are much more focused on cost and utilising venues that are fit for purpose. But before you decide this is the ideal job in the hospitality industry, be aware that locating venues and looking after the needs of clients often requires a huge amount of tact, patience and resourcefulness. Liz recalls the time a hotel was needed during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. “The company had left it far too late,” says Liz, “there wasn’t a single room left within a two hour drive of Davos. This did not deter us! One of our team flew out to Davos and sourced a family’s home, a beautiful chalet, for the meeting and the bedrooms the client needed. During the WEF, we arranged for the family to go on holiday for the week - we just had to promise to look after the cat whilst they were away!” So, for someone who is so experienced where are Liz’s favourite venues? “Chewton Glen in Hampshire is definitely up there’ she says, “And the Hotel Splendido in Portofino, quite simply one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. Closer to home we have some fantastic hotels and venues on our doorstep, such as the Crowne Plaza Colchester, Ufford Park and The Hanger at Kesgrave Hall. There is a lot to choose from to match all budgets”. Finally – how about some advice for those of us not in the industry? “Plan well ahead,” advises Liz. “The more you leave it to the last minute the fewer venues you have to choose from, plus it can be more expensive and can increase the opportunity for things to go wrong. Ask for expert advice, listen to the professionals – CCD are here to help you!” n If you have an event coming up and need professional help, give CCD a try, whether you are an event professional with not enough time on your hands, or a complete novice, the service is free of charge! Contact CCD Global Events on 01206 752525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, alternatively see their website www.ccdglobalevents.com. You
Finding the right venue for your event is easier than you think
A dviser magazine spoke to CCD, a leading Event Management company based in Essex about the highs and lows of sourcing venues for events. Sitting in the CCD Global Events office listening to the buzz around me, it’s clear the team enjoy working here. About to celebrate 22 successful years in business, CCD are still at the top of their game within the events industry. In 1994 Liz Christey and her business partner Vivienne Keay saw a gap in the events market for a service that sourced venues for corporate clients. They had been working together in the industry in London but they saw that companies wanted a wider range of options to consider for their meetings and conferences. Liz and Vivienne set up their business in Essex, first in Braintree as CCD Conference Reservations. Their hunch to provide a free service sourcing venues both at home and abroad proved right and within weeks they were taking bookings for Europe and America. CCD Global Events have since grown in size and now have a team of twenty. A logical extension of the business came a few years ago as the company added event management to their offering, together with a move to new offices in Colchester, and the company changed name to CCD Global Events to better reflect the business. “It was the common sense thing to do” says Liz, “with so much experience in the team, we can not only find the right venue for our clients but also help them onsite, we can do as much or as little as the client needs”. So how does the service work? “We work
closely with our clients to gain a good understanding of their requirements, their budget and the type of venue that they are looking for be it for 5 or 5000 people” says Liz. “It could be a board meeting at a designer boutique hotel in London, a large International Sales meeting in Madrid or a dinner venue in Suffolk specialising in local food and wine. CCD get to work contacting suitable hotels and venues that match the client’s brief as closely as possible, checking availability, negotiating rates and reviewing venue contracts to ensure the venue can offer everything the client needs.” The USP for potential clients is that the venue finding service is free, CCD take a small commission from the venue after the event has taken place. Despite this the rates are not marked up by the venues, in fact CCD can often get better rates than their client, as their business volume gives them the buying power. S o what’s to stop clients from finding their own venues? “The internet has made it easier to learn more about different locations which is great, but there is no substitute for specialist knowledge, expertise and guidance,” says Liz. “We do this for a living, we have to be good at it!” The range of UK and overseas venues that CCD sources is substantial. They are not tied to any specific venues, hotel groups or chains. “Clients like to have something different for every event, so we try to keep things fresh, we make sure we knowwhat’s new on the scene” comments Liz. The hospitality industry, like most sectors, suffered during the recession and since then a lot of corporate events have changed. Clients still want a “wow” event, but they
can also follow them on twitter @ccdglobalevents and Facebook.
If you are considering hosting an event you need to ensure that you have the right insurance in place, you should never assume that a venue’s insurance will cover you. Speak to one of our team about the specialist event insurance options available by calling 01206 838400.
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