When your company is planning a new meeting and you are busy scouting for a new conference location, there will be times when overlooking something important can hinder your meeting's success. Especially if you're not completely familiar with venue sourcing.
Understand ahead of time what is the event programs - concept or theme.
You have a plan and you have a good idea what you're looking for but before you speak with the Venue Manager here are 9 Tips to make sure you are asking the right question when visiting the venue.
Is the space available for your selected dates? This might sound like an obvious question but other than the room types you'll need for the event itself, you'll want to know if the venue can provide you with room & board for guest. Since it's quite possible that your guest could be coming in from out of town.Requesting both types of rooms could land you a discount so don't be afraid to ask.
Does the Venue offer accommodations? We touched on this in the first tip if there will be presenters or speakers coming in from out of town do they need room and board? If the venue doesn't offer it. Or doesn't have enough rooms available, search for a Hotel or a Venue that is within walking distance
Is the venue accessible from the airport? And, are there Shuttles or public transit? If some of your attendees are coming in from out of town and to an airport, ask the venue if it offers any shuttle service and will they be providing parking for the guest if needed?
Don't let venue sourcing hinder your meeting's success. #eventprofs #meetingprofs
Is the Venue large enough for your event? Once you know what your Guest count is going to be, including any hired staff and on-site vendors like the AV, photographers, and catering then you will feel better about which vendors made the cut. You'll also want to ask if there will be enough eating for all sessions, and spaces to relax between sessions. Then consider if you want your guest to sit in rows or round tables… What sort of interaction are you looking for? Ask the Venue for any setup diagrams for examples of what's been done before.
What facilities does the Venue offer? With the many types of conference venues to choose from, depending on your needs, ask about… The Theater, Ballroom, Meeting-Rooms, Exhibition Studios, On-site Restaurants, Lounge-Areas, Outdoor-Space. And, are any of those rooms decorated or fully furnished?
Can you bring in your own vendors? Like, AV, lighting, catering? Or is it all in-house? If you don't have a team assembled yet, ask if the venue has a Preferred Vendor list.
Does the venue meet your Technical and Business needs? Can the facility provide Audio Video equipment? and find out about wifi restrictions. Some locations do not allow for downloading large files, or may restrict users to browsing only! Finding out any wifi connection restrictions in advance can make sure guests get the best possible internet experience. Also is there a business center with faxing, print and mailing services? So any attendees that might need to still conduct business, will be able to.
Does the venue cater events? If so, Can their caterers provide vegan, diabetic, and other dietary options? If not, find out what the restrictions are.
What type of atmosphere does the venue have? Matching a venue atmosphere to the direction of the event & theme can be the final touch to get the idea across! Or presenting a new product line in a plush conference room and matching atmosphere to a company mission-or-concept, could help show strong character. Now, while you can save money with an aesthetically pleasing venue, your attendees may not like the conference's feel.
How much does the venue cost? Ask which days are cheaper, because some days can be cheaper than others. Same goes for seasons. Above all else, match budget with the venue. Consider other event costs, be aware of liability issues. And, find out what comes with the venue during payment.