Choosing the right venue to hold your meeting or conference can be difficult with so many different options available, from bars and cafes to serviced offices or historic houses. So we have provided a few tips that we hope will help you with your decision making.
Location – Your first decision should be where to hold your meeting or conference. Ask yourself, where your delegates are travelling from and by what method. For example, if they are coming from all areas of the country and by various modes of transport, you will need to find a venue that is easily accessible by road and train and that is pretty central.
Facilities – When considering a venue, look at the facilities available before you book it. For most meetings or conferences the facilities you should look for are:
-A dedicated meeting room
-Projection screens and LCD televisions
-Unlimited Wi-Fi access
-Suitable light fittings, natural daylight, power points and unobstructed views in the meeting room.
Cost – Decide on a budget and provide your maximum cost per head when submitting your enquiry. By providing your budget you will ensure that you will only be contacted by the venues that you can afford. Do keep in mind when deciding on your budget that if you choose a good quality, experienced venue committed to making your meeting productive and interruption free then you'll get far more from the event.
Look at the venue’s testimonials - When you've found a venue you like, see if their website includes a page of testimonials and look for those testimonials that mention great service. The service you receive can often be the most important and more memorable factor in the success of an event.
Make a site visit – It is important to always make a site visit before booking your venue so that you can check whether they have the facilities that you need and the room layout can be as you require. Before you go make a list of what you want from the venue, as it can be easy to get distracted on the day.
Think about the feel of your event – What kind of atmosphere do you want to create for your event? If you want a professional, corporate feel to the event then choose a venue that prides itself on class and professionalism. If it's going to have an element of fun, then perhaps try to find a venue with the option for outdoor teambuilding activities or downtime.
Choose your menus and refreshments – Many people underestimate the importance of choosing the food and drinks for the event but they are extremely important in terms of your attendees’ productivity. Ensure your guests have enough to eat and stay hydrated, and if needed, ask for sample menus to ensure the food is of the right taste and the menu offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
Car parking – If many of your attendees will be driving to the meeting, look for a venue that offers free onsite car parking. If the meeting venue charges for parking then make sure your guests know before they arrive on the day.
Accommodation - If your meeting or conference is going to run for a few days choose a location which either has accommodation onsite or has suitable hotels nearby. Many hotels offer meeting and conference space and often run special offers for the accommodation.
Check for special offers - You can often find discounted rates from top venues on our Special Offers page so take a look before you start your search.