In modern society, with so much choice on offer, we seem to always be striving for something bigger, better, faster, easier and more attractive than we have now. We have the world at our fingertips and more than our ancestors could ever have dreamed of, yet we still have a tendency to believe the grass is greener on the other side.
The events industry is saturated with venues from unique to historic, purpose-built to modern and with so much choice for planners today it is essential for venues to stand out from the crowd. To maintain market share and compete successfully venues must appeal to the planner who has seen it all and wants something different.
We all know that the venue can make or break an event, the problem is how do we continue to innovate and evolve our venues to appeal to planners time and time again? And how do we keep venues front of mind if new options continue to appear on their radar?
We know that budget, space, availability, security and location are all important, but it’s the added something that you can’t put into words that often seals the deal. This ‘something’ is difficult to communicate in sales materials or virtual tours so it’s ideal if the planner visits when the venue is actually set up for an event. This way you can show bookers the many different ways a venue can be used – whether through an innovative event setup, creative catering or by exploring the new and exciting options the venue has to offer. This is something we have invested time in doing at the Science Museum over the last few months and it is already paying dividends in terms of event bookings.
In the last six months we have developed our events offer by launching a range of new immersive and interactive spaces which are available for events including Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery and Mathematics: The Winton Gallery. In order to effectively present these new spaces to potential buyers, we organised a showcase event in January during which 300 event professionals were able to enjoy an immersive journey through each of the spaces with demonstrations, innovative food and drinks concepts and exhibits. The showcase was the perfect opportunity to effectively show planners a new dimension to the museum, and highlight the myriad of possibilities for events.
Operating in an incredibly saturated market means it is essential that we encourage bookers not to overlook options that they think they know but haven’t used for a while. We need to encourage planners to take the time to rediscover what these venues have to offer and the different ways to use them. Showcase events are perfect for this, as are show rounds, as they allow planners to visualise how the space could work for their event, or indeed discover new spaces they weren’t aware of but fit their event brief perfectly.