One of the most popular things we get asked for at the start of a venue search for our clients is; can you find us a venue that isn’t another ‘beige hotel’ somewhere that is ‘unique’ has ‘character’ that really elevates the nature of the event they are looking to hold.
Don’t get us wrong for certain events and meetings, standard meeting rooms are ideal especially for those tighter budgets or more intimate requirements that do not require a grand, unique venue to host your event at.
However, as the ‘unique’ venue is so often requested we wanted to dedicate this issue with some pointers when searching for your next unique venue and where to find them?
As you probably already know by now, Sheer Edge we are self-confessed venue geeks and very proud of it. We make it our business to keep our finger on the pulse of what all types of venues have to offer, who’s had refurbs, which new venues are opening, what locations, you name it, we make sure we are at the forefront of any new and existing venue developments.
We are super proud to work with some absolutely amazing, stunning and unique venues throughout the UK and beyond!
We would be here all day to list and show visuals of all of them but we are extremely proud to support and represent them when speaking with our clients.
So, back to what you’re here for. Unique venues and where to find them for your events.
From our perspective, there is a set criteria for ensuring we find the perfect venue for our clients events. So, here’s our overview;
- Style/Theme of your event – you need to make sure the venue style fits with the style of your event/what you want your attendees to feel when they walk through the door will be heavily influenced by the venue and how they support you to deliver the event. You may want a unique venue but if it doesn’t sit with the theme of your event, it could have the adverse effect.
- Venue availability – Unique venues are amazing for making a statement and surprising your attendees but can sometimes be tricky to secure, we would suggest when seeking them out, have 2-3 dates to try and make sure you give yourself 6-12 months planning in advance.
- Size of venue – Many unique venues can have capacity limits; they may also have a set list of catering/AV/Production suppliers who you must work with in order to fulfil your event requirements. It’s important to factor this into not only your budgeting but also make sure you factor this into your planning when you consider the size of the venue you need, many fall short in this consideration and the venue ends up not being big enough if you require a full stage set besides the space allocated for the event attendees.
- Budget – Again as much as it pains us to state this, you need to be clear about what budget you have for your event, not just the venue but the catering, room hire, entertainment, AV/production. Depending on the size of your event and what you want to achieve will have a factor in the budget.
- Location – Do you need your event to be off the beaten track (this works well for retreats and experiences that require focus on the event in hand such as leadership conferences). However, you may require your event to be within a city and close to all road/rail/airlinks.
- Catering – Again some unique venues can provide this in-house some outsource it, so have a contingency when you are looking for a unique venue. The other factor, that is ever more popular, what are the dietary and vegan options are available.
- Sustainability – Whist many venues are now well versed in operating sustainably and many independent and unique venues are leading from the front here, its best not to assume, if this is something that is of high importance to you and your organisation (as it is for most), don’t be afraid about asking what their sustainability credentials are.
- The venue itself – Think about the flow of your event, how many rooms will you need? For instance, you may have a main conference area and then require a room close to this for catering and possibly exhibition, what about break out sessions or activities? All of these can be available, however, depending on what you require and the flow of your event, some unique venues may not be able to accommodate. This is where we suggest giving a full brief from the start to avoid any issues further down the road and you discover the venue cannot hold the event as you thought it could.
- Timings of event – Depending on when you expect to set up and break down your event, it is important to ensure that no assumptions are made about how late your event can go on for, indeed the set up requirements and the additional costs for this. This is especially important if you are looking at holding an awards ceremony, dinner and entertainment which are usually likely to go on until midnight or over. In addition, there maybe additional set up or de-rig charges its always best to check – in addition, depending on where your venue is located will determine how long your event can go on for as there may well be curfews in place.
- Venue support team – its important to make sure that you have a support team to help you deliver the event usually a venue will allocate an event manager or food and beverage manager, its important you meet/chat with them prior to the event to make sure they are aware of how you want the event to be delivered and the running order.
Finding the right unique venue can be tricky, it can take a lot of time to source the right options and know every single detail especially if you are not familiar with how the venue operates and the best way it can work for your event.
If you would like an extra pair of hands, we have over two decades of experience in the events industry both venue side and as a multi service hospitality and events agency. We know what it takes to run exceptional events and work with you to ensure you secure the perfect venue and a fantastic event experience that your attendees will talk about for years to come!
For more information about our venue finding and event support service.
Get in touch today: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on: 0330 223 3176