Working with big venues: A how to guide.

Though the idea can be daunting, working with a big venue can work amazingly well; as it’s easier than you think to make a huge space into an intimate and personal experience that wows delegates.  

Here’s our how to guide on taking a big venue from daunting to exciting, as told by our Venues Sourcing Operations Manager , Helen Davis.

Making the space work for you

Big venues equal more opportunity for delegates to wonder off. So, a key consideration should be your people flow – ensure that rooms are close together and there’s a clear movement path, so you don’t waste time and loose delegates! Large venues are often sold as a ‘blank canvas’. That means you may need to spend a fair bit of the budget creating an atmosphere for your event and might even need to segment space off yourself to create different break out areas. Just focus on the delegate experience and turn that empty shell into something immersive that wows your guests!  

Logistical Considerations

Transport

Does the venue offer any transfer services? If you’re quite a distance from public transport, or in the middle of a city with no car park – you need to work out how you’re getting delegates there in the quickest and most efficient way. And if there is a car park that you’re planning to use – consider having a marshal organize the flow of people. 200 delegates turning up to one event at the same time can get super messy if they’re left to their own devices…

Plus, you should always ask what other events the venue have confirmed for the dates you require. This is crucial when you start to think about car parking availability and people flow.

Communication

Working with large venues means working with a lot of different departments, so it always worth getting all contact details at the start of the enquiry so you can make sure you ask the right people the questions from the offset. Plus, when you’re on site, you’ll know exactly who to direct your queries at which will save you precious time!

ICC Wales
Health and Safety

Big spaces mean twice the amount of health and safety risks. It’s vital that you have a medic on site for live event day, plus an allocated Health and Safety specialist who works the entire job.

Be savvy with your finances

Costs for big venues can look expensive at first, but don’t forget the number of delegates you have attending. You need to consider all the extra costs looped into venues, such as water, waste, security and cleaning; and if you don’t consider these you may find yourself with a big, unexpected bill at the end of your event. These aren’t the only considerations, however. Here are some more areas you should keep an eye on…

Catering

Always ask if it’s external or internal caterers and always get a meeting to discuss before getting a quote to make sure they understand your exact requirements and you theirs. You may need to consider additional space that would be required for service kitchens etc. and you may be charged more for the extra power and man force that would be used.

Furniture

Always check if furniture is included, this can save costs and they may have more than you think that you can utilize. Just make sure you ask and don’t assume that because they haven’t mentioned any – they don’t have any!


Ensure that you keep theses points on your tick list and negotiate terms with your venue to ensure the space works for you – and you’ll love the experience that you have with big venues! 
Get in touch if you need any help sourcing your next big venue and let us show you some of our favorite spaces both in the UK and internationally! 

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