Demystifying Day Delegate Rates (DDR) for Corporate Events
When it comes to planning corporate events, one of the critical elements that can make or break your budget is the venue. You may have found the perfect venue that matches your vision and your accessibility needs. It might offer ample parking and have easy proximity to public transport, but the budget could make that perfect venue out of your league.
If you’ve been on the hunt for the perfect space, you’ve probably come across the term “Day Delegate Rate” or DDR. But what exactly is a DDR, and how can it impact your event planning?
As experienced event planners, we’ve worked with venues across the UK, many of which offer cost-effective DDRs, but are they always what they seem? For some, they can be a perfect way of stabilising your costs. But for others, they may involve a lot more compromises than you may want.
In this blog, we’re going to dive deep into the world of day delegate rates, discussing what they are, when they’re helpful for budgeting, and help you figure out if they are suitable for your next corporate event.
What is a Day Delegate Rate (DDR)?
Let’s start with the basics.
A Day Delegate Rate, often referred to as DDR, is a pricing structure commonly used by venues for corporate events. It’s designed to simplify the budgeting process for event organisers by bundling various services and amenities into a single per-person rate. These rates typically cover essentials like meeting room hire, audiovisual equipment, refreshments, snacks, a working lunch, and sometimes even accommodation if your event spans multiple days.
For example, let’s look at a few examples of a day delegate rate close to our home in Devon.
First up is Boringdon Hall Hotel in South Hams, Devon. This is a venue we know well. It’s a luxury 5* hotel, and it offers a wide range of conferencing facilities, perfect for corporate away days and team-building events.
Straight away, we can see that they offer a £35pp* DDR package for corporate events, which includes:
– Arrival tea, coffee, pastries and smoothies
– Main meeting room hire
– Afternoon serving of tea and cakes
– LCD projector, screen, flip chart
– Recharge station – phone chargers, fruit, nuts and seeds
– Delegate pads, pens and stationary
– Bottles of sparkling and mineral water
– Unlimited servings of tea, coffee and homemade cookies
– Unlimited access to WiFi
– Two Course delegate lunch or working buffet
Barnstaple Hotel, another high-profile Devon-based venue, offers a similar package for the same price. But for businesses looking for added accommodation, DDR rates can streamline your costs further. For example, Barnstaple Hotel offers an additional Meet, Dine and Sleep package for £140pp*, which also includes:
– Luxury en-suite accommodation
– 3-course dinner with coffee (with the option of private dining)
– Full English Breakfast
– Complimentary use of leisure facilities
– FREE parking
As you can see, if you’re looking for a static pricing structure, a day delegate rate can offer plenty of opportunities.
Who Uses DDR Pricing Structures?
Not all venues use day delegate rate pricing. If you’re looking to host a corporate event in a restaurant, a community centre or somewhere slightly offbeat, you’ll likely have a bespoke package created for you.
But if you’re looking for a corporate event in a venue that specialises in corporate events, you’ll likely come across a DDR package. This includes hotels, conference centres, convention halls, and even some dedicated event spaces. These venues recognise that corporate event planners need a straightforward way to budget without the hassle of itemising every service separately.
When Can DDRs Be Useful for Budgeting?
As event planners, we welcome the use of day delegate rates because they can make your budgeting much more manageable. If you’re looking for a quick and easy published price, a DDR cost can make your research process much faster. That’s because you can immediately choose (or discount) specific venues based on your budgetary criteria.
But that’s not all.
We think that there are many advantages of a day delegate rates.
Simplified Budgeting: DDRs make budgeting a breeze. Instead of trying to piece together costs for each component separately, you get an all-inclusive rate per attendee. Almost immediately, you know what your upfront costs will likely be – making it much easier when preparing a business case for a corporate event.
Predictable Costs: DDRs provide predictability. With a fixed rate, you won’t be hit with unexpected expenses. This predictability can be particularly beneficial for businesses working with tight budgets. Of course, it’s worth noting that day delegate rates typically won’t offer any opportunities for negotiations. Still, equally, if your event is months away, you can lock in a great price at an early stage.
Convenience: Venues offering day delegate rates often include various amenities, such as WiFi, projectors, and catering. This means you don’t have to worry about coordinating these services separately, saving you time and effort. If you’re hosting an all-day conference, all of your catering needs will be met, from welcome coffees to breaktime refreshments and a healthy lunch. You won’t need to worry about cleaning costs or staffing – everything will be managed for you seamlessly.
Are day delegate rates always cost-effective?
Day delegate rates may offer straightforward pricing and ample incentives, but that doesn’t always mean they are the most cost-effective option available.
When we work with clients across Devon to organise corporate events, one of the things that we get to focus on is what makes your event memorable. What are you trying to achieve, and how do you want to accomplish those goals?
DDRs are great. But they are for the masses. The additional items included within a DDR are used to suit a multitude of events rather than bespoke to you. This means that you could find that you’re paying much more than you need to for your corporate event.
Here are some factors to consider:
Event Customisation: Day delegate packages usually come with a set bundle of services. If your event requires unique or specialised services that aren’t included in that package, you might end up paying for services you don’t need. For example, do you need to have branded pens/notepads that are unique to your venue’s branding, not yours?
Size of the Event: For smaller, more intimate events, a day delegate rate might be a bit much for what you’re trying to achieve. There are also usually minimum numbers required for day delegate rates, which will be confirmed in your venue’s terms and conditions. In such cases, a venue with a more flexible pricing structure could be more cost-effective.
Duration of the Event: Think about how long you want your event to last. Most day delegate rates are for the entire day, although you may find some venues offer a half-day rate. But your timings will impact this – if you need an event from 10am – 2pm, you might not get the same value for money compared to a 9am-5pm event.
Location: Day delegate prices can vary enormously depending on the location of the venue. In some cases, you might find more affordable options by booking venues that don’t offer DDRs.
With our expertise, we can talk through your options and help you figure out if a day delegate rate is suitable for your event.
Does a day delegate rate involve any compromises?
Choosing a day delegate rate can offer straightforward conveniences, but it’s essential to consider whether it aligns with your event’s goals.
We always advise that businesses should think about the following before selecting a DDR rate.
Flexibility: DDR packages may limit your flexibility in terms of event customisation. That’s because the timings are strictly adhered to. You won’t have the opportunity to decide when to bring in your breaks or your lunchtime – that will be determined by the venue, which knows how to manage the timings seamlessly. Similarly, if you only need a few hours in the middle of the day, you’ll have to pay for the entire day’s venue hire rather than just the timeframe you need.
Cost Control: While day delegate rates are prevalent because of their predictability, they can also limit your ability to negotiate individual service costs. This can be a drawback if you believe you can secure better deals elsewhere. If you choose not to make the most of certain aspects of the package, you will be unlikely to receive a discount. Therefore, you could end up paying more than you need to.
We can help you figure out if a day delegate rate is right for you.
In many scenarios, a day delegate rate can be a valuable tool for corporate events because it simplifies budgets and makes the whole planning process more manageable. We know that many clients like them because of the predictability and the convenience. But there are circumstances where your event may be better suited to a venue hire package rather than a delegate rate.
When we work with clients on their corporate events, one of the first things we do is talk to you about your options. We want you to get the most value for money, and sometimes, a DDR manages this, and other times, negotiating venue hire prices can be more cost-effective.
Our role as event planners isn’t just to finalise the details and manage the event from start to finish. It’s also about offering consultancy support and giving you options that you may not have otherwise thought of. We can provide full management support or additional resources to help your in-house team, whether you’re looking for an informal team away day celebration or a large conference.
Whatever you need, we can make it happen.
*Please note that prices are accurate as of 2023, but for the most up-to-date pricing information, please visit the venue’s website.
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