There are so many ways your corporate event could crash and burn. There's a ton of preparation and planning involved. How many guests are you expecting? Do you have enough seating? Have you considered guests dietary restrictions and preferences? Is the event space easy to get to? Even for the most experienced event planner, planning a corporate event in London can be relentlessly stressful.
"Planning an event is indeed a time consuming and stressful job," says Jay Sitapara, editor at The Window Seat. "With so many things on the platter, giving time and attention to each errand can be tedious and can come off as a monumental challenge. If you can't handle stress, you won't manage success."
Making a Corporate Event Hire in London? 5 Things to Consider Before Booking
The easiest way to maximize your effectiveness as a corporate event planner and avoid pre-event stress is to find a corporate event venue that aligns with your business's unique event goals and objectives. The "right" corporate event venue understands your stressors and works with you to address challenges and remove barriers. In many instances, event venue managers will act as a shoulder to lean on.
The best way to make the most of your corporate event hire in London is to give venue managers all the information they need to provide expert assistance. Before committing to a corporate event venue, it is critically important to consider the following:
How much money are you willing to allocate towards a venue rental? Keep your budget top-of-mind as you start your search for corporate event venues. Sticking to a predefined budget allows you to quickly weed out the most affordable and budget-friendly venues. As you prepare a budget, it's important to think beyond the venue rental. Are there any additional fees associated with the event? Are you required to bring in and pay for third-party caterers? Do you need to hire a DJ? Is a security detail required? Additionally, plan and prepare for those unforeseen and last minute expenses.
"Have a contingency figure in your budget to provide a buffer, just in case you might need to add to your A/V order or if speaker fees are higher than expected," recommends Rachel Grate, contributor at Eventbrite. "Working some leeway into your budget gives you enough breathing room to absorb unexpected costs. How much should you plan on? Depending on your event type, between 5 percent to 25 percent."
2. Guest List
How many guests are you expecting? Having a clear and accurate headcount will help to ensure that the corporate event venue is well-equipped to accommodate you and your guests. You can't host 250 people in a 200 max capacity room, right? To get a more accurate view, try to enforce strict guidelines around event registration and deadlines.
Limit the number of guests that you accept after event registration closes and always plan for a few event confirmations to abruptly cancel. Beyond helping you select the right corporate event venue, an accurate headcount helps caterers to get started on menu options.
3. Type of Event
Thirdly, consider the event type. Are you hosting a large conference or seminar? What about an intimate corporate reception, gathering or drinks? Each of these event types requires a specific event venue configuration and layout. The best event venues are completely modular and built to support a variety of event types. Additionally, savvy event venue managers will help you find the layout that best suits your event type. When it comes to flow and crowd control, venue managers know exactly how to configure the space for optimal convenience and ease-of-access.
"The layout and floor plan will greatly affect a number of aspects of your event including the flow of traffic (high traffic areas such as registration, auditorium doors, etc.), and event activities (a stage for speakers, demo area, bar, etc.)," says Jennifer Collins, contributor at Social Tables.
4. Set Up and Tear Down
Fourth, consider set up and tear down procedures. Each corporate event venue has a specific protocol when it comes to setting up and tearing down. Ultimately, the best event venues will work with you to accommodate your unique requirements. Before committing to a corporate event venue hire and after you've narrowed in on your event type, ask the venue manager to give you a quick walkthrough of set up and tear down procedures.
How early will they let you load in? Does the venue offer any kind of support before or after the event? How easy is it to move equipment in and out? Set up and tear down is one of the most common factors event planners overlook. Take this into consideration as you select an ideal venue!
5. Payment and Cancellation Policy
Finally, consider the venue's payment and cancellation policy. Does the venue require payment up front? Are you able to cancel should unforeseen issues arise? According to research conducted by BVA BDRC, an award-winning international consumer insight consultancy, the average charge for cancellations up to 15 days in advance is 82 percent of the hire fee. Moreover, the average cost of cancellation up to 30 days is 59 percent. Always ask about the payment and cancellation policy, as these intricate details could end up saving you hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars.e
Find the Right Venue for Your Corporate Event
The most effective way to drive corporate event success is to commit to expert planning and impeccable organization. Taking the time to prepare and plan will eliminate any pre-event stress and allow you to host a value-driven event that guests will absolutely love. We recommend finding a corporate event venue that comes well-prepared to accommodate your business's unique preferences and requirements.
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