Hotels for corporate events

There are so many hotels these days that are geared up to offer an excellent corporate events service. Most will have a suite of rooms that are available for hire and these will range in size from seating around 30 people to a few hundred, so no matter what type of corporate event you want to host you will be able to find a hotel that can accommodate you.

Business centers

Most hotels will also offer a business center, where you and your delegates can use WiFi, photocopying and phone services if you need to. They will be able to provide stationery, white boards and audio visual equipment for workshops and seminars.

One main advantage of using a hotel for a corporate event is that they will also be able to offer catering. Lunches, snacks and other refreshments can be provided easily and at a time to suit your event. The hotel’s event planners will discuss in advance with you exactly what you need and make all the arrangements for you. The planners will be key to making sure all your delegates’ requirements are met, including access and dietary needs.

What to look for in a corporate events venue

The first thing that you need to consider when trying to find the perfect corporate events venue is the type of event that you are hosting. As an example, if you are hosting a training day for staff, you might want a main training room and a few smaller rooms where attendees can work in smaller groups. If it is a product launch, you might just want a large room with plenty of space for tables where goods can be displayed.

Event planning staff

Take the time to speak to the event planners at different venues to find out what facilities they can have and if they are able to add on any extra services that might help your event go smoothly. They may be able to offer conference facilities, catering or even overnight accommodation. The planners are also the people to talk to when you want to negotiate the cost of the event.

Take the time to visit a few venues in person. The atmosphere of each place will be important. You want your attendees to feel comfortable and relaxed there, but if the decor is harsh, they only have plastic chairs and the air conditioning is set to Arctic temperatures, they will be desperate for the event to end. It also gives you the opportunity to compare prices and negotiate with your favored venue using what you learn at the others. If one offers free soft drinks for delegates, there’s no harm in asking if the others will as well.

Finding an unusual wedding venue

Some people dream of getting married somewhere a little different. Stately homes and churches are ideal for those who want something traditional, but there are plenty of unusual venues out there.

Go rustic

You can have an unusual wedding venue without breaking the bank and still retaining a down to earth ambiance. Why not look for a barn? There are some farms that have converted their barns into event venues and some are licenced to conduct weddings.

Check in advance how many people you will be able to accommodate in each venue that you consider. If you choose a barn it is possible that you will be able to invite 150 people or more, but if you opt for a castle, then the actual ceremony space may be much smaller and you could be limited with your guest list.

You might also want to consider how much of the day can be handled by the venue owners and how much you will have to arrange yourself. Can they cater or will you need to book this separately? This could have an impact on cost so you need to be prepared.

Unusual venue types

What type of venues are available if you would prefer to go off the beaten track a little for your wedding venue? There is no shortage of venues that are far from the norm.

Theatre buffs might want to look into getting married in a theatre. The ceremony can be held on the stage and other event rooms can be used for the reception. This is already possible at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Alternatively, why not have an outdoor wedding in a vineyard? A ceremony could be held in a marquee if the weather is less than favourable.

Embrace history

Castles and stately homes are not the only ways that you can bring a taste of history to your wedding. In the city of Bath, the Roman Baths is becoming extremely popular as a wedding venue. In the centre of London, the Crypt at Bleeding Heart was host to a three-day wedding feast for Henry VIII and now regularly hosts weddings. This venue dates back to the 12th century and is a stunning place to hold a wedding. A church still sits above the crypt and wedding ceremonies can be held there.

Best venues

The best venue that you can hire for any event is one that will take care of everything for you. Some people want to take care of different parts of the day themselves, such as any decorating or catering, but there are plenty of venues that offer a full service for the whole event and this will save you a lot of time and stress.

What can the venue do?

The venue will usually be able to take care of the catering. This might be something as simple as a cold buffet or a three-course meal for a more formal occasion. They will be able to discuss menu options with you in advance so that you can be sure that you are getting what you want. If the venue tries to impose a menu on you with little or no discussion then it will be worth looking for a different venue. They need to be able to cater for all your guests. If you are inviting someone who is vegan or coeliac, they should be able to provide for them too.

Most venues will have an event planning service. They will look at what you want to get from the day and sort out any third-party vendors to help you. They might be able to arrange for a florist to provide the floral arrangements for the room and centrepieces for the tables. They might be able to hire a photographer for you or arrange for entertainment such as a live band or a DJ. This may be a service that they will include within the cost of the hire of the venue, or it may be that you will need to pay for this separately.

Event venues on a budget

Not everyone has the funds to hire a castle or a stately home for their event. Some people need to work within a small budget and opt for a venue that is much more low-key. However, this does not mean that you have to settle for second best. You can hire a venue and dress it yourself to still make the event a special one.

Go local

Think about community centres and other venues that are local to you. Church halls are often available for hire and can be hired for a relatively small fee. The downside of this type of venue is that catering is not included. You would need to arrange your own catering so you’ll need to speak to a few caterers for quotes, particularly if you want hot food on the day. Some of these venues do have a kitchen that the caterers can use, but some won’t and other arrangements will need to be made. Why not talk to a local catering college and see if any students could take on the work for a lower rate than most professional caterers?

You will also need to decorate the venue. For weddings you will need to think about everything from table linen to crockery. It is relatively easy to decorate for an event. Ribbons, balloons, tea light candles, flowers and fairy lights will all help to give the room a facelift. Generally, these rooms are basic, but if you consider it to be a blank canvas, you can use a little imagination and you’ll get exactly what you are looking for.

Hire, not buy

If you do need to provide things like crockery, glasses and table linen, look into hiring them rather than buying. The last thing you need is to have dozens of these items after the event that you don’t know what to do with, so hiring will solve a lot of problems. The firm you hire from will drop them off and then collect them afterwards, so you’ll have very little to do yourself.

You can also hire some of the decorative features such as vases for flowers and candle holders. The cost of this will be relatively low and will make a lot more sense if you are limited on cost for the day.

Outdoor events

Not all event venues have to be indoors. As a matter of fact, if you live somewhere with a warmer climate you are likely to be able to enjoy outdoor events more often. If you are not so lucky, then summer months are perhaps the best time to have your outdoor event.

The sort of event that is ideal for outdoors are music festivals, as a matter of fact, any festival is perfect for outdoors. Those attending can camp in tents or if available use glamping pods. There is a real feeling of family at a festival, because it is a huge group of like minded people all looking to relax, and have a great time too.

Weddings

Some people plan a wedding outdoors, some private homes or hotel grounds can apply for special licenses to hold weddings, planning this sort of event outdoors comes with risks though, especially if you live in a country like the UK. The climate can be unpredictable, and even if the day starts out bright and clear, by mid afternoon it can be raining, windy or very cold, not the ideal conditions for a wedding outdoors.

Birthday parties

Birthday parties are great events to be held outdoors, particularly for children. You have the space outside to have a variety of activities to keep children entertained for hours such as a bouncy castle, or even paintballing. Children love to run around, and trying to do this with an indoor venue is not ideal. You can also play with water pistols or water balloons when you are outdoors too. Kids love this, it is fun and messy and sure to be a hit with the younger generation.

Open air theatre

Open air theatre are by definition held outdoors. People can enjoy a variety of plays usually put on by touring groups or local amateur dramatics societies. Those attending sit on the ground to watch, so people often take blankets to sit on, or those who are hard-core open air theatre goers may have their own camping chairs, perfect for comfortable viewing.

Summer fairs

Holding fairs in summer would often be a good way to ensure good weather although as you have to plan far in advance then you are taking a chance that it might turn into a bit of a washout. For a summer fair the venue you need is fairly basic. A field will do, but you will need to have the space to add in essential facilities such as toilets and catering vans. Have a structured layout for the fair so that all the stall holders know where they are supposed to be and make sure you can handle last minute problems such as mud.