3 Easy Hacks to Avoid Overrun in your Venue

Timing an event down to the minute is hard. Ask any of your venue hirers – or just draw from your own experience. How often does one of your clients overrun their hire? Still, you want to accommodate them as well as possible.

We talked to our account manager Chris Van Bohemen to discover some of his client’s best practices to deal with overrun.

So how do you make that work for you? The challenges are plentiful. If all is well your occupancy rate is high, and often you’ll even have events back to back – quite literally so. If any one client overruns their allotted time, how do you make sure your staff still has sufficient time to break down the room, let alone prepare it for the next client? How do you prevent an awkward situation where your next hirer is waiting outside, while the previous one is “just finishing these last couple slides”, without having to throw a client out?

The latter, of course, you’ll want to avoid: force a client out, and their workshop or discussion group may be ruined, as they were deep in conversation or in the middle of addressing an important issue. Meaning that they will not book with you again. It’s important to be flexible, in order to properly facilitate clients in this business.

So here are three easy hacks that can help you help your clients in this area, all whilst avoiding overrun.

  1. Ask event bookers if they think the event may overrun

Transparent pre-event communication is key. If your hirer anticipates overrun, factor it into their booking. If they think the chances are low, agree upon overrun rates in advance to incentivize them to finish on time. Even with the best intentions, we all need a little push sometimes.

If necessary, explain to them how much of a hassle it causes for your organization and other hirers if an event overruns. Depending on the size and popularity of your venue, it might simply be something you can’t afford to let happen.

  1. Allow a buffer zone for the change of occupants

This would seem like a no-brainer. If you know that 90% of the time, occupants overrun by an average of 5-15 minutes, why not build that extra time into your schedule and charge a discretionary fee for it. Because why fight reality? Doesn’t seem like a battle any human win anyways, right?

Regular clients who finish on time can always be granted a discount for their punctuality later on – something they will appreciate much more than when you have to throw someone else out if they overrun by 10 minutes.

  1. Encourage your hirers to move to the cafe

You’re catching our drift by now, we’re looking to make everyone a winner with these solutions. If all else fails, or if one of the events overruns so dramatically that you have no other choice but to ask a hirer to vacate the room, at least this solves your issue whilst still accommodating your client.

Worst case scenario, you’re looking at some extra food & beverage spend, and your clients’ guests might discover your wonderful cafe – and maybe, who knows, decide to frequent it.


Chris is an Account Manager at Yesplan