When you’re a professional corporate event planner, you are expected to deliver the best experiences for your clients every single time.
And that isn’t always easy – there are hundreds of details you need to consider when choosing a venue, and sometimes even when everything looks good on paper, the site fails to meet your expectations.
Luckily, you can take steps to increase the chances of finding the perfect conference venue and ensure that all of the attendees leave your event happy.
Let’s go over a checklist of the things you should take into account below.
Consider Your Budget
As is in most instances involving corporate or any other type of events, budget restrictions play a significant role in what kinds of choices you end up making.
As a corporate conference organizer, you are expected to find the best possible value deal for a venue that not only falls within the budget but also delivers on all of the amenities and other requirements.
When starting your search for the perfect venue, you will likely have to eliminate a lot of the options because of the budget, but don’t worry, as there are ways how you can get more for every pound that you spend.
First off, you should make sure that you book your venue as early as possible – as soon as you know the approximate dates of your conference, you should start looking at potential options and calling to see if they’d like to book a place early at a reduced price.
Often, sites will be happy to offer a better deal to fill up their calendar in advance rather than risk keeping the slot open altogether.
If you find a venue that you think is ideal, but the price is out of your range, you could try and contact them, asking if they’d be willing to cut a deal, as you may sometimes get a great deal on a venue you couldn’t afford otherwise.
Estimate the Number of Attendees
Another crucial aspect of the venue selection process is figuring out how many attendees are coming to your event.
Now, it’s understandable that you may not be able to pinpoint the exact number up until just a few days or weeks before the event, but you need to be able to make approximate estimations if you don’t want your event to become overcrowded or have a venue that’s barely filled out.
Finding a balance between getting a venue that’s too big or risking getting one that’s too small requires experience, but as a corporate event planner, you should be able to reach at least a ballpark number of the number of attendees that should be coming.
Once you have a rough idea, you should start looking at venue capacities, and at this point, it’s a safer bet to err on the bigger site in terms of venue size, as you want to leave yourself some room for an unexpected increase in capacity rather than have your event too full and having to turn away guests, which is never a good look. Learn More
List Out Your Requirements
If you’re planning a big conference, chances are that you’ll have a long list of requirements that your venue will need to meet.
Sure, you can try and find some of the suppliers yourself, and in some instances, that can make sense from a financial perspective. But in the end, the most convenient scenario is the venue providing you with all of the necessary amenities, tech, catering, and everything else that you might need.
Therefore, when looking into specific sites, you should have a list of things that you’ll need in terms of catering, accommodation, sound or video tech, accessibility, and everything else that you think of.
This way, you can eliminate a lot of the options instantly and save time for the venues that have the most potential.
One thing to consider is that even if a venue says it has specific amenities, you shouldn’t take their word for it and should always check in person to verify that all of the listed amenities are not only available but of satisfactory quality.
Think About the Location
A common mistake of a novice corporate conference organizer is not taking enough consideration about the location of the venue.
Even though corporate events aren’t as dependent on being at a central location in the city, there are still some location aspects that could have a considerable impact on your event’s attendance and even its public perception.
Therefore, you need to take into account your event’s type, its scope, and the habits of your attendees to ensure that the location is as convenient as possible.
For starters, you should figure out where the majority of your attendees will be coming from.
If it’s a local event and most of the guest are coming from the city, a central location that’s the hub of public transportation makes sense – most cities are inconvenient to access by car, so you need to make sure that guests have an easy time arriving by bus, a subway system, or a taxi.
However, if your guests travel from all around the country, then a location near the central station makes sense, as people don’t have to commute for a long time after arriving by train or by shuttle.
Finally, if the event is international, you may find that the best option is a venue that’s further from the inner city and closer to the airport.
This way, instead of having to make the lengthy trip from and back to the airport, people can go directly to your conference and then be back at the airport as soon as the event is finished.
Remember, conference attendees, are busy people who will take into account the time and effort it will take to get to your event, so you need to think ahead and make the trip, as well as the decision to come, as easy as possible.
By Sarah Hill for sevenevents.co.uk