Thanks for stopping by our journal – we hope it inspires you and please do comment and let us know what you think?

We like to keep things real!

Today we are going to talk about keeping it real. We are known for providing the best possible advice to our clients and we do this by being transparent, honest and up front about what we do, what is possible and how we work. Any Events Mill client will tell you that it is this open dialogue that ensures we can pack in more creativity, helps mitigate against potential risks and opens broader levels of communication to ensure our clients make the best decisions within the context of the brief. But even though we prioritise this transparency, there will always be hurdles and pitfalls that every event professional will need to negotiate that can impact of decisions made by our clients.

Drawing of the Imperial War Museum, London - The Events Mill
Illustration of the Imperial War Museum – Event Design Services – The Events Mill

Top 10 tips when planning an event at a Unique Venue of London.

This top 10 tips post focuses on winning gold when planning an event within a Unique Venue of London, how to avoid those awkward conversations and the best forward-thinking planning advice to ensure a smooth execution.

10. Patience is a good thing.

You have been tasked to plan an event for a client and your objective is to fully deliver on every aspect, which goes without saying (after all you wouldn’t be an events planner if that weren’t the case!), but a venue may have multiple events being planned at one time. Being clear on your requirements, capturing the right detail and setting reasonable timelines with your clients will ensure you give yourself, your venue and your client the flexibility to negotiate those small details that make the difference.

9. Commercial v’s Culture.

Most Unique Venues of London have a primary business that serves the general public, whether a museum, gallery or place of worship, and there are numerous professionals whose responsibility it is safeguard these beautiful, precious buildings. One could argue that culture cannot exist without commercial support, but be mindful that certain requests may not be able to be accommodated due to conservation or historic restrictions. Sounds obvious but never assume that a no is not just to make your life harder, but to preserve a piece of history for future generations of lovely events.

Drawing of Somerset House, London - The Events Mill
Illustration of Somerset House – Event Design Services – The Events Mill

8. What about low tack tape?

The reality of attaching any tape to a beautiful marble floor is that there will be a tape mark left after the tape has been removed. If you need to cover a floor then either find a suitable venue that can accommodate your request or be prepared to make good any damage. We include a damage indemnity clause in our contract and always ensure our clients make informer decisions.

7. Measure.

Often so easy to miss which results in a face palm moment. Take a tape measure to every single site visit you conduct, not only to ensure you are costing against real specifications, but most critically to ensure that your production can fit through the doorways and frames which tend to be odd sizes in the oldest buildings. Trust us, it can be very embarrassing when your bar doesn’t fit through the door and you have to problem solve a replacement 30 mins before guests arrive!

6. Clearing the public.

Never take it upon yourself to interfere with the internal management of the public. Most unique venues of London are open during working hours to the public and your suppliers may get access once all public has been cleared. Think about health and safety and be patient for the green light, have open dialogue with your crew, suppliers and planning team so that people do not become anxious about setup time and work with the venue to diffuse any stress. Most importantly, plan for the worst case scenario and never assume every event will operate in the same way.

Drawing of Tate Modern, London - The Events Mill
Illustration of Tate Modern – Event Design Services – The Events Mill

5. Accredited suppliers.

Often a sticking point, especially when it comes to boutique agencies and for events with smaller budgets. Accredited supplier lists are not in place to make your life harder – in fact it is quite the opposite. These companies have worked very hard to produce high quality events in the most demanding venues and have been through a thorough tender process to ensure they can produce at the requested level by the venue. Learn from these suppliers and embrace their advice – they know the space and how things work and it can reap wonderful results.

4. Commissions?

Naivety and events professionals don’t marry up. It is common knowledge that venues will ask their suppliers to include a commission return for any services confirmed for the event. Expect this, accept this and plan for higher quotes to avoid disappointment from your clients.

3. Paperwork.

For all of our events we take it upon ourselves to collate all health and safety documentation, public liability and security details for all suppliers and to submit these documents to the venue. We do this as we are ultimately responsible for the safe provision of all contractors on site and to reduce the risk of situations becoming dangerous due to missing information. Being organised is a prerequisite for any event professional but by going the extra mile and actually thoroughly reading every risk assessment will ensure you a) learn from your suppliers and b) not miss crucial information that may lead in an accident.

Drawing of St Paul's Cathedral, London - The Events Mill
Illustration of St Paul’s Cathedral – Event Design Services – The Events Mill

2. Plan ahead.

Often Unique Venues of London are found in the busiest places and have huge amounts of tourists. The WestEnd of London, for example, where the majority of these venues are situated, reacts and changes dynamics every minute of the day and the smallest change can have huge repercussions. Check ahead for planned strikes, roadworks, protests or up to date traffic information – you never know!

1. Your investment goes a long way.

Perhaps the most wonderful thing about hosting an event in a Unique Venue of London is that you are participating in the future legacy and upkeep of that organisation and you contribute an investment that will ensure generations can enjoy these historic treasures for years to come. If that doesn’t inspire you to host an event in a Unique Venue then I don’t know what will.

If you have any tips you’d like to share then please do leave a comment as we would love to hear from other event profs.

We offer a full venue finding service both in the UK and across destinations internationally. If you are planning an event and would like some support in finding the perfect venue then we can help. Our venue finding service is there to match the ideal venue to our client’s requirements.

For more information about our services click here or find out more about our corporate event services you can follow this link – https://theeventsmill.com/corporate-events/

Our email address is info@theeventsmill.com and we can be reached at 0203 723 0195 or via Twitter/Facebook/Insta at @TheEventsMill.

All illustrations ©TheEventsMill2018