Hosting a conference or meeting is no easy task and whatever the goal of the event is, it is important to pick the perfect venue to host it. Getting the venue choice right can be the key difference between your meeting being a success or a failure, and with so many different conference and meeting venues available it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose. Whether it is a product launch, large conference or corporate dinner, there are a lot of moving parts that need to be considered when choosing a meeting venue. A whopping 36% of event planners spend most of their budget on the perfect venue, so making sure to choose the right space is vital. Here are our top tips for finding the perfect meeting venue:
Location, Location, Location
Probably the most important thing to consider when choosing a venue for your event is the location, and how accessible it is for your delegates. Think about where your guests are going to be travelling from, and what kind of transport links are going to be useful for them. If you’re hosting an event with a large number of international delegates, then consider a meeting venue close to Heathrow or other major airports. Parking is also another major point to consider, as a lot of guests may choose to drive to the venue; consider if your meeting venue has free parking or will your delegates have to pay?
If your delegates have to travel in for your meeting or conference, then you should be able to provide them with suitable accommodation options as well. One of the easiest ways to provide accommodation at a conference is to choose a meeting venue that has its own accommodation available. This saves on guests having to travel between the venue and their accommodation, and most venues with accommodation will offer discounted rates and special offers for bedrooms booked for a meeting or event.
Whether you are hosting a large conference, product launch or drinks reception, the venue you choose should have experience and knowledge in how best to cater for your specific event. Perhaps you need multiple meeting rooms, a separate break out area or unconventional seating arrangements. Always ask any potential venues what can and can’t be done to make sure they can meet your expectations.
Catering and Menu
It is the details such as the food options and catering that stick in your delegates minds after the event, and can really make or break a conference or meeting. No one wants soggy sandwiches or poor quality cuisine, and a bad menu can lower the tone of the entire event. Choose a venue that has experience in catering for large groups and events, and ask about the various menu options and choices that are available. Whether it is a working lunch, sit down meal or a drinks reception, there should be options for everyone. Remember to include vegetarian and vegan options, as well as catering for delegates with food allergies.
Facilities and Technology
Think carefully about everything you will need to successfully host your meeting or conference. Consider if you need audio-visual equipment such as projector screens, wireless presenting technology or microphones for speakers. Find out from potential venues if WiFi is available for all delegates and if there are any extra charges you should be aware of. Lighting in the form of natural light from large windows, or adjustable mood lighting is also important to think about, as is black out blinds if you are planning on hosting a presentation.
When looking at potential venues, pay attention to the members of staff you are in dicussion with and consider if you want them representing your event to your delegates and guests. A good meeting venue should have impeccable staff that are friendly and polite to your all guests. Ask about the attendee to staff ratio to determine if there will be enough manpower to host your event. A lot of meeting venues have in house meeting coordinators that are available to help you plan your event and make sure it all goes off without a hitch.
A Venue with a Difference
The chances are, most of your delegates will attend countless numbers of conferences and meetings every year, and they spend a lot of time in meeting venues that all offer the same things. Look for meeting venues with something a bit different to make your event really stand out from the rest. Choose a venue with outdoor space so your guests can have a break outside and get some fresh air, you could even host some outdoor activities such as garden games, an archery session or an outdoor afternoon tea party.
Trying to find a venue that can cover every aspect of your event can be a struggle, but here at The Bull our dedicated events team are on hand to do everything they can to make sure your meeting, conference or dinner runs perfectly. Superbly located in Gerrards Cross, The Bull offers unbeatable transport links, 13 fully flexible event suites and large landscaped gardens. Many of the meeting spaces have been recently refurbished and include high-tech AV equipment such as full HD in-ceiling projectors and screens. To find out more about hosting your meeting at The Bull, contact our dedicated events team by calling 01753 202919 or emailing [email protected].
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