Even though the world is shifting towards online networking and virtual events, it’s undeniable that in-person interactions will continue to be an integral part of our future. Whether you are looking to increase leads, expand your brand presence, or drive business growth, there’s no better way to do it by meeting your prospects and customers in person. While the chances of physical meet-ups may seem tenuous in the current circumstances, it’s recommended to start working an event programme for the long-run. And if you plan to organise a business conference in a year or so, it’s better to already start with finding the venue.
When you’re busy searching for a conference location that meets all your criteria, it’s easy to get caught up in minor details and overlook something critical for your meeting’s success. Especially if this is a new conference for your company or you’re not entirely familiar with venue sourcing, it’s important to move forward with a plan in place.
Before you speak with the venue provider, you should make a list of your requirements. You might want a particular food servicing style, different branding options, or additional guest rooms to accommodate last-minute registrants. Once you have created this list, it will help you ask the right questions when you visit a venue, and also compare multiple venues side-by-side to select the best one.
Here are some pertinent questions you need to ask:
1. IS THE SPACE AVAILABLE ON YOUR SELECTED DATES?
If so, can the venue provide you with rooms, audiovisual equipment, risers, podiums, and everything else you need on those dates?
2. IS THE VENUE ACCESSIBLE FROM THE AIRPORT, HIGHWAYS, OR PUBLIC TRANSIT?
Think about how your attendees will travel to the conference. If most of them are coming from the airport, ask if the venue offers a shuttle service. You should also find out if ample parking is available.
3. DOES THE VENUE OFFER ACCOMMODATIONS?
If your attendees are travelling from outside the city, you may want to hold your conference at a venue that is surrounded by several hotels and restaurants.
4. DOES THE VENUE OFFER THE AMBIENCE TO ALIGN WITH YOUR EVENT?
While you can save money with a no-frills venue, your attendees may complain about the conference’s “feel”, which could result in lower interest for future events.
5. IS THE VENUE SPACIOUS ENOUGH FOR YOUR EVENT?
Attendees should have comfortable seating in all the sessions and space to relax between sessions. If they have to jostle in a crowd and sit in cramped spaces for hours, they might make a beeline for the exit door.
6. DOES THE VENUE OFFER THE RIGHT FACILITIES?
You might need a theatre, ballroom, meeting rooms for breakout sessions, and space for exhibits. You may also be interested in on-site restaurants, lounge areas and outdoor space.
7. DOES THE VENUE MEET YOUR TECHNICAL AND BUSINESS NEEDS?
Can the facility provide AV equipment, WiFi and giant projectors? Is the WiFi free or fee-based? Some venues offer on-site business centres with faxing, printing, and mailing services so attendees can conduct business while they’re away from their offices.
8. DOES THE VENUE OFFER CATERING SERVICES?
If so, can the caterers provide vegan, diabetic, and other dietary options? What service style options are available? Are outside caterers allowed, if required?
9. DOES THE VENUE PROVIDE ANY FREEBIES?
Little things like complimentary stationery, shuttle service to the airport, free welcome drinks etc. can add up to big savings and leave a favourable impression on your attendees.
10. HOW MUCH DOES THE VENUE COST?
The venue should fall within your budget and offer incentives to get your business. You should also be aware of liability issues, payment terms and the fine print. The venue will likely be the biggest cost component in your budget, so make sure neither you nor your attendees end up having any regrets!
Still stuck with search engines to find your desired venue? Explore the Cvent Supplier Network to find amazing event venues across popular destinations at the most competitive prices!