Finding the right meeting venue for your meeting or event can be time consuming and potentially daunting with so many venues to choose from. To help focus your decision making, here are our top six tips for areas to consider when choosing a venue.
Location is one of the most important factors when choosing a meeting venue. Choose somewhere that’s convenient for all your attendees, with easy transport links or free parking. Dedicated meeting venues specialise in running meetings day in and day out and are more likely to be focussed on delivering to your needs. Don’t underestimate the importance of outdoor space as well.
Before you start your search, agree a budget and stick to it to avoid being tempted by more expensive venues that are out of your remit. On the same note, take care about opting for cheaper venues as you may compromise on service or be stung with hidden costs after the meeting has taken place. Choose a venue that is good value, with great facilities, food and service and take time to read customer testimonials and check their credentials. A good indication of quality is if the venue has recently won industry awards.
3. Facilities and Services
Good venues offer great facilities and services as standard. Benefits you can expect as part of your package include: your main meeting room, syndicate rooms, meeting equipment, technological support, stationary, refreshments and creative meeting toolkits. If your delegates are travelling some distance, you may need accommodation too. Can the venue provide it?
Ensure the venue you choose is appropriate for your needs. For smaller meetings, a more intimate venue may be best suited for your needs. For larger events, a venue that can offer ample meeting space with breakout rooms, restaurants, accommodation, outside space and leisure facilities, will be better suited.
5. Response Times
When you've found a conference centre you like, pay attention to how quickly the venue's sales team responds to your enquiry. This may well be indicative of what the venue's service will be like throughout your booking. You may also want to consider carrying out a site visit before you book the venue to see it in person and judge whether it will fit your requirements.
6. Site visits
If you decide to do a site visit, here are a few things to look out for:
- The welcome you receive from reception and your sales representative (it’s likely all your delegates will be greeted in the same way)
- Is the venue clean, tidy and well-kept?
- Is there a car park? If so, how full is it? Is it free?
- Can you eat there? If possible, meet the chef, sample the food and discuss possible menu choices before you book
- How do the staff behave? Are they warm, friendly and welcoming?
- Do the training and conference facilities meet your needs?
- Is there outside space that can be utilised for break-out sessions?