How to negotiate terms with the venue?
Getting a sense of venue hire pricing before enquiring was almost impossible in the days before VenueScanner.
In order to solve this issue, we offer Venue Hosts four different pricing options for displaying their prices to you. For more info on that, check out this article.
When it comes to negotiating with a venue, let's start with an essential 1, 2, 3:
Know your budget, it helps immeasurably to have a budget in mind, whether it's per guest, per hour, for the event in total.
The key to negotiation is asking. Always ask! If you never ask you never get.
Get face to face. If you're not getting what you really need out of the negotiation, it can really help to go visit the venue and meet with the most senior person possible to continue your discussions.
Here's a few tips on negotiating your way through different scenarios:
You can't afford the price quoted. Try this: I've got a set budget of X, which my Director has insisted we can't go over. Is there anything you can do with the price on your side? It may also be worth checking if there's any part of your standard service we don't need. For example, we won't be needing the unlimited tea & coffee, one helping is fine. For example, we won't be needing the string quartet on arrival. For example, can we reduce down from a 3 course lunch to a simple sandwich / finger buffet.
The price quoted by the venue is significantly higher than on the VenueScanner website. Try this: I heard from the VenueScanner team that the advertised price should be achievable on at least 45% of days in the year. I'm not sure what it is about my proposed date that means this isn't doable. Could you suggest another date where I can achieve the advertised price of £XXXX?
The venue is charging you for extras you're not sure you need. Try this: I'm not sure why I'm being charged for extra security or flipcharts. I see it as a basic requirement for an event of this kind. Could we meet to discuss further? I really like your venue, but fear that there are going to be other unknown hidden costs I don't know about.
The venue host is stating that you're on second option, making it impossible for you to confirm your event. Try this: Can you clarify exactly how second option works at your venue? Are you able to offer the current first option client a deadline of tomorrow in order to confirm if we can go ahead with this? I obviously don't have details of your existing client's event, but we do love the look of your venue and I'd expect to be able to make a number of bookings with you throughout the year.
You want dry hire but the venue insists on you having to order food, even though you don't require catering for the event. Try this: I've enquired with a number of venues and you're the only one insisting on this. Do you realise that this could be costing you great business from a repeat corporate booker like me? Can you please double check with your manager that there's no flexibility here?