Do you end up using the same boring hotel meeting rooms every time you book a conference or a company celebration? Are you too swamped to find somewhere new? Let us do the leg work and find you the perfect venue. Plus, our venue finding service is free!
We spoke to our Venue Finding team, fondly known as Team VF, and asked them the questions we all want to know about what they do and why our clients love this service.
Tell us more about yourselves…
Laura Jacobs: I’m Make Events’ Venue Finder and before here I worked at a global venue finding agency in London for 4 years where I worked my way up and worked on their venue finding accounts. When I looked at moving back to Manchester, I wanted to use these skills and that is how I came to work at Make Events.
Charlotte Russell: I am Make Events’ Venue Finding Assistant and this is my first role in the events industry. I used to be a professional dancer on a cruise and when I was on there, me and my friends would put on seasonal events for the 1,500 crew members. I came to Make Events through a period of work experience and loved it.
How does the Venue Finding service work?
LJ: The venue finding service is completely free. We’ll always arrange a call with the client to take down the brief and from there we’ll use our database of over 1,500 venues and our knowledge of best venues to identify spaces we know fit what they want. The turnaround time for a venue find is usually 48 hours.
Some clients require it a little quicker and we can do that, we just always ask for their deadline and how they want the recommendations presented. We are always transparent with our clients and keep in touch all along the way. If it is going to take a little longer because a venue is hard to get in touch with, we always let them know.
CR: We will put a proposal together with around 4-6 venue suggestions with an overview, room specifications, photos and a price comparison. The proposal then gets sent to the client for feedback. Once the leading options have been shortlisted we negotiate on their behalf to get the best possible deal. We can then either introduce them to the venue to contract or contract on their behalf sign their contracts, which we charge a 10% fee for.
Why should people use Make Events’ Venue Finding service rather than just doing it themselves?
LJ: We have expert knowledge of venues, not just in Manchester but around the UK and overseas too. As a company specialising in event management, we make sure that everything is considered (including hospitality, food and drink and technology requirements) and that there are no hidden costs to surprise you after it has taken place. As a team, we are constantly researching and experiencing venues and meeting with their representatives’ space so we always know about up and coming spots.
CR: It saves people a lot of time and stress too, and if you’re unsure about a space we can organise site visits pre-event to make sure you feel comfortable with your choice. Even if you have a very short lead time for your meeting or event, we are very well equipped to help find you somewhere suitable at short notice.
As part of a full-service agency, there’s also the option of using our managed services which include graphic design, delegate registration systems, delegate management, AV production, event design, speakers, entertainment and event management.
How do you pick the perfect venue?
LJ: We always ask the client what they are trying to achieve with the event, who is the audience and learn more about their organisation, so we can recommend a solution that best reflects their brand and message.
CR: We also think carefully about the logistics and the guest experience. It depends on budget, location, is it close to transport links? how many people is it for? We will always pick up the phone and talk through it with the client to know what sort of venue they’re looking for and suggest a few wildcards.
What are your favourite unique venues in the UK?
LJ: The St Pancras Hotel in London is by far my favourite hotel. The Spice Girls filmed their video there, I love the restaurant and I just find it fascinating how its connected to the train station. The booking office, the bar in the hotel, has a really cool vibe. It feels very London.
CR: The Principal in Manchester is my favourite. The refuge is amazing, it’s so different and the entire building has so much character, which is so different to any other hotel in the area. The bedrooms are beautiful.
What about more unique spaces?
LJ: We recently found a really cool warehouse venue called Fairfield Social Club for a sporting brand we work with. The space was perfect for what the client wanted to achieve and the blank canvas style allowed it to be fully branded.
CR: Another quirkier property we have booked recently is the Fish Hotel in the Cotswolds. The Fish is a country hotel with a twist and it has really cool spaces such as tree houses and huts.