Dry Hire vs Wet Hire; Which should you choose?

Publish Date :21 Jun,2022 - 2:14 PM

One of the first things you need to consider when choosing an event venue and after you decide on the crucial criteria such as the required capacity and location, is the venue hire type. 

When hiring an event venue, there are two main types of venue hire to choose from. These are Dry Hire and Wet Hire, both come with their own unique advantages and disadvantages, we have detailed these below along with a venue recommendation for each hire type.

A good way to remember the hire types is to think of the venue as a cocktail glass, if the glass is empty it's a dry hire venue and if you have a full cocktail, it's a wet hire venue.

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Dry Hire

To elaborate on our above cocktail glass analogy, a dry hire venue is like an empty glass. It’s dry, the venue is the glass and there is nothing else included, you just get the venue (the glass).

So with dry hire venues, you are essentially hiring an empty shell, none of the other event supplies such as staffing, food & beverages or AV are included. A dry hire venue tends to work well for really creative event concepts when you know you’ll need to use your own event suppliers for some unusual offerings.

The Pros:

  • It gives you more creative freedom.
  • You are in complete control.

The Cons:

  • It’s time consuming to source your own suppliers.
  • You can’t be sure that the suppliers you choose will work effectively with your venue unless they have worked with one another in the past.

Village Underground

Village Underground is a beautiful 5,000sqft dry hire blank canvas space in the heart of Shoreditch. As a former Victorian warehouse, it has many inspiring architectural features - from the elegance of the main atrium to the fabulous bare brickwork of the 19th century vaults.

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Wet Hire

To further elaborate on our analogy, a wet hire venue is the full cocktail glass. It’s essentially the finished product. It includes all the essential event supplies (the cocktail ingredients).

With wet hire venues, your staffing, AV, food and beverages and often other extras are all provided in house or through the venues established partners. Wet hire venues can simplify the event planning process as you only have to deal with the one supplier (the venue) and you can be sure that all staff, technicians etc.. understand the venue, it’s operations and logistics.

The Pros:

  • The event suppliers understand the venue.
  • It’s a quicker planning process as you don’t have to spend time sourcing multiple suppliers.
  • There’s one key point of contact.

The Cons:

  • There’s less freedom to think outside of the box and use your own suppliers.
  • There’s cost limitations, you don’t have the option to shop around for each supplier.

The Last Drop

The Last Drop is a hidden gem at the heart of the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The light and airy events space and outside terrace overlooks the London Stadium and the spectacular Aquatics Centre. Catering and staffing are all provided in-house.

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At Unlocked we offer a complimentary venue finding service and we know of thousands of dry hire and wet hire venues all over the world. We also provide a supplier sourcing service, perfect for if you decide on a dry hire venue. If you're planning an event and would like some suggestions, do get in touch.