Your Conference Success Depends On The Venue You Choose
You've been tasked with producing a conference for your colleagues and whilst you have run them before and probably have favourite venues, it's so important to choose just the correct one for each separate event's requirements.
If your off-site conferences are repetitive, then you know approximately how many delegates you are accommodating, the size of meeting space they need, technical support and food and beverage requirements.
However, when there are additional elements, such as breakouts, workshops, team building activities, colleagues from overseas, gala dinners, overnights and off-sites to other venues involved, naturally the whole booking requirement process becomes more involved and each detail crucial to the overall success of your conference.
If you do not have overnight requirements, then you can consider non residential venues as alternatives to hotels. These can be unusual, sporting, historical, universities, museums, stately homes and of course even purpose designed conference centres. The venue theme can be linked to your conference theme and highlight the topic of discussions.
If you do have overnight requirements then you'll need to check if any of your delegates are flying in and may need early check-in, possibly from the night before, especially if coming in from afar with a substantial time difference. Otherwise, remember most residential venues do not allow check-in before mid-day and you may have to consider luggage storage until the end of the first day's session.
Most venues meeting spaces have direct daylight, but if they don't, then you should check the time of the year and air conditioning services. This might sound like common sense but with global warming there is no guarantee that temperatures will be cold through Winter or hot through Summer and every eventually has to be taken into account.
Break out rooms and areas for team building should be clearly signed to avoid losing any of your delegates and/or start times being delayed due to late arrivals. it's helpful to have plenty of refreshment stations for early breakfast meeting starts, mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. Especially essential are soft drink refreshment stations for team building activities to avoid dehydration.
If your conference is to run more than one full day, leave careful instructions with the venue staff that either paperwork on work tables is not to be disturbed overnight, or conversely if to be cleared away, then should be confidentially shredded rather than just be put into bins. Branding and confidentiality should always be protected and respected.
Finally, you've chosen the venue, have the programme and have your food and beverage sorted. Arrange a pre-visit and do a completely walk through of every element of your event to ensure no detail, large or small has been overlooked or can't be improved upon.
Tagged Under:Conference, Conference Planning, Conference Services, Corporate Events, Event Management, Team Building, Venue Search