What to look for when choosing a conference venue

Planning a meeting or conference is complicated and it will soon become clear that setting an agenda is only half of the battle.

Selecting the right conference venue is just as important as any presentation- pick the wrong one and your day could be a disaster.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to be hoodwinked into an inadequate location by a cheap rate or glossy image. Therefore, it’s important to have your wits about you and know what you’re looking for.

Preparation and research is key, so to ensure your conference hits the right note, here are a few things to consider when booking a venue.

Location

Another integral element of a successful conference is location. When picking a venue, question whether it is easily accessible by transport. If it is situated in a spot only accessible by a £100 taxi from the nearest station, chances are delegates will soon realise and decline your invitation.

Nevertheless, a more rural location is often best, as it inspires creativity, enables delegates to focus on the conference without the distraction of the city, and ensures attendees have an enjoyable experience.

Size

Ensuring you have the space to comfortably accommodate all attendees and activities is perhaps the most basic element of preparing a successful event.

While it can be financially tempting to see if you can squeeze 75 into 70 capacity room, it is important to remember that no one will be able to concentrate or enjoy the day if they feel cramped, hot and self conscious.

Attendees need room to breathe and complete any tasks involved in an event without fear of physically standing on someone else’s toes.

When looking for a venue, have a clear idea about the capacity you need and give yourself wiggle room for any last minute adjustments. Question if the space has the ability to accommodate a refreshment table and any devices or technology required. An area should also be available for congregating and free-form discussion.

Facilities

The first thing to check is that a venue offers ample, free parking. No one will thank you if they have to fork out a huge bill just to park their car.

You should also ensure your venue offers state of the art AV equipment, with inclusive AV and IT support, projectors, DVD players, adequate seating,et.c. After all, if your business is based in the south and you’re holding a conference in the north, for example, the last thing you want to do is have to carry all of your equipment with you.  Free, fast and reliable Wi-Fi will also be important.

Onsite leisure facilities and accommodation are a great addition, so attendees can stay over if necessary and enjoy restaurants, spa treatments and entertainment. Breakout areas with unlimited tea, coffe and biscuits will also be welcomed by guests.

These facilities ensure delegates can make the most of free time when at the conference and have an experience they won’t forget in a hurry. Spa facilities prove particularly popular, especially after a long hard day. Suggest to attendees treatments like a hot stone massage, which will help them unwind.

Of course, your own experience is just as important and to remove the hassle involved with planning a conference opt for an all inclusive venue package. This will take the burden off your shoulders and ensure that all of your guests have access to facilities they need. A trained team of staff will manage and take control of the event, rectifying any problems quickly. This means your time can be focused on the task at hand, rather than ensuring people get from A to B.

Price

Do your research to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your business and guests. Remember, companies will weigh up the cost of sending staff to an event, so give them an offer they can’t refuse.

All inclusive packages don’t just give you a great experience, they also offer value for money, so find out which option best suits your needs and let someone else handle the rest.