It’s hard to imagine that the year is getting away from us already, but as the leaves finish falling outside my window here in rainy Melbourne it sure is starting to feel a lot like winter! I hope you are all coping well with the change in seasons and aren’t full of colds and coughs like we are here at HQ!

As promised, this month let’s talk about fees and charges.

Almost always, the first question someone will ask when looking to book a hall is how much will it cost. You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by having standard fees and charges set (even if you provide different charges for different groups i.e members verses non-members, private bookings verses not for profit organisation etc

Having your charges advertised so people can easily understand if your venue is within their budget will save you time because they will already know the answer to their first question! So you won’t be bothered by those inquiries that ask, “How Much?” and then you never heard back from them!

On we allow you to list a number of different fees which can easily be recognised by potential hirers. I would suggest filling in as many of these as you can and then perhaps including a note down the bottom to say you offer discounts to members / not for profits / charities etc etc or any other details that are specific to your venue, perhaps fees vary depending on the season or reduce for regular bookings. These charges are:

Pricing Indicator: This is the most important way for people to get a quick understanding of if your hall is within their budget. This is mandatory on the website.

Daytime Hourly: Venues that have people working at their hall during the day might charge a cheaper rate for day time hire as it actually doesn’t cost them anything to have someone using their space while other people are working there.

Evening Hourly: This might have a slightly higher charge as it would involve the hirer collecting the key or having some lock / unlock for them.

Holiday Hourly: As many people go away for public holidays you can charge a premium for bookings on these days.

Weekday Evenings: Instead of charging by the hour, perhaps you can charge your venue out for a block, i.e you might charge $20 per hour, but you could make more money if you charged $60 for the evening. So if someone wanted to hire your hall for 2 hours or 4 hours they would still pay the $60.

Weekend Evenings: Again you can charge a premium for more popular times.

Holiday Evenings: Or a premium as holidays can be inconvenient for you

OTHER FEES: Are there other fees that you charge, or should you charge? Gecko House charge a $10 administration fee to all hirers which is non-refundable even if the booking is cancelled. This covers the time and resources it takes to manage your bookings including invoicing, checking calendars, perhaps arranging a site inspection for potential hirer etc.

Bond: A Bond is a really easy way to make sure there is no problems at the end of the booking that you need to chase the hirer for. Gecko House charge a $300 bond for hirers that are using the kitchen to make sure it is left clean and tidy. Ashmore Scout Group charge a $500 bond for all bookings to cover themselves for any damage that might occur during a booking. Like all bonds, this is returned after the event on most occasions.

Caretaker: This is an easy fee which can be included if you don’t have a system that allows people to collect a key and return it safely. You can arrange for volunteers that live close by to open and close the venue for hirers and charge a small fee for this service.

Security: Particularly for adult birthday parties or events that are serving alcohol you can charge a security fee and arrange for people to be at the venue throughout the event or insist that the hirer provide this at their own expense.

Public Liability: Some insurance policies will ask you to name external events that occur at your venue and there may be a premium to this, check these details with your insurance company and pass on any charges to your hirers.

Cleaning: Should your venue not be left in the manner you would like you can have a cleaning fee. This could be charged as a separate item to specific events (keeping in mind that if you charge this you can’t expect the venue to be returned very clean) or you could take this out of the bond should the cleaning not be up to scratch.

I know I have had a number of people ask me this month, how much should I be charging for my hall? Unfortunately there really isn’t an easy answer to this question.

To work this out I would ask you a couple of very basic questions;

  1. What does it cost you to have someone use your space? Electricity / Personnel etc
  2. How much can your potential hirers afford to spend to hire the hall?
  3. How much would your potential hirers expect to pay to hire your hall?
  4. How much does it cost to hire similar space in your area?
Prices vary in different areas and also the size of your venue and the amenities you offer, maybe even how long it has been since you’ve renovated!  Gecko charge from $30 for a 1 hour booking, right through to $180 for a full day and night booking allowing someone to have a seminar/talk in the morning and a dinner that night.

Whereas The Pulse Studio charge from $25 per hour for their smallest room up to $200 for a 4 hour block of their biggest room.

Offering blocks of time is a great way to make more money while still giving extra benefit to your hirer, we all know that someone that hires we all know that someone that hires your venue for say 2 hours will no doubt get there 15mins early and leave 15-30 mins after the booking time. So blocks of time allows people to have this flexibility while you make that little extra.

I hope this has given you something to think about when it comes to how you set your fees and charges. Perhaps it’s time to update your listing?

No newsletter next month as we will be in Cairns checking out some new halls (let me know if we should stop by you!). But we will be back in July with another article full of information that you ask for so if you have a topic you would like covered or a question you want answered please drop me an email

Till July!