Finding the perfect venue is critical, but it can be a challenge — and a major expense. It’s important to approach venues with the mindset that everything is negotiable as long as you know what you’re doing; after all, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?
Don’t Share Your Budget Right Away
Rather than divulging your budget, say, “We’re still working on our budget, so just give me your standard rates for now.” The venue will likely share their top pricing, and you can negotiate from there. (This changes if you’ve used the venue before; if you have a good relationship, sharing your budget at the beginning could help you get more for your money.)
A venue’s goal is to be booked all the time. If you have a few dates you’re willing to consider, you may get discounted pricing for a day they’re having difficulty filling. However, if all of your dates are around the same time and the venue is fairly full, there’s a chance they won’t be as flexible with pricing! Do some research and find out when the “off season” is to save money.
Don’t Overestimate Attendees
If you’re working with a hotel and you give them your dream attendance number — rather than a more practical one — you’re locking yourself into a higher minimum pay for food, beverage, and reserved rooms, meaning there’s a chance you’ll have to pay a penalty if you don’t meet those minimums.
Prove Your Value
If you’ve held similar events in the past, it can be helpful to show the venue that you’re known for meeting your food, beverage, and guest minimums. They need to see that you’re a reliable source of revenue. If so, they’re more likely to negotiate with you.
Maximize Your Comped Ratio
Many hotels offer a standard deal where they comp one room’s fee for every 50 booked. Depending on the overall spend of your event, you can try and negotiate this for an even better deal.
Don’t Be Fooled
“We have another interested party for this same day and time, so I’d act fast if I were you.” “This pricing is only available for the next 24 hours!” These statements may or may not be true, but you have no way of knowing for sure, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to make a hasty decision based on a predictable sales tactic. At the end of the day, if a venue wants your business, they’ll work with you — and if they don’t, that’s one less candidate for you to worry about.
Free Meeting Spaces
If you’re meeting your minimum spend, the venue is likely willing to work with you! Ask if they can provide a complimentary meeting space or hospitality room.
If your venue refuses to let you use an outside vendor, get quotes from outside vendors to negotiate with the venue on the prices of their approved vendors. A venue would rather work with their vendor to lower the price than lose your business!
For tips on tricks on negotiations, publicizing your event, writing a winning proposal, and more, check out our blog! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Orlando event planning experts at Fun Planners at 407-955-4949.