How to choose a Conference Venue?

Row of empty seats in a theater.

Managing a conference is hard enough without the added stress of choosing a suitable venue. The right venue makes all the difference when holding a conference. As an event planner, you have to work hard to make sure that every aspect of the conference goes as planned. It’s your responsibility to find speakers and sponsors and accommodate them until the event ends. Choosing a venue for the conference is the most important aspect and it can be taxing but with some help, the whole process can be made easier.

Here are some tips to find the perfect venue for your conference.

Stick to your budget

Conference venues aren’t cheap and they get even more expensive when you are holding your event when everyone else is also holding their events or during the season of high traffic. A conference venue is the most cost-consuming item and you need to stay within your limits when choosing one. Find different ways to reduce or negotiate the price such as using the venue for all your future events or being flexible about the dates.

Choose an easily accessible location

The accessibility of the venue of your conference is another important factor that decides whether the event will be a success or not. Choose a location that is easily accessible by every mode of transportation and there is ample parking space available. The aesthetics of the venue are also a factor to look into. Additionally, make sure that attendees can visit the nearby restaurants and other attractions before and after the conference.

Check venue capacity

You have to be careful not to select a venue that is too big or too small. Also, a conference is mostly for educational purposes so make sure that attendees or delegates are seated comfortably in chairs that make writing or taking notes easy. To make sure that you don’t end up with a lot of empty space, check with the attendees beforehand and confirm their attendance and book the place accordingly.

Is it feature-rich?

The features that the venue provides are as important as the place itself. To run a successful conference, you need every piece of equipment that can make it look more professional, fun, and entertaining all the while fulfilling the purpose that it is being used for. Certain amenities such as audio-visual equipment, microphones, headsets, screens, and other tools and devices are necessary for a conference. Also, make sure that the break-out rooms are available for you to use for your guests. Catering is also important so confirm whether you will have to bring your own or will they be provided on-site.

Check staffing services

A successful event cannot be managed and run by a single person, it has to be a team effort. This is why you need to make sure you will have enough staff for different duties such as tending to attendees, valet, and technical support. Also, you will need a conference coordinator to deal with certain issues as they arise.

Branding is important

A successful conference is one at the end of which all the stakeholders and sponsors got their money’s worth. You should keep their interests a priority as the event proceeds and make sure that you are giving out the right brand message. Also, check all the places that you can use for advertisement purposes such as elevators, plasma screens both in and outside of the venue, or any other place on the premises. Make sure that yours is the only event of its kind that is being held at that location. Otherwise, the brand image that you want to project may get influenced by other events.

Confirm on-site accommodation

Accommodating your guests is an important part of the event. So ask the manager whether they will provide ample rooms or space for your conference. It becomes even more important when your conference runs for a few days.

Know the venue layout beforehand

What happens on the stage is not the only important thing at a conference. You will have to set up meetings, coffee or lunch breaks, exhibitions, and other activities for your guests. It is important to know the layout of the venue beforehand so that you can assess whether you will have enough rooms, panels, or halls to do all that. A venue at which you can transform a large space into multiple smaller ones is the best option for you.

Explore High Tech options

High-tech facilities such as a high-speed Wi-Fi connection are also needed for your conference. Also, if you want to broadcast your conference to those who couldn’t make it physically, you will need advanced AV equipment and video conferencing tools and devices.

Make a list of all the points listed above and make an informed decision when finalizing a venue for your conference.

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