Choosing the right conference venue to match your event can play just as much a part in its success as the speakers and attendees. While it tempting to go for a hotel in an exciting location, it is unlikely that it will meet your needs as well as a bespoke conference centre. Here are some of the essential points that you should consider when booking the venue.
What size and room layout do you need?
The first thing to consider is how many delegates will be attending the event. There needs to be ample room for everyone to mingle comfortably, and have a good view of the proceedings. Some attendees may still be cautious about mixing, and prefer to maintain a social distance if possible.
A flexible multi-room venue, that gives you the option of splitting the delegates into smaller groups for some events, and gathering larger groups for others, may be suited to the type of conference you are organising.
If possible, view the rooms in person, and check out the acoustics, the comfort of the seating, the natural and artificial light sources, and general standard of presentation.
A clean, comfortable modern venue that allows everyone to see and hear the proceedings without difficulty will go a long way to making everyone feel at ease and engaged. These details really help to make a good impression.
What technology is available?
Technology should now be provided as standard at a conference venue, without you having to hire it separately. At the very least, the venue should provide a digital projector and screen, a wide digital screen, and video conferencing facilities, that are reasonably up to date and in good working order. Super-fast free Wi-Fi should be available as a standard.
What catering facilities are on offer?
It is important that delegates have regular access to refreshments. This is not only to keep energy and morale high during the day, but it also provides the guests with a chance to mingle and chat, making the event a more well-rounded occasion, where ideas can be discussed in a more informal setting, and introductions can be made.
The venue may offer their own in-house catering team, or give you the option to bring in a contractor. Make sure that there is ample catering, as scanty or low-quality offerings will lower the tone of your event. It is now standard to have vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, and to ask delegates in advance if they have any food allergies.
Is the venue easy to get to?
A good venue location is one that’s easily accessible by road and public transport, rather than one that’s geographically close. A central location with plenty of parking, good connections to local transport networks, and overnight accommodation, if necessary, will mean delegates will arrive at your event after a stress-free journey with minimum delay.
Are the staff helpful?
You will no doubt need the assistance of the venue staff to help everything run smoothly. A friendly, helpful, and professional team will go a long way towards achieving a successful event.
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