Venues and event organizers work in a symbiotic status of mutual need but often engage in conflicting relationship because they don’t recognize each others needs. Yves Cretegny, now CEO of Lift Conference and in the past as CTO and CFO of Geneva-Palexpo (an important venue in Switzerland) thinks that in order to create a win-win experience, both sides should open their strategies to co-create solutions that are useful (and profitable) to either side.
Venues often sell their services in a way that is irrelevant to the event organizer (e.g.: square meters) instead of developing services that add value to the experience that the conference is creating.
For example, a venue that hosts several events during the year could team up with a series of suppliers (printers, web developers, graphic designers, swag producers, etc), negotiate a high-volume discount and provide dedicated design and production services to events. Another clear case is a service like wi-fi internet connection. Why try to force a conference to buy just the basic connectivity at an expensive cost -which nowadays represents just a commodity- instead of offering advanced networking services to better use the available bandwidth or offer extra services to the attendees?
The venue should give the opportunity to its clients to acquire an outstanding service at a competitive price that will enhance the event (by making it more attractive to delegates & sponsors, professional, innovative, etc).
As Yves suggests, one way to co-design solutions valuable to both actors is to have in the advisory board a member of the opposite side, that clearly understands the business needs of the client.