With London being the capital city, it plays host to some of the country’s biggest and best hotels, but is it always the best option? Working in the venuepot team at drp, I get to know all kinds of weird and wonderful venues. So, below are some of my own opinions on the benefits of booking a venue outside of London.
The price tag
London is an amazing city, with many attractions and events that are essential for industry professionals. Events occur all the time in London, and from a venue sourcing perspective, we always want to ensure that we are choosing the best venues for our clients. However, venues in London do come with a price tag, and that may be an issue for some clients, especially when using a set budget. When showcasing an event in London, if you don’t have a big budget in place, it often tends to be more difficult to hire somewhere. However, if you hold an event further North in the country, there is a marked difference in potential venue costs. Spending as little money as possible is an essential part of our work in the events industry, so we just need to be aware of this costing difference, and use it to our advantage.
Is London easy to access?
When in London, trying to find a parking space can be a nightmare. Many of those who live in London can sympathise with the lack of available parking, followed by the excruciating prices to pay to park your car. With the stress of trying to find a space and having to pay those additional charges to park, this can be very frustrating for delegates. Depending on your event, having an onsite car park, a pre-arranged coach, or chauffeur to arrive and collect your guests at a designated time, are possible alternatives to ease this stress. Having easy access to a venue is very important, as you want to make sure your delegates get there safely with no issues. However, there seems to be a stigma around London being the only easy city to travel to and hold an event. This is untrue. We have held events for a number of clients that have been in other cities, such as Birmingham, Leeds, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester for instance.
Some clients request a space for team building, specifically, an outdoor space. This can be hard to come by in London, as various venue prices can be extremely expensive or will have to go through the long process of contacting the local council to get permission to use parks or green areas. However, some hotels outside of London can accommodate, as they often have acres and acres of land that clients can use. This immediately sets a potential venue outside London apart.
A prime example of a great venue with outdoor space is Carden Park based Cheshire. It is nestled in 1,000 acres of countryside, providing plenty of room for all different types of team building activities.
Room for availability?
Availability is very important when planning any incentive or event. Sometimes we may be required to find a venue at the last minute and this can occasionally be a difficult task, especially in London. The disadvantage of booking last minute can lead to venues or spaces being fully booked, or the venue doesn’t suit all of the client’s requirements. It can be better to look outside of the capital, as it can give your client more options to choose from, within their specifications, as well as providing a unique venue choice.
To conclude, London is an incredible city with many great venues and spaces for planning your next event, but as event planners we have to take everything into account, and we must not forget that the uniqueness of using a venue outside of London is something that can be attractive to our clients. It’s not to say that London isn’t the place to hold an event, but branch out, be different, and show your client what you can do and of course give them a reason to use your services again!
By Rosie Harper - Venue Co-Ordinator