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VENUES MONTH: Everything you need to know about hiring historic venues

Choosing a historic venue for a corporate event in the UK can add a touch of elegance, uniqueness, and prestige. However, hosting events in such venues comes with specific considerations and challenges. For event managers, it’s crucial to weigh several factors to ensure the event’s success while preserving the integrity of the historic site. This article explores the key considerations when deciding between the perfect royal palace or atmospheric medieval castle, based on input from attendees at the Event Organisers Summit…

1. Understanding the Venue’s Limitations and Restrictions

Historic venues often come with certain restrictions due to their age and the need to preserve their heritage. Event managers must familiarise themselves with any limitations regarding space, noise, decor, and technology. Some venues may not allow modifications or heavy equipment that could damage historic floors or walls. It’s essential to have a clear understanding of these restrictions to plan accordingly.

2. Accessibility and Modern Amenities

While historic venues offer charm, they may lack modern amenities and accessibility features. Event managers should consider the accessibility of the venue for all guests, including those with disabilities. This includes access ramps, lifts, and accessible toilets. Additionally, check for modern conveniences like Wi-Fi, audio-visual capabilities, and air conditioning, which are essential for most corporate events.

3. Venue Size and Layout

The size and layout of historic venues can vary significantly. It’s important to ensure the space aligns with the event’s needs. Some historic venues may have smaller rooms or unconventional layouts, which could impact the flow of the event or the activities planned. Conducting a thorough site visit to understand the space and how it can be utilised effectively is vital.

4. Location and Transportation

Consider the venue’s location and its accessibility for attendees. Historic venues, particularly those in rural areas, might pose challenges in terms of transportation and parking. Event managers should think about transport links, parking facilities, and the possibility of arranging shuttle services for attendees.

5. Catering and Facilities Management

Some historic venues may have preferred suppliers or in-house catering services. It’s important to discuss catering options and any restrictions on bringing external suppliers. Additionally, consider the logistics of setting up and managing the event, including load-in and load-out times, storage facilities, and waste management.

6. Atmosphere and Theme Compatibility

The unique atmosphere of a historic venue can greatly enhance a corporate event’s theme. Event managers should consider how the venue’s character aligns with the event’s purpose and theme. Whether it’s a gala dinner, a product launch, or a networking event, the historic setting should complement and augment the event’s objectives.

7. Cost Implications and Budgeting

Hiring a historic venue can often be more costly than a modern space. It’s important to understand all costs involved, including venue hire, additional facilities, and any extra services required. Ensure these costs align with the event’s budget and consider the value added by the venue’s unique features.

8. Insurance and Liability

Finally, assess the insurance requirements and liability considerations. Historic venues may require additional insurance coverage due to their value and vulnerability. Ensure that the event’s insurance policy covers any specific requirements of the venue.

So, while historic venues can offer a remarkable backdrop for corporate events, careful planning and consideration are essential. By thoroughly assessing each of these aspects, corporate event managers in the UK can ensure their event not only runs smoothly but also respects and highlights the unique qualities of the historic venue.

Are you looking for venues for your organisation’s events? The Event Organisers Summit can help!

Photo by Miguel Sousa on Unsplash


Stuart O'Brien

All stories by: Stuart O'Brien