When hosting a large event with a list of above 300 or even 1000 guests, the planning process can be extremely challenging and detailed. Fortunately, the United Kingdom is host to many large event spaces and there is no shortage of expansive large event venues to deliver those extravagant exhibitions, weddings, product launches, conferences, etc…
However, the flip side to that is, with so many large event venues to choose from, where do you start and how do you know which one is right for your event? Here are our top tips to consider when selecting a large event venue in the UK to guide you through the process.
It can be extremely time-consuming when researching large event venues, contacting them, negotiating, chasing proposals, and finalising contracts. Using a venue finding agency in the UK can certainly save you time and money. They have the event and market knowledge of the UK, the dedicated time and expertise of hundreds of large event venues throughout all the regions, so they can place you with the right venue within your budget.
More importantly, they have both great buying power and good relationships with venues so they are in a better position to negotiate on your behalf. They can visit and assess venues with you or on your behalf. Most agencies in the UK turn around requests in as little as 24-48 hours and their services are free as they get their paid commission from the booked venue. In addition, some agencies can help with the management of your event at a pre-agreed fee including delegate management, registration, hospitality, catering, branding, technology requirements, etc…
Pricing is one of the biggest considerations that must be considered when sourcing large event venues in the UK due to cost, scale, complexity, and location. It’s very easy to opt for cheaper venues in the countryside with hidden costs or get tempted by more expensive venues in the city. Regardless of the location, it is important to ask the venue to keep pricing transparent as well as provide an itemised breakdown of every cost included. It’s important to note that venues in the UK will calculate costs differently, which is an important variable to consider.
Knowing this you will be able to carefully review packages and what is included, negotiate where necessary to avoid any unexpected add-ons and expenditures before signing on the dotted line. Being flexible on the location and date can make a huge difference in pricing, as certain locations, days of the week, or even the season can actually increase or cut your cost down dramatically. Choose a venue that is a good value for your budget and includes what you are looking for so that so you don’t have to spend more on add-ons.
Along with the budget, choosing a venue that can comfortably accommodate the number of anticipated guests will help you shortlist venues based on their capacity alone. Keeping a good headcount is critical not only to allow you to better budget around food, drink, attendance pricing, seating, and more, but also equally important when it comes to finding a large event venue as some will have fire and safety regulations limiting the number of people that you can have in one space.
If you’re promoting an event, you may end up with more guests than anticipated, so ensure you select a large event venue that can accommodate your maximum capacity. At the same time, make sure that you are confident of filling the room to at least 70% of its capacity, as it can be challenging to create a good atmosphere in a vast space with only a half full room.
Whilst there are certainly other factors that come into play when considering any large event venues, it is important to understand that the location in which your venue is situated is by far one of the biggest deciding factors of how many guests will attend. There are a number of important aspects to consider associated with this, which will be hugely dependent on the type of event you are hosting.
Do you need a venue that is central or on the outskirts of the cities within the UK with plenty of outside space? Do you need a large event venue in the countryside to be exclusively yours for the day? Or are you looking for a large event venue near major transportation hubs including airports, trains, tube stations or bus terminals? Do you need to be within walking distance of restaurants, cafes and shopping? Do you need ample space for parking? Ultimately, the closer your venue is to any major transportation hubs – airports, trains, tubes, buses – the better as it will make it significantly easier for guests to get there, and less transportation costs associated. A venue in the city or with direct link downtown will naturally attract higher numbers of guests to combine your event with some leisurely time.
Allseated Vision | Lowry UK
It’s likely that large event venues in the UK will provide standard facilities and services, but it is important that you are clear what you are looking for in terms of facilities and services. Be sure to check with the venue they will be able to cater to your specific needs.As part of a UK standard package, UK venues will generally offer you a main room, standard equipment, Wi-Fi, technological support, stationary, breakout rooms, refreshments, etc. It’s important to inquire about what is included in your rate and negotiate where possible. If your delegates are traveling some distance, remember that they will need accommodations so check with the venue on local area accommodations for both recommendation and possibility of a discount. Think of any extra equipment you will need including any powerful technology that will have a dramatic impact on the perceived value of your event.
Impress your guests by investing in an event space that offers the very best, cutting-edge and modern technology.
An in-house support team is a valuable asset, especially when you lack the expertise or staff to manage the event yourself. Some large event venues will provide support teams to assist with operations whilst others may not. Think about value-added extras which can be cost-saving and match your business’s appeal. In addition, some large event venues will provide in-house catering options or a list of approved vendors whilst others may not and you’ll have to take charge of catering yourself. If you need any licensing, some applications can take up to three months if needed and you may also need to publicise the event well ahead for it to be a success! The best event venues are built-to-suit; specially configured to meet your business’s unique demands.
The event venue you choose should be able to offer the appropriate layout on the kind of interactions you want your guests to have. Do you need an exhibition space, a lecture space, a dining layout or a cabaret style? Typically, large event venues in the UK should be able to offer ample space for either the main event, catering, accommodation, outside space, etc.
More than often, large event venues can provide a unique blank canvas event space for any creative celebration or adapt their rooms to various layouts so make sure the venue you choose has the flexibility and space to accommodate all your preferences for all aspects of your event. An ideal venue would have held similar events previously and will understand the technicalities and expertise needed to make your event successful. If you understand your event and relay that information to the venue from the word go, you’ll be on the right track.
While in-person site visits are terrific for seeing a venue first hand, they are not always possible. Thanks to technology, it is now possible to virtually tour a venue from anywhere in the world, at any time.
For example, The Lowry utilizes Allseated Vision, which has transformed the way they do business as they are able to showcase their venue virtually. This allows prospective clients to tour the event space from wherever they are and easily visualise their event before it even happens.
“Being the first venue and the only hotel in the UK to use Allseated’s digital platform has been a fantastic selling point and additional bonus for us to virtually showcase our Event Spaces at Tradeshows, Client Meetings and off-site opportunities, and as a result have significantly aided our enquiry levels and conversion rates.”
– Scott Brown, Director of Sales – The Lowry
Showcase your venue in Allseated's life-like, immersive, virtual reality technology which truly brings your property to life. Our VR uses 360 diagramming and is a genuine virtual reality tool that is able to bring venues the biggest ROI in the history of event technology!
The first to be seen in our industry for professionals.
Give your clients a gift they will never forget! Allseated now offers the experience of creating a Virtual Reality (VR) “look around” of a 3D designed floorplan. The VR offer will include a pair of goggles that hold a mobile phone so that you can view your floorplans anywhere and anytime. Download the Allseated mobile app now: iOS or Android.
Allseated's 3D Designer Tool is a Scaled Table & Buffet Builder. It shows you exactly what can fit on a tabletop, so there is no more guesswork around how the tabletop layout will look on the day of your event. Choose from a library of items including tableware, silverware, glassware, buffet pieces, center pieces, and linens.
Build your floorplans in minutes using a few simple tools. Join tables, knock off chairs and save templates for future events. Get access to thousands of scaled floorplans already in our library and watch our 3D viewing bring it all to life - it's spectacular!
How amazing to share the details of your event with your entire team! No more PDF’s means no more mixing up versions. For the first time, you can have everything available in one place, all updated in real-time.