Louise Goalen, Director of Venues at Top Banana and Chair of HBAA discusses breaking the sense of ambiguity surrounding unique and inspiring venues.

Venue sourcing has transitioned tremendously over the last couple of years. What used to be about finding a venue for the right budget, in the right place for the right price, has now evolved in to having to look at a much wider scope and brief.

Businesses are expanding the use of venues beyond just being a roof over their delegates’ heads and are now becoming an integral part of the overall event experience. Venues are being used to provide the ‘wow’ factor and take attendees to new and exciting places, meaning venue sourcing specialists are playing a bigger role in finding spaces that fit this brief.

‘Quirky’, ‘unique’ and ‘inspiring’ are the adjectives most commonly used by organisers looking for venues outside of the usual conference rooms of hotels and purpose-built venues. But, as a venue sourcing specialist, the big question is: what do these terms really mean?

These adjectives are very ambiguous and subjective and mean different things to different people. For instance, the definition of inspiring is “to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative”. However, what is inspiring to one person isn’t necessarily inspiring to another. For instance, a converted warehouse or underground vault has a very different message and quality than a manor house or castle.

The important part of any venue sourcing project is making sure it always links back to the theme, message and objectives of the event itself. A business needs to be clear on what it wants the audience or delegates to go away and think, feel and do as result of the event. Understanding this will help venue sourcing specialists define what terms such as unique and inspiring mean to a specific business and enable them to search for venues that relate back to the audience, brand and overall message.

To find out more, visit Hbaa.org.uk