Here at Flavour Events, we love to stay on top of the latest event trends and discover the hottest new venues. Our free venue finding service helps companies all around the world to find the best spaces for their conferences, parties, company away days and more. We enjoy the venue sourcing process, but completely understand it can sometimes be complicated and time consuming. To help with some of the questions we frequently receive from our clients, we’ve compiled a useful guide to help you choose your perfect event venue.

How much will it cost?
The answer to this question will vary and depends on many things. Size, location, standard of quality and facilities are important, as are food and drinks. When a venue offers space for private hire, they need to cover their staffing, lease, insurance and consumables costs, while hoping to generate a profit too. Operational costs will be higher in cities and prime, central locations than in quieter areas. The venue needs to consider how much income their space would generate if open to the general public. For example, a central London roof terrace which generates £30,000 per night wouldn't offer the same space for private hire without knowing the same amount would be generated. Dates are important too. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, plus key holiday dates are typically lucrative for venues, so costs will often be highest for these dates. In summary, cost can vary from £150 for a space in a small rural venue, to £50k+ for large prestigious venues in prime locations.

Venue Hire, Minimum Spend, DDR
Many venues and spaces can be hired without paying hire fees. This is known as a minimum spend agreement, where the client hiring the venue agrees to a minimum amount of money that will be spent on food and drink at their event. Christmas parties and private dining events can often benefit from minimum spend options. If you’re confident your guests will spend the required amount per head, or if you’re allocating budget for refreshment, hire fees can often be avoided. Hire fees typically apply when the on the day spend is lower. For example, a conference booking will require lots of space, staff and AV equipment, but may serve only light refreshment. Therefore hire fees are needed to cover the cost of the other elements. DDR, or Daily Delegate Rates refer to the cost per head, per day for event guests. This is often a package rate which combines refreshments throughout the day, plus room hire and potentially accommodation costs.

How can I save money?
As mentioned, booking events for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays can often be cheaper. If you’re planning a corporate networking event, you may find that a Tuesday morning breakfast event will require lower spend than a Thursday night cocktail mixer at the same venue. You could also look at having Christmas parties in November, or even January. Also, if you book multiple events per year, some venues will offer savings for confirming more than one booking with them. Although margins are particularly tight for the hospitality industry right now, it is worth asking if the list price of food and drinks items can be reduced if you agree to purchase more.

Can I bring my own catering?
Although most will refuse, some venues will agree to this. However, remember that venues won’t be prepared to make a loss. For example, a restaurant survives on the sale of food and drink. If they can’t sell refreshments, they will need to charge hire fees or corkage to cover their operating costs. It is unlikely that bringing your own catering will offer much of a saving.

How do I choose the right venue?
Be clear on the most important factors, such as budget, number of attendees, date, location, type of event and any must-have facilities. Be sure to consider how your guests will travel to and from the venue. Prepare an event brief, paying attention to what’s essential, and where you can be flexible. Ensure your event brief details are correct and authorised by the booking decision maker. Having a selection of dates to begin with will make it easier to secure the best venue. However, changing dates and other must-have requirements after enquiries are made will set you back to square one, so avoid doing this. Starting your search early will often get the best results. Many companies and Event Managers secure their venues months, sometimes years in advance to get the best options.

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Find me a venue
When you know your requirements, get in touch with Flavour Venue Search and we’ll find your perfect event venue for free. We represent thousands of high-quality event venues and can introduce you to the most suitable spaces for your private and corporate events. We can help you negotiate hire fees and minimum spend packages, using our relationships and frequency of bookings to get you the best deals. Whenever you’re ready, we’re ready to help.