What do you do when you need to organise an event on a modest budget but have high venue expectations? Having limited funds does not mean you need to compromise on quality or experience. There are a few things to consider that could save you cash, while still ensuring a successful event.
Day of the week
If you can hold a corporate event on a Monday or Friday, you are likely to benefit from lower rates. Many corporate venues experience peak demand midweek, with conference rooms staying empty on the “shoulder” days. No venue wants to have empty space, so being flexible on date is helpful for everyone. You may even benefit from some added extras to tempt you in, such as breakfast rolls, free equipment or complimentary parking. Accommodation rates are normally lower on a Monday night, too, so if you are considering a residential event, a Monday/Tuesday could save you money on bedrooms. Equally, holding a social event on a Thursday or Sunday can often mean more competitive offers.
Time of year
School holidays, including half-term, are generally quieter periods for corporate bookings, as are the first few weeks of the calendar year. Organise an event in the last week of July rather than the third week, for instance, and this could be the difference between a peak rate and a summer offer.
If tables are not essential, consider theatre style. This layout requires the least amount of space, and as a result you could benefit from a smaller, cheaper room. Or think about having your drinks reception in a communal bar area rather than a private room.
As a rule, venues that offer all-inclusive packages will work out more cost effective than dry hire options. This does not necessarily limit you to hotels and conference centres, however. Many unique and unusual venues work with approved caterers specialising in particular cuisines, or have experienced and flexible in-house teams who can tailor-make menus to deliver your requirements.
This is where location, location, location is absolutely true. Being in the centre of town, especially close to mainline train stations, will drive prices up. Looking further afield for a venue where you can organise an event could save you money, without the need to pull on the hiking boots. Many cities have straightforward train or tram networks to connect you with suburban areas; you may even find that it is more cost effective to hire a minibus or coach, and it is more likely that these venues also benefit from onsite parking.
And of course, a venue finder with experience is your most powerful weapon in the quest for the best rates!
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