I’d imagine I’m safe in saying that, as event professionals, we’ve all dealt with awkward venue managers. It’s a constant tightrope walk.
Here are my 7 tips for dealing with them.
1. See Things from Their Point of View
Remember that the venue manager is there ALL the time. YOU are the blow-in. You’re the one coming in and changing things and looking to make things suit you and your client.
2. Involve Them in Decision Making
Consult them and talk to them about decisions you’re making in relation to the event. Remember that they may have material impacts on them and the venue and, indeed, they may have valuable input. Perhaps, for example, they’ve run an entry system that way before and encountered issues. They may save you some heartbreak.
3. Give Them a Win
I don’t mean this to sound facetious, so I hope it doesn’t. Again, it’s THEIR venue. They know more about it and how it works best than you do. If you’re going to consult them and ask for their input, then be prepared to take it on board and use it. This may mean doing things differently to how you had planned to them .Both your relationship with the venue manager and, indeed, your event may well be the better for it.
4. Put Them to Work
Involve them in the ‘doing’. Have them participate in the build or the moving of furniture or something else requiring willing bodies but probably not much technical knowhow. This should hopefully help get them bought into the event and making it a success.
5. Show Them You’re a Pro
To be fair, they may well have seen loads of ‘event managers’ in their time, probably some good and some bad. Show them you’re one of the good ones. Put their mind at ease.
6. Introduce Them to People
In my experience venue managers love to be introduced to acts and high-profile clients and the likes. Get them in for some photos and be sure to get them a copy of them.
7. Say Thanks
This one doesn’t apply just to venue managers. It seems like a lost art these days. Say thanks. It’s common courtesy and will stand to you.
For me, it really boils down to being considerate, somewhat intelligent and clever as well as being polite. There will always be venue managers who need some ‘managing’. They DO have the potential to make your life awkward to learn to deal with them effectively. It’ll help you avoid the whole stress thing too.
(Social Coup LLC)