- Mary Windham
6 Steps to the Perfect Venue
From the Desk of Mary
Event Manager - Entrepreneur - Adventurer
We all know a venue can make or break an event. It’s an important piece of the puzzle, and Occasions, Inc. has a 14-year track record of identifying perfect locations and negotiating the best rates. Even though OI makes it look easy, behind the scenes this is a rigorous process demanding experience and a high level of involvement.
Step 1: Establish Relationships
A seasoned venue negotiator with hospitality relationships is key, as it will help you get the best rates and know where to look. Look for partnerships with event coordinators (like OI!) that have an established industry network.
Step 2: Gather Details
OI gathers all criteria and requirements to make sure no detail is overlooked and the final venue selection is perfect. Sometimes, a client may already have a venue in mind, but if not, we get to work!
Step 3: Research and RFPs
The OI team uses a sourcing tool with an extensive network of over 200,000 international hotels, conference centers, and unique spaces. In addition, OI integrates its own contacts, including hotel representatives, into this system. The sourcing tool views specifications and sends RFPs to all venues that meet the criteria. Venues then respond with their detailed quotes for the OI team to review.
For government meeting spaces, OI uses GSA.gov. Once the ideal venue is identified, OI coordinates with the client, who then makes the final venue decision and reserves the space.
Step 4: Analysis and Negotiation
A Venue Bid Comparison Chart, which compares all quotes received, is compiled and analyzed. As the preferred venues are identified, OI then begins the negotiation process in order to acquire more amenities and reduce the overall cost. If lodging is required, OI negotiates room discounts for blocks of attendees. Upon completion of the final written report, the most promising venue is identified and OI returns to that location to negotiate a final contract based on meeting requirements.
Step 5: Client Approval
Once created, the contract is run by the client for final approval. Should the client have doubts, OI may revisit its analysis and offer alternative options. Once the final contract is approved, OI begins event coordination with the venue.
Step 6: Coordination and On-Site Walkthrough
OI takes care to coordinate every aspect of the amenities and event requirements with the venue, including audiovisual equipment, tables, chairs, staging, podium, catering, and more. Finally, as the event gets closer, OI will complete an on-site walk-through of the event space and setup in order to review the schedule and address any last-minute changes. Throughout this process, OI uses its industry expertise to anticipate any challenges and create backup plans, ensuring the meeting or event runs smoothly.
Last, but far from the least, the day of the event arrives, and thanks to OI’s assistance, the client is able to pull off a fabulous, cost-effective event! With events as our passion, OI always steps up to the occasion. Follow Occasions, Inc. on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for more tips, industry updates, and more great information.