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’Trust and relationships will be paramount in 2021′, says Carrie Larwood

Carrie Larwood, managing director of venue finding agency, Function Fixers, has predicted that trust and relationships will be paramount when selecting venues and suppliers for 2021 events.

Carrie Larwood

Corporate bookers need to feel confident and secure, so taking a partnership approach with ‘shared risk’ contracts and hands-on support will be vitally important as large events start to return.

Working with a Covid secure venue will be imperative, but this doesn’t just mean from an operational point of view, but that they have taken into consideration the risk on corporates when placing the booking. This means that flexi-contracts and partnership-driven agreements are just as important to booker confidence as the operation itself. The role of the venue finder will become even more important because a corporate is tapping into our years of experience, knowledge and our multiple venue relationships.

More lockdowns may be announced through 2021 so it will also be essential to have a flexible venue contract with a sensible cancellation policy. We are experienced negotiators and we work on behalf of our clients to secure a great contract that benefits all parties, and we are also there to help renegotiate if the dates have to change. This service alone can be priceless to our clients.

In a typical year, Function Fixers work with hundreds of venues across the world and the company continues to seek feedback around events to build up its knowledge. This feedback is then transparently shared with clients looking to use the same venue. It is this level of relationship and reach that can only be offered by specialist venue finding consultancies.

Over the years we have seen a rise in the number of services that have moved online, such as travel; I acknowledge that it may be easy to book a budget flight online but if you are looking for an amazing holiday or you have special concerns, then you would draw on the trusted knowledge of an experienced travel agent. Personally, I’d be wary of booking even a small meeting room online because it’s often impossible to see the location of the room (it may be in the basement with no natural light) or the surrounding area.

As we head towards 2021, many of our clients are now starting to look ahead and book space for their events because normality will return, and the market will become extremely busy. I am encouraging all of my clients to book ahead now with a flexible contract and at least ‘save the date’ because otherwise they will be disappointed.