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Top Tips for Venue Sourcing on a Budget

Are you struggling to find a venue or events space with a small budget on your hands? Have you received a detailed brief, but you just aren’t sure how you’re going to find that perfect venue?

No need to worry!

Below is a top tips list of what to consider and look out for when searching for that perfect venue on a budget.

Tip 1 – Things to avoid when venue sourcing on a budget:

  • This may seem like an obvious one but, stay away from the 5* higher end venues, and look for cheaper hotel options.
  • Try to stay away from big cities such as London, (even though London is great for events) -prices tends to increase. Look around the outskirts of London, and research smaller cities as they will be much more cost-effective.
  • Stay away from dry hire venues where you must hire everything from furniture, kitchens to toilets etc.
  • Stay away from expensive lunches or platters. Look at discounted options for lunch or dinner. For example, instead of a 2-course buffet lunch you could opt for a grab bag lunch with snacks or a sandwich lunch – explore all your options.
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Tip 2 – Don’t limited yourself to fixed dates (if possible):

  • If your dates aren’t fixed, ask the venue for their best availability and see if they can accommodate. The date in question may not slot into their diary perfectly, so they could offer you a great deal on alternative dates.
  • Tuesday – Thursday are venues most popular days for corporate bookings. If you can hold your event on a Monday or Friday, they may offer a better deal. Also, if you require a set up day then setting up on a Sunday and having a live day on a Monday can be a lot cheaper than a Tuesday & Wednesday, for example.
  • If your event is out of term time, then consider any local Universities in the area. You can get some decent rates and their accommodation is often very reasonable and are actually quite nice.
  • Check and see if there any local events taking place during your event – this may affect the cost of bedrooms, meeting space and availability. For example, if you want to book accommodation near the NEC, Birmingham, when they have a big show on, the rates increase considerably due to demand.

Tip 3 – Take into consideration accommodation before booking a venue:

  • If you are holding a residential conference or dinner, twin up on the bedrooms. This will save you a lot of money and you will be able to get more delegates under one roof.
  • Hotels will offer cheaper rates and more bedroom stock if you have both the event and accommodation there.
  • If you are using a venue with no bedrooms but you require accommodation, look what hotels are in the area before confirming. If there are no hotels in walking distance you will have to pay for additional transport to get the guests from the venue to the hotel.

Tip 4 – Consider how delegates are getting to the event before booking the venue:

  • If delegates are driving to your event, choose a venue that has free parking and reasonable parking spaces – these finds tend to be outside city centres, but do your research.
  • If delegates opt for travelling via public transport, use a venue that is within walking distance of a train station. This will reduce transport costs getting to and from the train station.

Tip 5-  Don’t waste money on additional room hire when it is not required:

  • If you require breakout rooms then why not use the main room as one of the breakout rooms?
  • If you don’t require a private catering area, check with the venue if you can use their public area or restaurant, to save any additional costs.
  • If you are not fixed on your room layout then maybe consider changing it from a cabaret style to a theatre style so you can potentially look for a smaller room, which may not be as expensive to hire (this would all depend on AV requirements of course).

Tip 6 – Stay up to date with venue news:

  • Venues are always offering deals or discounts so keep an eye out and sign up to newsletters to keep up to date.
  • Keep an eye out for new venues opening as they like to do test runs to make sure their staff are up to scratch and to get feedback on how they can improve.

"Always remember to choose wisely where you spend your money, if you opt for a cheaper venue, look at the different ways in which you can spend the budget. Just because your budget is smaller, that doesn’t mean that your event won’t be just as good as a high-end event."

I hope the list of top tips help those who are often faced with a tight budget when looking for the perfect venue. Always remember to choose wisely where you spend your money, if you opt for a cheaper venue, look at the different ways in which you can spend the budget. Just because your budget is smaller, that doesn’t mean that your event won’t be just as good as a high-end event.

It’s all about the where and what you invest in, to create that real wow factor. If you are thinking of booking your event in the Midlands, why not think of the 212 studios at drp HQ? We have 3 of our own studios which we hire out for internal and external events which can cater for up to 300 theatre style, and we can throw in some additional AV and Equipment at a decent rate.

Take a look at our event brochure here: https://bit.ly/2gYGiaH 

By Kat Allso – Venue Consultant