When it comes to planning your next conference, the venue you choose is key.
Searching for that perfect conference venue can be tricky, and it is important you weigh up the pros and cons of each venue carefully before deciding where to spend your venue budget.
We have put together our top 5 considerations when choosing your next conference venue and why they are important.
1. The Location
The first thing you will want to consider when it comes to choosing your conference venue is the location you would like to host your conference. Location can be broken down into two categories. Firstly, the distance away from the office in terms of the commute time. How far are you willing to travel for your conference? Are you wanting to keep it local or are you happy travelling further afield? And remember to check your venue has excellent transportation links and parking facilities to suit!
Secondly you will want to consider the surroundings of the venue. Are you looking for a hushed retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city or are you wanting for a more central location? If the aim is to escape the city, then do not forget to check your venue has enough on-site accommodation if required or some suggestions of hotels within the area.
2. The Style
This is a bigger factor then most initially realise when planning a conference. How do you want your conference to feel? What is the vibe you want your attendees to enjoy from the moment they arrive in the car park. While the speakers and your conference content are obviously vital selling points so is your venue! A quirky, unusual and knock out venue will be a big draw. Did you know venues with a lot of history will give your conference a feeling of substance and authority?
3. The Facilities
You can have the most beautiful venue in the best location but if it does not have the excellent facilities you require to make your conference a success then it simply will not work. Write a list of everything you know your conference venue needs to have. That could be super-fast Wi-Fi, to a downstairs accessible restroom. Do you need to have tech support and full AV equipment? Check with your preferred venue that they have everything you need to ensure the smooth running of your event before booking.
4. The Catering
Conference refreshments are core to ensuring your delegates feel looked after during the event. Regular intervals for re-fuelling are important to keep energy high. Make sure your venue can provide a variety of food and drink and to suit your catering budget. Ask for sample menus and of course ensure they can cater for a wide variety of dietary requirements and seasonal preferences.
5. The Cost
And last but by no means least you need to ensure your conference venue fits within your venue budget. Make sure the venue offers price flexibility such as pricing tiers or packages. You can also check whether a venue offers an all-inclusive hire rate or if they offer more price-friendly, digestible options. Also, as with anything check the T&Cs and make sure there are no hidden extras!