FREE Venue Finding - Myth or Legend ??

What exactly is ‘venue finding’ and why is it always advertised as a “free” service?

If you have been doing your research, you will have noticed that there are a lot of companies out there in the big wide world of meetings, conferences and events, offering a free venue finding service. But how do these agencies make any money and stay in business? And surely if something is free, then there is no guarantee of a good service!

Not necessarily. Venue finders work on a commission basis, received directly from hotels, conference centres and other purposely designed buildings. They do all the leg work to find that one venue perfectly fitting your brief, and, once you book with the venue directly, using the package price the agency negotiated on your behalf, the venue will pay a finder’s commission to the venue finding agency.

So, you may ask, why use a venue finder when you have access to the wonders of the Internet and know exactly what you need? Well, time is a very precious commodity in today’s busy world, so outsourcing this process to someone with all the right contacts in the industry is the smart move. Plus, it may be that they are aware of, and have an established relationship with, that ideal venue which you would not have found or considered on your own.

What is the process?

Before contacting us as your preferred venue finding agency, we recommend you prepare a brief; this is nothing more than a list of the key requirements the venue must meet to be suitable for your event. It will specify the date and timings (very important(, the number of people expected, the format of the event (residential conference with gala dinner, awards ceremony, training with 10 breakout spaces, helicopter landing, fire breathing demonstrations etc.), any assisted access requirements , preferred location, and the list might go on – don’t hold anything back.

Now it’s time to contact us:

Email the brief over and we will respond with a call to talk through your requirements and clarify details so we are confident right from the start so that we fully understand your needs and expectations. This is really important to ensure we find the perfect home for your event.

Now the fun starts:

Using our vast experience and contacts, we will compile a list of suitable spaces, check availability, usability, ‘friendability’ and locality, and when satisfied with the findings, pass this on to you with detailed notes to assist your internal decision making.  We handle any further questions arising and when you have a shortlist, negotiate on your behalf, and if necessary, make arrangements for show-rounds to assist with final decision making. Once agreed, we will check the formal written contract on your behalf requesting any necessary adjustments until it fits with your requirements and budgetary expectations, prior to your approval and signing.

As mentioned before, if and when you select your preferred venue and confirm your booking, then, and only then, will a commission payment be passed onto us.

At Opening Doors & Venues, not only do we offer a full free venue finding service, but as a Professional Conference Organiser, we can also assist you with destination management services such as group hotel bookings, group travel and transfer arrangements and information on local organisations who could support with catering, entertainment, speakers and hosts for your event.

During a recent visit to a destination city for a client’s project, our Project Manager spent the day doing “destination research”, experiencing the city as one of the delegates would: travelling by train and local transport from our offices to the city, visiting the various potential venues for the day conference and evening event, sampling menus by local caterers, travelling by bus between venues, and negotiating the very best pricing for our client.


What do you have to lose? Call us now and see how Opening Doors & Venues can find your perfect venue and destination for your next event.

Get in touch

5 Camel Cottages
Holy Cross Green
Clent, Nr Stourbridge
Tel: +44 (0)1562 731 788
Proud members of ABPCO and winner of the 2015 ABPCO Excellence Awards for Best Agency Conference Organiser
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