I need a "home!"

I need a “home!”

I can’t believe it, but the venue where I wanted to hold my event declined the opportunity to host it. I don’t think it’s my company or me; I believe the venue managers just don’t understand the event itself. What can I do now? Do I try to explain it to them — again? Do I start shopping around? How can I prevent something like this from happening again?
— Like a rolling stone (too embarrassed to give my real name)

Make them want to host you
Rejection is a gut-wrenching thing, whether personal or professional. It’s especially disheartening when you were counting on the environment to add excitement or a bit of panache to your event. Readers advise you to do the following:

  • Find out why the event was rejected.
  • Sell yourself to the property.
  • Have a “back pocket” option.

Find out why the event was rejected
Dody Collier of Mainely Meetings recommends revisiting the situation to find out exactly why the event was rejected. If you really want to hold your program at this venue, be prepared to try again and do some serious selling.
An anonymous meeting planner seconds that. She says, “Be frank and ask the venue’s managers what they need to make this a piece of business they would like to have.”
An anonymous conference manager advises getting in touch with the local Convention & Visitors Bureau. “They can talk to your preferred venue and find out what is really going on,” she says.
Sell yourself to the property
You may be able to change some minds about the value of your business if you pay close attention to the need to sell yourself and the business to the property. Collier advises, “It is important to have the program requirements sorted out and to identify all the possible revenue that will be generated — especially if there’s potential for follow-on business.”
Let the property know where the event has been held in the past, offer references and share how much revenue was generated for previous host facilities. Collier adds, “Whenever possible, set up a meeting to discuss the best ways to do business with them. Be prepared to offer a deposit and/or credit card number to immediately secure the venue.”
And of course, you’ll be more attractive if your event involves food and beverages or sleeping rooms. “That makes a huge difference,” one reader advises, “so much so that you may want to look for ways to include it in your planning, even if it calls for giving up on something else.”
Have a “back pocket” option
Several readers make the point that you should not “put all your eggs in one basket,” if only to give yourself more negotiating leverage. Here again, the local Convention & Visitors Bureau can be of great help. As one reader put it, “They will do the legwork and help you find another venue. The CVBs are a wealth of information, and it’s all free!”

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