Holding an event always requires a great deal of work, no matter the size.
There are so many things that you’ve got to take into account when event planning and for a conference, at the top of the list is the perfect venue. It’s the home of your event, so it’s got to satisfy certain criteria.
Choosing conference venues can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. In this post, we’re going to talk about 6 of the most significant things to consider when selecting a conference venue.
As long as you’re considerate of your guests, your volunteers or workers, and what the event space offers, then you should be able to have your conference go off without a hitch. If you don’t consider every possibility, however, you could end up running into unforeseen problems.
Don’t get caught off-guard. Here’s how you find the perfect venue for your conference.
Tips When Selecting Conference Venues
This is a simple list of what you need to think about to find the perfect conference venue. It needs to be accessible to your guests and have enough space. You also need to be aware of what’s included in their fee (staffing, catering, etc.). Finally, it must suit the vibe of your conference.
If you find a venue that satisfies all of the following criteria, you’ll be in great shape.
1. Accessibility & Accommodations
Accessibility is one of the most important factors in ensuring great attendance at your conference. If it’s easy for people to reach, they’re simply more likely to show up. When it’s out of the way for too many of your invitees, you’re going to see a clear dip in attendance.
When perusing potential venues, take a look at where they are in relation to airports, train stations, and make sure that it’s easily reached by taxi. If you’re planning on having a lot of guests fly in, then selecting something either near the airport or in a downtown location will be best.
Aside from considering transportation to and from the airport, ensure that there are accommodations available to your attendees. Many nice hotels will have conference spaces within the hotel grounds, but if you’re looking for a conference-specific event space, then ensure there are a few hotels nearby with reasonable rates.
2. Price vs. Size
Before you start your venue search, come up with a figure to have as your venue budget. While you don’t want to cheap out on your venue, getting a good deal should still be a priority. Many venues will offer discounted rates for multi-year contracts.
Being a little bit flexible on your date will probably lower your rate as well, but be prepared to be flexible with your budget as well. The most important thing to measure against the venue’s price is its size.
Is it going to accommodate the number of tickets that you’re planning to sell? Obviously, you don’t want to run into a problem where you’ve oversold the event and have to give refunds, so ensure that it fits the number of tickets that you’re going to release.
3. Staffing & Facilities
Another thing to factor in when you’re considering the cost of the venue is what exactly you’re getting included in the price. Will the event be fully staffed by the venue? Will you have access to multiple conference rooms or just a single large one? Is the proper equipment available to host a conference?
The answers to these questions are crucial in determining how much extra cost there will be on top of the cost of the venue. If you’ve got to hire a team of staff to accommodate your guests, then that’s a whole new can of worms to look into.
If you’ve got to rent A/V equipment, hire someone to operate it, set up a stage, and decorate the venue yourself, there’s going to be a lot more money associated with that. It may be worthwhile to pay more for a venue that is fully equipped than to pay less and have to figure these things out on your own.
Some event spaces have in-house catering. This is essential to consider if your conference is going all day for multiple days. People need to be fed and they’ll expect food and drink included in their ticket cost.
Look at what the venue offers in terms of catering. You should also ensure that it’s alright to bring in outside food and beverage if you’re not fully satisfied with what the venue offers.
A lot of event planners spend most of their entire budget on catering. Keep this in mind and try to keep costs as low as possible while maintaining high-quality catering and great service.
5. The Environment
One of the more overlooked things with conference venues is whether or not the motif fits what your event’s brand represents. For instance, if you’re an eco-friendly company, the venue should also have special green initiatives, recycling practices, and energy conservation.
If the venue isn’t in line with what your conference is preaching, your attendees will be left slightly confused by your choice of venue. To avoid any mishaps, be sure to sit down with the venue manager ahead of time to discuss their practices and whether or not there’ll be anything that clashes with your image.
6. How Much Extra Work For You?
The most important consideration in figuring out if a venue is worth your time and money will be whether you’re going to have to do extra work to get the space ready or it comes prepared. Organizing a conference is a boatload of work in its own right, so piling on more logistical work with the venue isn’t feasible for your sanity.
Consider all of the things above and ask yourself, “what else needs to be done?”. If the venue costs a little bit extra but it comes with a full bag of tricks, so to speak, then it’s probably worth the higher price tag.
The reputability of a venue will tell you a lot. Hop on Google to look at reviews and don’t be afraid to message to other conference organizers that have used these venues in the past to find out what their experience was like. You don’t want to find out the hard way when the conference is too near to change venues.
Find the Best Conference Venue, Not the Cheapest
There you have it. Finding great conference venues is a skill, but a skill that can be learned. Follow these tips and you should be able to get something that suits all of your needs for the right price.
It’s important to know that it’s going to cost a pretty penny, but you can make up this cost with happy customers and ticket sales in the future. Use Eventzilla to set up ticketing, registration, and scheduling, among many other things for your event. Eventizilla is one of the leading event management apps on the market.
While you’re on our site, check out our blog to read more informative posts about planning and managing your next conference.