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How your venue choice could save you money when planning an event

Posted on 21 April, 2021

Conference room at London events venue Congress Centre

It’s no secret the last year has been tough on us all. The events, leisure and hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit and whilst we know the industry is raring to get going again, there’s a risk that smaller budgets might become a buzzkill for many in the coming months.

That means if there’s one thing event planners should expect in 2021, its clients looking to cut costs in as many places as possible. But since the biggest savings are often made on the most expensive elements, we expect affordable venues to quickly come to the forefront this year. 

Your choice of venue could save you some serious cash, and the best event planners will know it doesn’t need to be at the expense of the delegate experience either. Through a combination of thorough research and clever use of different event elements, you can create a wow-factor event on a less-than-wow-factor budget.

Branding

C&IT Summit 2019

Looking for a venue with digital capabilities is a great way to give your event the appearance of having a higher production value than it really does. Built-in screens provide a far more engaging brand experience as well as being more practical due to already being supplied. Whilst there is nothing wrong with a traditional pull-up banner and print outs, they don’t scream luxury the same way a 100” plus plasma screen does.

If you let your venue know you’re on a budget, they may be willing to let you utilise them for a discounted price, or even for free. At Congress Centre, you’ll find screens available for branding throughout the venue including 103” plasma screens in the dedicated Foyer area, which delegates will see on entry to your event. So, not only will your brand be front and centre, but also at minimal cost – win-win!

Packages

There can be multiple cost-saving benefits if you opt for a venue that offers standard event packages. The main purpose of packages (like DDRs) is to bundle up the core elements of what an event is likely to require. Exactly what packages include will vary from venue to venue, but as standard you can expect things like room hire, catering and AV equipment to be part of the deal.

For a conference, it’s likely you’ll also have things like stationery and refreshments included. Or for a drinks reception, you might find entertainment and décor are offered as part of one. But no matter what you’re planning, a package should always be the most affordable way to book your event.

Pre-costing everything like this means the venue has already worked out the very best price they can offer for everything included, so trying to book them yourself separately will cost more – even when it’s for the exact same things! Plus, if you’re looking for a couple of extras beyond what the package you’re looking at offers, venues will always try to be flexible and work out a more bespoke package that better fits your brief.

The other big benefit to choosing a package is that it’s a huge time saver; and saving time means saving money! So not only do you get direct cost savings from event package prices, but you get a lot of time back to use on other projects too. It’s a no-brainer if you ask us.

Space

Be mindful about how much space you really need for your event. We recognise this is probably not an area to make major savings in during covid times, but it is definitely something that can be taken into account once events can return to normal.

Often, for events like conferences it’s standard to hire out a larger space for the main event content as well as smaller spaces for breaks, catering or breakout sessions. But if you’re serious about keeping a tight budget and willing to get creative, you should be able to avoid hiring out two full sized rooms in favour of just one.

For example, you can schedule your programme of content with designated refreshment and catering breaks. That way you don’t have to worry about a few delegates disturbing those watching what’s on stage, and everyone gets a chance to have a break between content without the need for a separate room.

Our Congress Hall is the largest space at our London conference venue and it’s versatile, blank canvas nature makes it ideal for accommodating small to medium conferences all in one room. Plus, our in-house events team are always more than happy to make suggestions and help with arrangements to fit your unique brief.

Epic Thinking Conference 2019

AV Facilities

AV is a given part of almost every event. From meetings to award ceremonies, fashion shows to exhibitions you’ll find technology present in some shape or form at them.

But because of its necessity, it can be easy to overlook as something to save money on. It’s a non-negotiable, you just have to have it… right?

Right – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity to cut down on costs!

Hiring external AV can be expensive, especially as this usually comes with the need for qualified technicians to set it up and potentially manage it for the day. Picking a venue with state-of the-art AV and tech facilities included in the room hire can be a powerful way to save some budget – better yet if the venue has their own in-house technicians too!

Having quality equipment already integrated at your venue is not only more convenient, but more affordable too since there’s no need to set it up. We pride ourselves on the level of AV facilities we offer as standard in each of the spaces at our London events venue – including more than £250,000 worth of equipment in the Congress Hall alone. You can find the full and impressive tech specs of each of our spaces here.

Affordable venue hire London

Congress Centre is one of the most affordable conference venues in central London. Offering great value to both small and large events, the venue has a normal capacity of up to 500 in theatre style, great transport links, an incredible AV spec and a team with more than 150 years of combined experience at the venue.

If you’re looking for an affordable London venue for your next event, we’d love to hear from you and arrange a site visit. You can get in touch with a member of the team on 020 7467 1318 or at congress.centre@tuc.co.uk.