Choosing a conference venue for your upcoming event may seem like an enormous task. There are likely many venues to choose from, offering a wide range of styles, amenities and prices. We recommend that you consider the following details before you begin visiting conference venues. A clear vision of your own requirements and expectations regarding your event will help you narrow your venue choices quickly.
Type of Event - Are you hosting a simple business conference, or will your overall event include several smaller events, such as business discussions during the day with evening entertainment? Conferences requiring multiple rooms, like trade shows, will require large conference centres, while simple meetings can take advantage of smaller and less costly venues.
Purpose of the Event - The purpose of the event can help dictate your venue. Is your event designed to provide an opportunity to share information between colleagues? Are you educating your attendees? Is the idea to build a cohesive team, or just to have fun?
Style of Event- Consider the style and possible theme you plan for your event. Here, you'll want to consider the type of attendee you'll have.
Will you be hosting high powered executives or college students? In addition, understanding the look and ambience you envision can help you narrow conference venue choices based on the architecture, décor and style of the potential venues. Consider also whether or not you'd like to have a theme.
The Date - If your event must take place on a particular date, this detail will be paramount in your choice of venues. If you have the flexibility, having two or three date choices will give you more options in choosing your conference venue.
The Location - You should have some idea of the ideal location of your venue. Is the event a company function? If so, finding a venue a reasonable distance from your office will help your staff with their travel arrangements. Or, if you have attendees flying in, you may want your venue to be located just a short distance from the airport.
Number of attendees - It's important to have a solid idea of the number of attendees you'll be hosting at your event. You want to be certain that your conference venue can accommodate your number of guests, but you also want to ensure that you're not paying for space you don't need. When discussing attendee numbers with your venue coordinator, be certain to give them a range of the number of attendees, so that you're not locked in to a specific number too early in the planning stage. You should be allowed to notify them of a final number of attendees close to the date of the event. Confirm this date with your venue, ensuring that you have plenty of time to receive rsvp's and accurately relay these numbers to your venue.
Ease of Planning - Once you choose your conference venue, there are still a great many event details to be planned and executed. Determine how much help you desire in choosing and procuring items such as flowers, decorations, food and entertainment. Many conference venues have staff that can handle such details for you, but some do not. Consider how much time you have to devote to the event details and how much you want to hand over to a professional. If your conference venue doesn't offer such help, you may elect to use a professional event planner to help you.
Budget - You should have a set budget before you begin negotiating with conference venues. Understanding how much you can spend will help you to narrow your venue choices immediately and can also help you make decisions about decorating, menus and entertainment. When you do visit conference venues, be certain that you understand all the details of what is included in the price you'll pay. Surprise add on fees have a way of blowing your budget.
The right conference venue for your event should be one that meets all of your requirements in the areas we've mentioned above. Once you understand exactly what you're looking for, narrowing down conference venue choices should be far less overwhelming.