You might think that choosing a venue for a conference is easy but there are many factors to consider when making a decision. It can be tricky especially if you are new to this and haven’t organized an event before. What might seem like a minute detail, in the beginning, could actually turn out to be a great obstacle.
Different venues offer different possibilities and so it is important to define your priorities before you start searching for a location. Finding the right venue means being prepared. In this article, we’ll help you do just that.
Here are the things you should consider when choosing the location for your event.
The Size of Your Event
First and foremost, you will need to know the size of your event. How many people are you expecting? You need to have a number before you start looking for a location. Booking a bigger space than you actually need would make it look like half of the people you were expecting didn’t arrive. Similarly, booking a smaller space without enough seats would also be an issue that would affect your brand’s reputation. You don’t want that.
What are your space requirements for this conference? Does the space that you are considering have all the amenities you need? What about Wi-Fi, microphones, and other equipment required for a smooth event?
Perhaps you want the space to have a kitchen facility and a catering service. Or you want to hire your own caterer? These are all things that you should consider prior to booking a space.
Accessibility and Transportation
Another important factor to consider when choosing a venue is accessibility. Is the location convenient and easily accessible to the attendees? What about transportation? Is the place accessible by public transport or train? What about parking lots for those who will get there by car?
You should explore all these options and let attendees know about them. It might not seem like a major issue but event transportation is equally important as seating arrangements and equipment. Perhaps you want to consider hiring a minibus, a coach or another private vehicle to take the attendees to the venue. By securing transportation, all attendees need to do is show up. This also ensures that everyone arrives at the same time and no one gets stuck in traffic, etc. An additional benefit of traveling as one party is the cost-effectiveness, of course.
If you are organizing a one-day event, perhaps there is no need for organizing accommodation too. However, if it lasts for several days, then you need to include this factor into consideration as well. Are there any hotels in the vicinity of the venue you chose? Or perhaps it has on-site accommodation which is even better because attendees don’t have to be transported to their accommodation after a long day.
Finding a space that offers both can be difficult but it’s not impossible.
Have you thought about staffing already? Because you will be too busy when the conference starts so you need to determine who’s doing what prior to the event. Will there be enough staff to take care of catering, guest registration, security, etc? Ideally, there should be someone who will manage the entire team so that you can focus on your job.
This one is actually logical but we’ll go ahead and mention it anyway. Is the space available on your chosen dates? Perhaps the venue that you like hosts several events on the same day. In this case, make sure that there is no clash between the brands. Do your due diligence and check everything to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Last but not least, you should stick to your budget. If the space you have chosen for the conference costs more than your budget allows, then you’ll have to cut your expenses and this can be tricky. It’s best to stick to your budget so if you can’t afford the place, keep looking. Or ask your client in advance whether they’re willing to spend a bit more if necessary.
However, it is sometimes possible to get a lower price on different dates. If you can move the event for a day or two in order to book the perfect venue, then try to negotiate. At the end of the day, you don’t have anything to lose.
Additional Tip: You should always try to plan everything in a timely manner so as to avoid potential problems. There is no specific time frame set when looking for a venue but the sooner you start looking the better. There might just be a perfect spot that ticks all the boxes and meets all the criteria but someone booked it before you.
Once you have defined all the criteria and considered all the factors mentioned above, you can start searching for the location for your next conference.