Finding the ideal event venue is one of the most critical decisions you need to make as an event organiser. A gorgeous venue at a great location that’s easily accessible can be the biggest draw for your event. While current challenges and changing circumstances may deter people from meeting up physically, live events will continue to be a significant part of the overall marketing mix in the long term. So, if you have a dedicated events programme as part of your overall marketing strategy, it makes sense to lock down your preferred venue well in advance.
The struggles of online search
So how do you usually find an event venue? If you use a search engine, you will find yourself spending a long time browsing hotels, conference centres and convention halls. You then put them in a spreadsheet and send out emails and make phone calls to enquire further. After a great deal of labour, you shortlist a few locations, only to find they don’t have the technical know-how to support your event (where are the giant projectors?!) or are just way out of your price range. And there’s still the headache of creating and sending out a request for proposal (RFPs) and working out complex negotiations.
Clearly, there must be a better way of searching for your venue without facing such hassles and expending lots of energy. Whether you are hosting your first event or your 100th, what you need is a smooth and efficient process that allows you to compare venues, set desired filters, send RFPs, review bids simultaneously, and do a lot more. So, what’s the solution?
The answer lies in event technology, such as the Cvent Supplier Network.
A specialised search engine for finding venues?
When you are looking for a venue, you want the ideal location with the right features, while making sure you stay within budget. Venue sourcing tools like the Cvent Supplier Network have innovative search capabilities that allow you to filter your venue by location, size, capacity, features, number of guest rooms etc. This provides you with complete information about a venue before you send RFPs and receive proposals.
For example, here is how the Cvent Supplier Network’s venue sourcing process works:
Features of venue sourcing tools that make finding great venues a breeze
According to a survey by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation, event organisers found the following features to be the most useful when using a venue sourcing tool to find venues, track their spend and meet their event objectives:
Sending a single RFP to receive multiple proposals
The old way: Spending a lot of time and energy filling out multiple RFPs, each having a unique format and specifications.
Using a venue sourcing tool: Save time by filling out a single, uniform RFP to multiple venues and properties. Get responses from hotels and venues in a consistent format, which allows you to easily compare different properties.
Side-by-side comparison of multiple venues
The old way: Using a spreadsheet to collate data about different hotels and venues for your event. Compare them based on various criteria (size, features, guest rooms etc) and cross-check all information through emails and phone calls.
Using a venue sourcing tool: Compare multiple venues side-by-side and use filters to narrow down your preferences. This will help you approach the properties that meet your venue criteria and eliminate unnecessary back and forth with unqualified ones.
Automating the tracking of meeting spend
The old way: Analysing spreadsheets and dealing with endless negotiations to secure the best value for your venue so that you remain within budget and fulfil your event goals.
Using a venue sourcing tool: Automate your tracking spend right from initial bid to final negotiated price, thus saving money for your organisation, improving efficiency and reducing the risk of reporting errors. Since you have a single place to track your budget information, this allows you more negotiating power to get the most competitive rates.
A central location to take notes, uploads photos
The old way: Storing all your information and onsite pictures on your laptop/mobile, then sorting them out to compare notes.
Using a venue sourcing tool: You can take notes, upload and store property details, takes photos and access them all at one central location. This streamlines communication if an entire team plans a site visit.
Reducing negotiation time by having a standard set of terms and conditions
The old way: Getting embroiled in emails and phone calls with different venues while trying to figure out the terms and conditions.
Using a venue sourcing tool: Set a master service agreement – a standard set of terms of conditions that can be shared with the property. This will help you easily align with the venue during negotiations and eliminate the annoying back-and-forth over phone calls and emails.
Smooth communication with vendors
The old way: Your inbox gets inundated with a million emails with views and inputs from all parties involved in the event. You try to reach hotel managers through phone unsuccessfully.
Using a venue sourcing tool: Easy two-way communication that allows you to send prompt messages and alerts to vendors and properties. A huge time-saver!
If you’re still using Google and spreadsheets and scribbling hasty notes to find the perfect venue, it’s time to explore the wondrous world of venue sourcing!
Find amazing venues at the most competitive rates with the Cvent Supplier Network.
The Cvent Supplier Network connects meeting and event planners to over 260,000+ venues worldwide and allows them to send one eRFP to multiple properties at once. This simplifies the process and helps them gain visibility into their meeting and event spend in order to negotiate the most competitive rates.
You’ll manage bids, determine availability, quickly build eRFPs, track meeting spend, and seamlessly integrate your venue sourcing into your organisation’s meeting and event management process.