Sourcing a venue for a healthcare related event can be an arduous process. Be it a conference, training event or product launch, there are a defined set of criteria a venue must meet to be considered viable.
Understandably, these careful rules and restrictions laid down by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry are in place to ensure expenditure is appropriate, with a firm emphasis on the purpose of the event and the exclusion of benefits and inducements.
The limits on the amounts that can be spent also add an additional hurdle to overcome when searching for somewhere capable of handling your needs at a price suitable for both parties.
The following considerations will help you make the right choices for your event.
COMES AS STANDARD
Standard practice for organising any event, healthcare related or not, is to first identify everything you need to budget for. This allows you to roughly apportion the budget and establish where you need to make savings.
Typically, being the single largest outlay, your choice of venue will have a huge influence over your event, but don’t be fooled into thinking the cheapest is the best option, far from it.
What should be the overarching priority, much the same as the ABPI regulations, is establishing whether the venue can fulfil the purpose of the event fully while also complying with spending legislation.
For many venues to reach lower advertised prices, they cut down on what’s included in their offer. The cost of sourcing these additional resources then falls onto the organiser, often at a higher price.
To avoid being stung by this pitfall, establish exactly what is included in the hire price and try to gauge how much covering the cost of services not included would cost you. For example, what technology is available in the meeting rooms, and what food and beverage options are supplied.
Among the many benefits Lane End offers as standard, their conference and meeting rooms come fully equipped, replete with flat screens, projectors and grade A+ Wi-Fi – along with limitless beverages and biscuits throughout your stay.
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
Privacy is a genuine concern for many of the potential events held under ABPI regulations, with the nature of the industry demanding discretion. Privacy is not something that can be guaranteed by all venues, whose layouts sometimes make it quite easy for the casual observer to sneak a peek.
Privacy also ensures minimal distraction from your event which is rarely attainable in venues such as leisure hotels or facilities also open to the public.
Lane End can offer total seclusion if necessary, with 5 self-contained conference suites complete with their own accommodation and dining facilities. They can ensure your event stays within the boundaries of your chosen space.
Location is a key component of your cost calculations. Choosing a location that’s central and easily accessible are the first two bases to cover, but also be aware of the premium you’ll incur opting for venues within major cities
London is a prime location for a multitude of reasons, but unless it’s critical for you to host your event there you may well find it in your interest to avoid it. You pay the highest prices possible for your venue hire simply for being in London, and the same goes for other cities deemed to be a central location.
Look for venues surrounding major cities instead. They usually benefit from the same excellent transport links connecting to the city itself, still making them quickly and easily accessible, and still relatively cheaper to travel to from outside the area.
However, the prime benefit is you’ll pay a lower fee to hire the equivalent venue within the city limits.
Lane End is located just outside London. Set in the beautiful Chilterns countryside, it is only a short 30-minute drive to Heathrow airport and the city, being conveniently connected to the M40. There’s free parking on site, and it is also accessible via the nearby train station.
SLEEP ON IT
It’s worth giving serious consideration to how long your healthcare event should be. When costing your event, the focus should be on delivering your objectives while also complying with the regulations that surround healthcare events, and not simply achieving the cheapest cost to hold it.
If you need more time to accommodate your content, then consider splitting it over more than a single day. This way you’ll ensure you have the time you need to cover your topics completely, without rushing to fit them all in.
A venue that has access to accommodation is highly suitable for events of this nature. A nearby hotel is okay but isn’t as efficient or cost effective as using a venue that has accommodation on site.
Premium pricing again rears its head as hotels near venues factor this proximity into their pricing. This makes it unlikely you will find the cheapest rooms very close to your venue, causing problems when aiming to comply with healthcare legislation.
Not having to worry about travelling between your accommodation and venue also saves you time and money, and keeps everything conveniently close by.
Catering is a big issue for ABPI regulations. There are strict limits to how much can spent per head on any event taking place within its remit. Even though the limit is stated as being £75 for single meal and any drinks, it also states any expenditure must be in line with what the attendees would themselves be accustomed to.
This limit of £75 is rarely ever reached and only then in exceptional circumstances. The vast majority of instances will be resolved at a significantly lower amount – typically around £25 mark, which can be difficult to attain at more luxury venues or hotel conference facilities.
Lane is a dedicated conference venue with extensive experience hosting all manner of event types, including those governed by healthcare’s ABPI code of practice. Take a look here for more information on why Lane End Conferences is ideal for healthcare events.
If you would like to know more about Lane End Conferences’ facilities or think we might be able to help your organisation with hosting a healthcare or pharmaceutical event, please get in touch or call us on 01494 881 171.