Your venue can make or break your conference so you have to choose your space wisely. If your venue is not fit for purpose, you may find that people are not able to focus, they may not be in a proper learning environment and it could be the wrong type or size of space for your delegates. Here are our top tips for choosing a conference venue to help you to run a successful conference.
Check out their facilities when choosing a conference venue
Do they have the audio-visual capabilities you need?
Conferences often require presentation facilities so it’s important to check out what audio-visual equipment is on offer. You don’t want to arrive at your conference venue, only to find out that they cannot provide you with a projector or microphone for use during your presentation.
Is the conference venue accessible?
In addition to this, you should see what level of accessibility the venue has – including lifts, ramps and hearing induction loops – as well as the heating, air-conditioning and lighting systems, and the room layouts and sizes available.
Is the capacity suitable?
You’ll need to make sure that there is enough room for everyone to be comfortable, without paying for space that you won’t be using. A flexible venue will be able to offer you rooms of different capacities that will help you to make the right decision. You should also find out what arrangements are possible and decide whether you’ll want a theatre-style setup or one more like a classroom.
Is it viable for people travelling?
Consider your location when choosing a conference venue
It can be nice to get away for a day or two but if you’re targeting people from a specific location for your conference, you will need to make sure that your conference is central to that location. On top of this, you ought to make sure that it is easy to get to, with easy links from local rail and road routes. Test the journey from the city centre and visit the venue, which also gives you the chance to find out more about the venue. You should also make sure that there is plenty of parking at your venue. At our Nottingham venue, we have ample parking to make sure that it is convenient for our guests.
Look into their accommodation
Many conferences will run over more than one day and most are all-day events. This will mean that some of your delegates will need somewhere to stay overnight, to avoid a long trip home at the end of the day. Comfortable rooms with great facilities are a must to make sure your delegates have somewhere nice to rest their heads after a long, busy day at the conference.
Check out the rest of the venue when making a decision
Review their catering
If possible, you can ask to sample some of their dishes that you would be having for a sit-down meal. If this isn’t possible, you could try eating in their restaurant (if they have one) to gauge the level of quality of their food. This isn’t quite as vital if you will only be requiring light refreshments. You should request a list of what snacks and light bites they will be offering to make sure that your delegates will have plenty to eat available. This way, you have it in writing should anything go wrong.
Vet their staff
You don’t need to go through background checks but it’s a good idea to look into reviews and recommendations from other people before you decide on a conference venue. Having a conference in a venue where the staff are helpful, knowledgeable and organised will make your event go a lot better on the day, not to mention during the planning phase as you’ll probably be in contact quite a lot.
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