As a company specialising in venue sourcing (venuepot), the use of preferred hotel groups has never really been an option for us, as we don’t want to be restricted when showcasing venues to our clients. Our aim is to find the best venues, and ensure that their requirements are being fully executed.
Variety of Options
The option to be flexible and creative when looking for venues, gives us the ability to be transparent with our clients. When we receive a brief, the clients’ requirements, for example, may be to have a conference hall, university reception, or an air field for their event. Our core aim is to ensure that we deliver and use all of the necessary resources, such as negotiation skills and expertise in place, to find the venue requested. This gives us the opportunity to open many new working relationships with other hotel groups and give the client a range of options.
As a creative industry, if we were to use a preferred hotel group, it could potentially restrict the services we offer to the client. We provide creative visuals throughout the events we help produce, however, if we were to partner up with just one or two hotel groups we would struggle to find the perfect venue for them. This could frustrate the client, as we are not living up to our expectations of delivering our *anything’s possible ethos.
Over the years the requests for unusual venues has been increasing. Warehouses in particular are becoming very popular for clients. The advantage of using an unusual venue is that it creates a unique and dynamic atmosphere for guests, as the norm might be a conference hall with a standing reception. Whereas, with a warehouse, there is the ability to display a variety of visual content under one roof, which is something clients want to do.
If we had access to preferred rates with a selected hotel brand, then we may not have the opportunity to put forward such an artistic vision to the client, as we would be restricted to what we could do with the event space.
If an agency has preferential commission set up with the hotel chain, then they will ensure to push that client to use that venue. This means that they might not be given the opportunity to explore other options in the area or think outside the box. Also, the venue they are pushing might not be the right fit for the client.
When it comes to picking the best venues, we ensure as a team that we find the perfect venue, no matter how large or small, even if that means booking a non- commissionable venue. We want the client to be happy!
Did you know…the preferential rates that hotel groups offer can sometimes be slightly more expensive than if you were to ask for the best available rates?
When looking at a venue, it is always important to do your research and ask as many questions as possible, as it is your job to ensure that the client’s needs are being met.
Hotels tend to put a slightly higher cost on corporate rates to cover themselves when clients book during a busy period, not just quiet times. Always check with the hotel what their best available rates are for your dates, it may be a quiet period for them or your event might slot in perfectly with their other bookings so they can give you more favourable rates.
Having a venue is a key factor when planning any event. The use of a preferred hotel group may or may not be for everyone, but we want to make sure that we are giving the clients and audience the best experience, and continue to build our rapport with our clients.
Just be sure to do your research in all venues, be adventurous, and of course, give people something to talk about! Nothing beats a great event at an amazing location!
Kat Allso – Venue Consultant at venuepot