From booking speakers to securing sponsorship deals for your event, the job of a conference coordinator is never-ending. Whether you are planning a conference for clients, for partners or even on a larger scale like a trade-show, having the perfect venue will make all the difference. Read on to learn the top 10 tips for securing the ideal location from event management experts.
If you want to maximize attendance, you need to ensure you’re choosing a location that is readily accessible by most means of transportation, whether that be private cars, coaches, rail or even air travel. When dealing with high-level executives and VIPs that are going to fly in, try not to choose a location that is going to require flights with more than one leg. Also, confirm that the venue has ample parking spaces and/or valet services for attendees that are choosing to drive in.
Another consideration, that also feeds into the next points, make sure that there are restaurants or other locales nearby that will be open before or after the event to allow you and your attendees to maximize networking opportunities.
If you’re holding a muti-day event and your venue is not located within a hotel, you need to make sure that you have arranged for suitable lodging within a reasonable distance of the event. If your chosen venue is not close enough to reach on foot, check whether the accommodation can provide a shuttle service to the venue. If not, you will want to factor in the expense and availability of a taxi service to ferry your participants around.
Once you’ve ensured your chosen venue is available, check to see if this includes access to the outer spaces and facilities, like the bar, dining area, pool etc. If you can secure these areas for your use, you can offer an excellent opportunity for organic networking between attendees. This can reflect favorably upon your event as a whole and make future events more likely to succeed. A pro tip for this is to schedule your event outside of the venue’s peak season, to improve your chances of securing everything for less.
Of course, there’s not much point in choosing a venue that doesn’t reflect the image your company is looking to project. As importantly, is the venue the most appropriate place for your target audience? For instance, you wouldn’t choose to hold the annual shareholders meeting of a bank at the local skatepark!
Also, consider your stakeholders and sponsors. You may want to check with the venue representative if there are any other events being held on-site that may clash with your intended event or your sponsors’ brands.
It’s important to ensure that your chosen venue fits your budget! However, if you have found the perfect venue that is slightly outside of your price range, don’t be afraid to negotiate. The venue might happily lower the cost in exchange for a multi-year contract.
You will want to make sure that the venue will have enough wait staff, concierge support and security during your event. Since you may have more than enough on your checklist to worry about during the actual event, you want to make sure you can focus on your main tasks without firefighting every few minutes. You may also want to see if wait staff can help you with surveys and other minor interactions with attendees.
Look for a venue that can provide all the tools you need to run your event. This will include audiovisual equipment, microphones and stages. You may also want to make sure the set-up capabilities, seating arrangements and sponsor areas meet your required standards.
Branding is important, so make sure you’re doing it right. Check with the venue representative what branding opportunities are available throughout the facility and not just the event space itself. For instance, can you place signage in the elevator space? Are you able to use in-house electronic signboards and others? Make sure you explore all possibilities before signing the deal.
- Technical Support
In the digital age we live in, ensuring perfect WI-FI coverage throughout the venue is of the utmost importance. Nothing will annoy your attendees more than having their phones, laptops and tablets stall, or have to walk around to get a signal. Make sure your venue provides technical support on-site, or else you will need to make outside arrangements.
- Food and Beverage
Most venues provide on-site food and beverage facilities, but you will still need to make sure that they can cater to allergies or special diets, if they can manage any unforeseen last-minute attendee requests, or if your attendees can order a la carte during the event. It also makes sense to ask if you can bring in outside vendors in case your budget doesn’t stretch far enough, or if you have a special contract with outside suppliers.
If you take into account all the above tips, your next event is undoubtedly going to be a roaring success. Looking for a venue that checks all these boxes? Why not get in touch with Sandow Regency Functions today!