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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Making venue hire affordable for charities

This opinion piece is about 6 years old

Sponsored content: Rebecca Kelly of VenueScanner's top tips on how charities cans secure affordable venues - plus an exclusive offer for TFN readers

All businesses struggle to find venues and meeting spaces, easily and more affordably.

Hiring event space can be one of the most expensive parts of running an event. This is hugely pertinent for charities.

In our time building VenueScanner, we have developed some tips for securing venues either for free or at an affordable rate.

VenueScanner is a marketplace of more than 12k venues in the UK for hire, we have a super easy to use venue search and booking website offering the lowest rates on the market for venue hire.

As a charity you receive a 5% discount on all bookings and rewards back in the form of partner vouchers.

Rebecca Kelly
Rebecca Kelly

Five Top Tips

Have your meeting/event in a pub

Pubs are one of the most under-rated and quickly rising stars in the venue industry. Re-imagine how you can use your local pub that currently just houses the after work drink. We work with more than 1000 pubs, the majority of whom will rent their event space or meeting space at a minimum spend or very low cost to our charity and event organiser members. Pubs for hire in Edinburgh.

Use someone else’s space

Do you have a space in your office that you hadn’t originally considered but you could, with some imagination, convert to an event space? Just like the local pub, how can you convert your garden or canteen into an event space?

Bringing people to your personal space builds a rapport with your company and is a great way to host a fundraiser. If you don’t have an outdoor space, ask around and see if you can find someone who does.

If there is no one you can call on for a complementary space, you could think about a joint venture? Partnering with someone who owns an event space is a win-win. They get to promote their space/brand to your event audience and you get a free space.

Although this might feel like sharing the glory, it could actually enhance your credentials in your customers view plus you have double promotion of the event.

This approach works even better for charities than businesses since there is a good chance you’ll be able to find a local business willing to help support your cause by lending you their space.


Minimum spend venues

If you can’t find another business to provide you with space, the next best thing is to work out a ‘no risk’ profit share.

This provides you with a free venue and offers the venue owner revenue when your customers spend. Usually you can negotiate the minimum spend and this is a better option than sharing ticket fees where often the venue hire cost might have been lower than the ticked fees – always check this!

Event spaces in co-working buildings

At VenueScanner we have seen a huge rise in the number of co-working spaces arising, in particular Barclays & other accelerators are opening space for entrepreneurs and start-ups. These spaces usually have meeting and event space that is often unused.

Although they are not free to hire, they are rentable at a much more competitive rate than other venues. You can hire most of them through the VenueScanner platform.

Venues with charity rates

If you are a charity, it is worth spending the time finding venues that have charitable rates and will offer you discounts. This might not always be venues that are registered charities as they are also looking to save their pennies! VenueScanner has a comprehensive guide to charity venues and any of our venue finding agents will be able to find you the best venue rates at no cost.

Find your next venue with VenueScanner!

Rebecca Kelly is founder and chief executive of VenueScanner.

Exclusive VenueScanner offer for TFN readers

Promotion exclusive to TFN's readers: event organisers will receive £30 amazon voucher on every booking on their first year signed up to VenueScanner.

Sign up with the code TFN18, which is valid until July 2018. Event organisers who are charities will also receive a 5% discount on every booking in addition to a £30 amazon voucher with TFNCHARITY18. Venues which are charities will receive a 50% discount on commission paid on bookings paying 5% commission rather than 10% commission with the code TFNCHARITY18.