There are plenty of factors to figure in when planning a conference or event.
I’ve created a help page with some ideas of things you may want to consider when planning a conference or choosing a venue.
Location & Transportation
- Do you need to be somewhere central in the UK or Europe or anywhere else in the world?
- Do you want to be in a city centre or on the outskirts of town?
- How are your delegates travelling i.e. do you require access to public transport, motorways or car parks?
- Is there car parking onsite, if so is there a charge? (Quite often car parking may be an additional charge to the delegate rate)
- If there isn’t any public transport close by, how will your delegates get to the venue?
- Consider the weather or even other local events taking place that may have an impact on your event both for availability and access.
- Is the first impression a good one?
- Is the venue available on the required dates?
- How flexible is the venue should you need to change the date?
- Does the venue fit the company’s image or the image you’re trying to project?
- Will the venue appeal to your target audience?
- Can you brand areas of the venue with your company’s logo/information?
- Does the venue fit within your budget?
- Have the best rates been negotiated (either by yourself or an agent?)
- Does the price quoted include everything you need for your event?
- Are there any extra costs that you need to be aware of? (such as bottled water – is that included in rate or just jugs of water?)
- Does the price include all the equipment you need? (Sometimes specialist equipment may have to be hired in)
- Is the room offered large enough for the style and numbers for your event?
- Does the room have enough space to move around comfortably in?
- Are the toilets close to the meeting room?
- Are there any pillars in the meeting room that might obstruct viewing?
- Does the venue have all equipment required for your event?
- Is WIFI required and available at the venue?
- Will the catering be provided in the meeting room, outside the meeting room or in another area? In which case, are these areas adequate and easy to get to?
- How close to the room is the kitchen? (the last thing you want is cold food for lunch!)
- Does the venue offer leisure facilities if required?
- Is the venue fully accessible for disabled delegates?
- Is accommodation provided onsite if required?
Additional things to think about
- If at all possible, arrange to see the venue and room/s.
- If you are to have more than one room, check to see if the rooms are close by – the last thing you need are your delegates having to walk half a mile to get to your breakout space!
- If you are able to visit the venue before making a decision, see if you can sample the food or at least see a sample menu.
- Are the staff attentive on your site visit? If not, it may be a clear indication of how they will be for your actual event.
- When is payment due and is it possible to set up a credit account so that you can be invoiced after the event instead of having to pay up front?
- What is the cancellation policy for the hotel?
- Don’t underestimate the value of food and beverages to a successful event.
- First Impressions really count
- Quality service is essential to a well executed event, no matter what star rating or standard the venue is.