Understanding Event Costs: A Guide to Venue Pricing

When it comes to holding a meeting, training course or conference away from the office, one of the very first tasks to tick off the list is to set a realistic budget. The overall event cost is probably one of the most important elements to consider and when it comes to collecting quotes and prices from potential hotels and venues, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t included within the package being offered before a final decision can be made.


Deciphering DDRs and 24-Hour Rates at Event Venues

Hotels and event venues will often quote their prices in DDRs (day delegate rates) or in 24-hour rates and if you haven’t come across this terminology before, it can all become a little confusing! This blog is aimed to dispel the myth of DDR and 24-hour rates, to explain exactly what they mean and to help cut through some of the jargon that tends to be used in our industry.


DDR Explained: What Event Planners Need to Know

A venue will often quote a day delegate rate (DDR) or an 8-hour rate if you are looking to hold a meeting, conference, or team building event that will take place over one day. It is generally considered to be the most cost-effective option for many event planners as it takes into consideration all of the various elements needed and includes them under one single charge. Exactly what’s included within a day delegate rate can vary slightly depending on the venue but will usually include the following:

  • Main meeting room hire
  • 2-3 Tea & Coffee breaks
  • 2 Course Lunch
  • Projector, Screen & Flipchart
  • Wi-Fi
  • Delegate Stationary (pads & pens)
  • Bottled water
  • Car-parking (not usually included at city centre properties)


24-Hour Delegate Rate: Breaking Down the Inclusions

A 24-hour delegate rate is very similar to a day delegate rate but will also take into consideration that accommodation is needed on either the day prior or on the actual day of your event. In addition to all of the items noted above that you can expect to be included on a day delegate rate, a 24-hour delegate rate will also typically include the following:

  • Three-course evening meal (usually in the restaurant at the venue but a private dining room can sometimes be offered at an additional cost)
  • Overnight accommodation
  • Breakfast


Alternative Venue Pricing Models: What to Watch Out For

Some venues operate on a ‘room hire’ only basis which, from the outset, can look appealing but don’t forget that you then have to factor in the additional costs of catering, AV and accommodation, if needed. Similarly, some venues that offer a blank canvas may work on a ‘dry hire’ basis which means that you literally hire the space but everything else needs to be added into the final costings – we’re talking chairs, tables, catering, staff, security, the kitchen sink.…plus the usual event requirements as detailed above. This way of charging can often lead to hidden costs that can come as a shock, so just a word of warning to check and double check those pesky T&Cs!


Expert Event Planning Assistance in London and Beyond

If all of the above still leaves you wondering where on earth you start, then perhaps Park Lane Events can help! I collate all quotes from potential venues on your behalf so that you have one easy to read document, allowing you to compare ‘like for like’; it’s my way of ensuring that nothing is overlooked, I stick to your budget and through working together, we finalise which venue would be suitable for you event to go to contract.

If you need a hand with planning your events in the London and surrounding area and think that I might be able to help, then please drop me a note below and I’ll be in touch!

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