The new Venue Standard, which has been created by Excellence Squared (a UKAS accredited certification body), has already been undertaken by a range of venues across the UK. During the next six months, The Venue Standard will start to grow internationally with assessments planned for venues in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia.
“Demonstration of quality is the key to success within the modern meetings and events industry,” comments Gary Swarbrooke, from The Venue Standard. “In order for venues to be successful both nationally and internationally it is of course important that quality standards are set high and continue to improve. However, just as important is a venue’s ability to express their quality in a meaningful way. The Venue Standard has therefore been based on the well-established hotel star rating system, allowing buyers to instantly appreciate both the quality of product and service offered by a particular venue.”
In addition to establishing a venue’s current quality rating, The Venue Standard also provides significant amounts of data and feedback, allowing each venue the opportunity to improve itself moving forward, whilst demonstrating its quality to the market as a whole.
Swarbrooke continues: “Our plan includes the establishment of The Venue Standard as the first global assessment, ensuring fair comparison of venues by event buyers researching and planning events in a wide variety of different locations around the world.”
Utilising Excellence Squared’s experience certifying businesses for Investors in People, The Matrix Standard and a multitude of ISO standards, each venue is rated on four key areas – customer feedback, administration, quality of product and service delivery. The assessments not only help the venues establish where they can improve services but also give a clear indication to event organisers and planners on what standard of venue they are dealing with, whilst providing a tangible comparison.
The Priory Rooms in Birmingham was one of the first venues to undertake The Venue Standard. Business Development Manager for The Priory Rooms, Beth Sadler commented: “The assessment was an opportunity to consider the successful practice of our administration, service, products and customer feedback processes, and have them benchmarked against competitors. Most importantly, The Venue Standard rigorously questioned our practices and procedures from the customers’ perspective. The final result - a customer-orientated, well-rounded judgement of the venue has helped set us apart in an increasingly crowded market. In particular it demonstrates that we take being compliant and consistent seriously, that investment and improvement is crucial and above all the customers’ expectations will be met. We are very happy to be one of the first to join The Venue Standard.”
Where possible, The Venue Standard will seek to complement alternative standards already in existence throughout the world, embracing similar accreditation schemes that cover similar criteria.