The foyer room at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa during a event. The space is full of people in semi-formal wear.

Events are successful when everyone aligns with the objectives, outcomes, format, and logistics.

Your venue is one of your most important event suppliers. We’re lucky to have many world-class providers, from convention centres to hotels and unique independent spaces, right here in New Zealand.

Conference Innovators director Rachel Cook shares several key steps to ensure you and your venue are on the same page throughout planning and event delivery.

How to plan a successful event with your venue

As one of your most important event suppliers, hosting a successful event comes down to working closely with your venue throughout the planning process.

Provide a comprehensive brief

When requesting a quote from the venue, provide as much information as possible about the event. You need to give the venue adequate time to prepare a relevant and meaningful proposal. This ensures expectations are set and understood from the outset, costs are accurate, and a strong foundation for the event delivery is in place.

If you ask for a quote by the end of the day, there’s a chance you could end up with a cut-and-paste of their last proposal.

A stage set up at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. Tables are arranged into a square with space in the centre for green foliage.

Double-check the contract

This is where a professional conference organiser’s expertise is important. They can check the hire fees are appropriate, the booked hours reflect a realistic programme (with adequate time allowances for pack-in and out), the fine print contains no unbudgeted costs, and the deposit schedules are realistic with expected revenue timeframes.

Communication is key

Arrange regular coordination meetings throughout the planning process and collaborate with your venue to develop comprehensive on-site run sheets as early as possible. Allow time to negotiate, problem-solve, and avoid any last-minute surprises.

Top tip: The venue coordinator delivering your event on the day may be different to the contact you’ve been working with during the lead-up. Clear and open communication and a thorough review of the venue’s order of events will ensure no requirements or requests are missed or misinterpreted.