Organising a company conference or event can often present itself with multiple pressure points – liaising with venues and preparing collateral, as well as managing your employees timetables to name just a few.
One of the most important places to start is ensuring you have the correct venue – but what is it that makes the venue suitable for you?
A room with electricity and lighting may make it functional, but does it fit in with your AV, lighting, catering and seating requirements? Does it enable you to create an environment for your clients that allows them to focus and relax?
The location of your event is so important. This should be your first thought as you begin your venue search.
If this is completely open, then narrow it down to a few options to later collate for different proposals and let the decision maker decide which is most appealing.
Don’t forget to take into consideration the purpose of your meeting and factor will be important to your attendees, such as travel options and accommodation.
2. Size of Venue
You will need to ensure the venue has adequate space to hold all your delegates plus any equipment and collateral you bring.
Consider any breakout spaces or syndicate rooms that may be required – do they have any, are they near to each other and what capacity can they hold?
Does the venue layout provide ease for a fluid flow of your events timetable?
3. Dates and Availability
Once you have dates, size and location in mind – start initial enquiries for availability, before making any deeper plans.
At the risk of stating the obvious, once you have found an ideal venue – secure it!
The last thing you want is to discover it is not available – especially if you have minimal flexibility on dates!
If the venues you contact have the space available, most venues will be able to provisionally hold it for you for around 7-14 days, depending on demand.
4. Does the venue fit within your budget?
Your brief will have already decided how much you have available to spend on a venue and catering after other costs such as transport and collateral have been decided.
Don’t be afraid to ask if the venue are running any packages that may suit your requirements.
TIP: If you really like the venue, but are unsure if they can meet your budget – explain your requirements and see if there is anything they can adjust for you to help.
In this day and age, the basic meeting necessities such as Wi-Fi, stationary and water should be included within your conference quotes.
However, you need to consider what equipment, catering or room space will be included and what will incur an additional cost.
How can the venue accommodate any external equipment that you may hire in and how flexible are they with working with external suppliers to aid the ease of your event?
There are high chances that your conference delegates will require some sort of food and drink. Therefore you must ask the venue what catering options they can provide and at what different cost levels they will be offered at?
Ensure the correct type of catering can be offered to suit your meeting and what levels they can be offered at – don’t forget to there is something that caters for all dietary needs – no one likes to feel left out or go hungry!
Caressing the senses of your delegates through quality food and drink will help leave a lasting impact of the conference or event you are planning for them.
7. Venue Communication and Service Offering
The attentiveness of the communications with your venue coordinator could largely reflect the attentiveness of the staff at the venue.
How friendly, helpful and flexible are do they seem? Business works two ways and you need to ensure that they make you feel wanted.
Depending on the venue you have chosen and your guest list, you may need to consider accommodation options for your attendees.
Many hotels offer residential conference packages, so the overnight stay is included in the overall conference quote.
Check the standard of the bedrooms suit the needs of your delegates.
If the venue you choose is one you are not familiar with then ensure you research their reputation online.
If this presents itself with any concerns, then do not hesitate to get in touch with the venue.
TIP: Book to visit the venue before hand to view the rooms, check the facilities suit your needs and to meet with your event coordinator to gain first hand experience of what your delegates will receive.
Ensure you attend prepared with a full list of questions and see everything you want.
10. Added Value Extras?
What other extras can be included in the packages offered to give your attendees the WOW Factor?
What special touches can you add, change or use in the venue to give your event a unique twist? Is there anything near by?
Blog originally published on http://www.balmerlawnhotel.com/blog/10toptipstochoosingyourconferencevenue - visit for full article and more tips and details.