Choosing a conference venue – what you need to know
Disorganized, poor food, not enough food, missing chairs, missing rooms… the wrong conference venue will distract your guests from the event they came to attend and stand out in their minds with a strong negative association. Select the right venue and most of your conference guests will barely remember it as they’ll be entirely focussed on the sessions they attended, the people they spoke to and the panels they sat on, which is exactly as it should be. To help make sure you pick the right venue for your conference, here are questions we make sure we answer for every guest.
Do you have space for my conference?
The right conference venue will have more than just the capacity to hold all your guests without breaking fire safety regulations. Your guests will need space to move around, including on coffee and lunch breaks, facilities such as toilets and car parking, and more. You may need rooms for your guests to stay on site (Eastwood Hall has 150 bedrooms), the ability to run multiple sessions simultaneously (we have 36 event spaces), seminar rooms or lecture theatres or both (our smallest room seats eight, our largest hall holds 400 people).
What facilities do you have for overnight guests?
As well as comfortable bedrooms, overnight guests will expect meals to be available on site or nearby so it’s important to know if that’s possible even if you’re not providing it as part of the conference. If guests are staying for several nights, then leisure facilities become more important than at a one-day event. At Eastwood Hall, for example, many visitors use our gym, pool, and extensive grounds to continue their exercise regime, whether that’s swimming a few lengths or a long country run.
What food and drink can you offer?
From a quick breakfast through to a full-on banquet, a good conference venue will be able to offer appropriate catering options for any occasion. At Eastwood Hall, our catering team is accustomed to planning three meals and at least 2 coffee breaks per day for most of our multiple-day events, as this format allows our guests to refresh and recharge between sessions, ensuring that they get the most out of their event. Catering to special requests and dietary requirements is also an essential part of our meal planning. When you’re selecting your venue, make sure you understand if dietary information needs to be provided in advance, as it helps avoid disappointment on the day.
Is it included?
From WiFi to access to the grounds, some venues will try to charge extra for every single thing. As you discuss the various options with a venue you’re considering, be sure to check if what you consider standard items are included in their event package. At Eastwood Hall, we aim to make our packages clear and easy to understand, with all standard items included in a simple price. We can also offer a detailed breakdown on request, so whether you want an all-in-one price or to pick your options, call us today and we can help.