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How to Choose a Conference Venue

When it comes to organising a conference, having the right venue makes all the difference. Whether it’s a conference for your staff, partners, customers or clients, finding the right venue should be on the very top of your conference planning agenda.

From accessibility to food options and location, there are a number of critical elements that will guide your choice. Our conference experts at Nailcote Hall have put together this guide to choosing the perfect venue for a conference, as we know all about the pressure for perfection. Keep reading to find out what to look for, as well as our top tips.

Consider your conference budget

First things first, consider your budget. This will be a major factor in choosing a venue, particularly because this is just one of the expenses that should be on your list. Since equipment, catering and possibly accommodation still need to be paid for, this expense cannot take your entire budget.

When considering costs, keep in mind that being flexible with your dates can obtain you a discounted rate. You are also able to negotiate, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Think about capacity and accessibility

How many people can fit into the venue, and how many different kinds of people? Are there ramps at the stairs, or better yet, an elevator? These are important questions to ask when deliberating between different conference centre options.

You want to ensure that there is comfortable seating in conference rooms and enough space for relaxation during breaks. You also don’t want to book a venue with a capacity for 100 people when you will only have 50 attendees, as that will look like half of the attendees didn’t bother to show up.

Look at accommodation options

If your conference venue is not located within a hotel, like ours, you will have to find separate accommodation options near to the venue. It is also best to ask the hotel/s if they are able to offer a shuttle service so that your attendees are able to get to and from the venue without hassle.

Take a look at staffing and facilities

Staffing is particularly important for the smooth running of a conference, particularly because you’ll have plenty on your plate on the day. Security, waitstaff, concierge support and tech support are all very important. Now would also be a good time to consider whether you would like the assistance of a dedicated venue coordinator on the day, to assist with any issues that might arise.

Facilities are equally important. Depending on the nature of your conference, you may need a stage, professional sound system, audiovisual equipment and more. You will also want the correct seating arrangements for your intentions. For example, if attendees need to take notes, theatre-style is not ideal. Similarly, circled seating would not suit an event with 200 people.

Think about food and beverages

Without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of any conference is what is served. It’s the part that gets everyone excited and can make a rather taxing lecture worth every minute if done right. With this in mind, choosing a venue according to the catering options is wise. However, you can also ask the venue if you can bring in outside vendors.

Most event venues offer catering services as part of their conference packages. Ask them what dietary requirements they cater for, if they could handle last-minute attendees, and if your attendees could order off the menu.

Consider location

Last, but certainly not least, you should consider location. Choosing a convenient location is a great way to maximise attendance. Depending on the nature of your event, a city or the countryside might be ideal. Think of the closest airport, train terminal or bus station. You can also consider the nearby attractions and entertainment if your attendees do not have a full daily itinerary.

Ready to book your conference centre?

Armed with these tips for choosing between different conference centres according to your specific needs, you’re sure to find the ideal venue for your event. If you would like to hear more about our conference venue and hotel, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to help you make your conference a success.

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