The following post by Liz King from the Meet Well blog outlines planners' wishes concerning meeting and event venues. Read on for the true planner perspective.
Event planners and venues. Venues and event planners. The two go hand-in-hand. Venues are one of the first things that event planners look to secure when hosting an event. And, in doing lots of the new research over the years, there are a few things I think venues could do to provide a better experience for the planners looking to book them. You may recognize a few of these observations yourself. (Feel free to pass this on to your friends on the supplier side—especially those who’d like to win more business.)
From my experience, a lot of the websites were created with the venue in mind, not the planners who will be booking them. When doing online research, it’s often hard to find information about various rooms available, capacities, and good shots of the rooms so I can see how they would be used for an event. It’s also very difficult to get a sense of pricing, and while I understand that pricing can change based on the day and time of the event, having no pricing on your website leads to a lot of excess work. Not only are venues filling RFPs that will not go anywhere, but planners are having to reach out to way more venues that they would typically have to, just to get a sense of budget range. I recommend listing some pricing information on venue websites, even if it’s a price on a menu or a range on a room rental. Give planners something to work with.
Because venues are getting so many RFPs, the delay in response time is simply too long. Often, we are working for clients who are looking to make a decision quickly, and the faster a venue gets back to us, the more likely it is to be included in our options for clients.
Have you ever asked for a quote from the venue only to be told that it really depends on a thousand different factors? I know that by the time I understand from the venue what factors are needed, it’s too late. If a venue’s booking process is really complicated, it would be helpful if they’d make it as simple for the planner to understand as possible. Perhaps they could have a document that outlines all the different factors and allows a planner to see what is included and what is not included. If your venue rental is for the space and a hundred chairs and two tables, they should make that very clear from the beginning so we know what other vendors we will need to bring in to make it work.
In short, event planners reach out to venues because they want to do business. The easier suppliers can make it for them, the more likely they are to win the business. By updating websites and creating comprehensive, all-in-one quotes, they’ll be able to paint a very clear picture of how an event can work at their space. If an event planner has to do 10 times more work for one venue over another, guess who’ll win the business? Venues that improve their pipeline and demonstrate personalized service will undoubtedly see better results.
Written by Liz King