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April 16, 2008

Exclusivity can give you the wow factor

When you're deciding on a venue for an event the thought of exclusivity is not always at the forefront of your mind but are exclusive hires worth the money? Most celebrities think nothing of exclusive hires, such as celebrity couple Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar whose exclusive venue choice for their recent wedding was Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, but when company budgets have to be accounted for and the money pot is not endless is the excessive expenditure necessary?

Sole use of a venue is definitely something to consider when you're planning an event. It can show that an organisation is prepared to go the extra mile to ensure the event runs as smoothly and as effectively as possible for all delegates and exclusivity will give you more control of the venue.

The venue can benefit just as much as the organisation hiring the venue as, if celebrities or reputable organisations hire the venue which can be seen as a status symbol, many other companies may jump on the bandwagon to hire the same location.

Media circus

Recent examples include: Madonna and Guy Ritchie – the couple spent a reported £1.5m on the lavish ceremony at Skibo Castle. Dornoch was the centre of a media whirlwind when it was confirmed that the ceremony would take place in the Highland burgh; and the Beckhams – nothing is more exclusive than erecting a purpose-built marquee for your guests as the Beckhams did for their World Cup party aptly named "Full-Length and Fabulous".

Of course, you still need to consider the practicalities of the site and you will also want to make sure that your venue has the necessary amount of impact which can be achieved by exclusive hiring. But can you really put a price tag on the benefits you can get from exclusive hire?

So what are the benefits?

  • Sole hire can help if you are following a theme for your event as the whole location can be kept uniform and in-keeping with the theme from entry to exit!
  • Two conferences in the same venue can create problems such as delegates walking into the wrong event. Exclusivity rules this problem out.
  • Event organisers can also benefit from staff at the venue being fully focused on one event, as venue staff often move between more than one conference during longer events.
  • If you are using a public venue this can really raise your profile as the general public will be aware that your organisation is the only party using the venue on this specific occasion.
  • The potential for problems is minimised, as you are only responsible for yourselves and not for the conference next door.

Finally, exclusive hire of venues, such as castles, can give the ‘wow factor’ as it is clear the organisation has gone to great lengths and expenditure to secure the venue solely for its delegates and value their attendance.

Jacky Selway is business tourism manager of Aberdeen Convention Bureau

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