to deliver in the most creative way possible. While she explained that the Glasgow-based centre had mutually beneficial relationships with a wide range of agencies, she admitted it be can be challenging when there’s not enough information. "Opportunities can be missed if the initial response isn't as robust and exciting as we'd like it to be, simply because there's not enough information to go on."

Make time

"It’s great when agencies we’ve not worked with before pay us a visit and see for themselves what our facilities are and the team behind them," said Connery. "I appreciate everyone’s busy schedules, but it really opens up opportunities on both sides."

While venues acknowledge that time is tight, they say agencies should be willing to pick up the phone to iron out any burning issues, rather than sending emails. Oliver Hargreaves, deputy head of sales for business events at The Barbican, explained: "Venues, particularly those capable of holding several thousand people, such as ours, have a high volume of enquiries, and we always promise to communicate as quickly as possible and respond to every enquiry whilst also providing updates within a reasonable timeframe.

"Communication is imperative so if an agency has an urgent request – why not use that old fashioned speedy method – the telephone."

Manage client expectations

According to Hargreaves, it’s important for both agencies and venues to consider rates when booking events, despite external pressures. "Continually changing prices, be it increasing or decreasing, makes no sense and is commercially unsound," he explained. "Venues should charge what they are worth; heavy discounting will lead to unsustainable expectations and over-charging will only serve to drive people away."

More:

Cancellations and poor communication top list of agency 'bugbears' when booking venues

C&IT TV: What's the craziest client request you've ever had?

• For more breaking news, as well as in-depth features and case studies, sign up to C&IT Magazine's daily Newstracker here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in
Union of International Associations heading to Prague in 2020

Union of International Associations heading to Prague in 2020

The UIA's 14th annual Round Table will welcome 150 association delegates from around the world.

Odeon Luxe Leicester Square set to re-open following multi-million pound upgrade

Odeon Luxe Leicester Square set to re-open following multi-million pound upgrade

Grand refurbishment of London venue with bar and seating for 800 hopes to recapture 'golden age of cinema'.

Experiential FAM trips are 'critical' to second-tier city destinations

Experiential FAM trips are 'critical' to second-tier city destinations

Selling tier-two cities was one of the issues discussed by a panel of experts during C&IT's US Forum at Cliveden House.

How to keep the no-show rate under control at your next event

How to keep the no-show rate under control at your next event

Preventing the dreaded no-shows entirely is a tall order but Salzburg Convention Bureau has some tips to keep them as low as possible.

Vast majority of associations aren't getting the most out of their event data

Vast majority of associations aren't getting the most out of their event data

Events are crucial to membership growth strategies but data isn't being harnessed effectively, survey finds.

Global Destination Sustainability Index revealed

Global Destination Sustainability Index revealed

Rankings are designed to help MICE planners choose progressive destinations with top green credentials.

Canopy by Hilton opens in Zagreb

Canopy by Hilton opens in Zagreb

Capital of Croatia gets 151-room property with meeting space and local art featured throughout.

How 'no travel' weeks can mean doing less but better

How 'no travel' weeks can mean doing less but better

Global MICE industry trends were the hot topic discussed by a panel of experts at C&IT's US Forum at Cliveden House.

Pearl Representation joins forces with Cypriot DMC Honeywell Events

Pearl Representation joins forces with Cypriot DMC Honeywell Events

The two will work together on showcasing the Mediterranean island of Cyprus to the UK MICE market.

6 ways to make the events industry more accessible

6 ways to make the events industry more accessible

Establishing a strong business case for accessibility is among the recommendations in a new report.

LATEST JOBS