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Choosing The Correct Venue Finding Agency

Aug 17, 2007
There are certain criteria that you should take into account when sourcing a venue finder. The following paragraphs will detail the key factors you should analyse when looking at an agency for the first time and identify some of the strengths of a good venue finder.

The most important factor when looking for a venue finding agency is the quality of their employees. You need to identify quickly whether the venue finding agency is a system based, impersonal call centre employing dozens of staff who have never been to any of the venues they are so heartily recommending, or is it a team of experienced, passionate industry professionals with experience of finding venues for a range of events? If the answer is the former, then keep looking.

Smaller, more personal, agencies often take the time to send their employees out on what the industry calls familiarisation trips or fam-trips for short. This ensures that the employees of the venue finding agency have been to a wide range of venues and been shown around, much like you will be when you shortlist your venues. This also ensures that the staff from a venue finding agency have personal contacts at a variety of venues, ensuring immediate, accurate information and often better financial or availability deals.

Clearly it is not always possible to have seen a venue before short-listing it for a client, however by gaining experience seeing a number of different venues the employees of a good venue finding agency can sift through the endless venue choices and make an informed decision when putting together a shortlist. The final venue choice is rarely the venue finding agency employees responsibility - its yours, and the quality of the shortlist is vital in the success of your event.

Apart from assessing the level of employee knowledge at a venue finding agency, another key factor to assess is the efficiency of their service. A good venue finding agency should provide you with a number of references so you can speak to other customers about their experience. They should be able to get back to your within an hour or two with an appropriate shortlist of venues.

They should also be willing to search again and again to find you the right venue. The difficulty is rarely finding a suitable venue, broadly speaking, the key to an effective venue finding agency is to find the venue that is perfect for your event. A good agency will be happy to review your needs after and unsuccessful search and discuss the brief in more detail before searching again.

Another key factor to try to investigate when sourcing a venue finding agency is the quality of their geographic knowledge. A good agency should be made up of a well travelled team. There shouldn't be any area of the UK that at least one member of the team is familiar with.

This ensures that the more important geographic decisions regarding the venue, i.e. can your delegates drive there in rush-hour, what is parking like etc etc, can be made without reference to the venues themselves - invariably the venue will tell you that access is easy and there are no problems at all at rush-hour. Some local knowledge can paint a very different picture.

If you source a venue finding agency that can satisfy on all of the above points, then your venue finding will be a pleasurable experience. There are many, many companies that pride themselves on this level of service and passion for finding the right venue.

While the larger agencies can find the same information on their systems, they are simply reading from the venue websites - something you could do yourself. You are using a professional company to make your life easier and also to take advantage of their expertise. Just make sure that their expertise is from their experience and not on the screen in front of them.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been at the cutting edge of venue finder technology for the last five years. For more information visit http://www.venueteam.co.uk
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