How to negotiate with an event venue
Event venue pricing can at times be incredibly confusing. From hidden costs, over night room hire charges, additional fees for service, minimum spends, additional service charges being added. You need to have your wits about you and be clear with what you’re after. Below we look at the best ways to negotiate in brief
- What’s your overall budget? Plan it fully, what do you think it should cost? Don’t tell the venue this ever as this can affect prices you are shown.
- Hunt around. Don’t get hung up on one specific must have venue. Make things easier on yourself and find at least 3 venues if possible in a similar range that you would be happy with
- Request prices from different avenues. Try and get quotes for the same venue from booking websites, calling up and placing yourself and potentially asking friends or colleagues to as well. See what they offer in each case.
- Play off all the venues against each other, compare terms, compare costs and pick the best options from each. Use this to then go back to your preferred option.
- Contracts can be rewritten and policies can be changed. Often venues will say they have a minimum charge, a minimum spend, a specific onerous policy. Don’t buy it, challenge them, ask for them to be removed if you think it’s too much.
- Watch out for contract changes. It’s been known that in the past some venues (who shall remain nameless) have tried to change previously agreed terms in contacts, watch out for this – its underhand and technically illegal. Reread the final contract and ensure you’re fully happy. If you are unsure of any terms check it full
- Always be prepared to walk away, if the contract is too complicated, fees too high or minimum spend too much of a risk. Then you must walk away and find a new place.
- Check the final bill you are given. Ensure that what you are being charged is what you actually received. If you are unhappy with the service then now is the time to raise the issue.
- Stick with the venues you like. If you are treated well on the day of the show, if the site inspection, contract negotiation and final price were to your satisfaction then show some loyalty and also save yourself future issues and use them again!
Hope this all helps when it comes to the sometimes exhausting task of finding an event venue.