Putting on a conference requires all sorts of logistics. But arguably the most important part of the event is choosing the right venue.
So, how do you go about choosing a conference venue? What things should you take into consideration? We're going to review them all in detail below.
Here's how to choose an event space for your next conference.
Assess Your Budget
First and foremost, you need to assess your budget. After all, if you can't afford a certain venue, you can't afford it. There's no use in trying to make the numbers work in such a situation.
So, compile a list of all your expenses. Try to be as accurate as possible in estimating each expense and then add an additional 5% to 10%. Determine what you have left over in terms of money to spend and then set a maximum value of which you'll spend on your venue.
Once you've done this, you should start calling around to specific venues and asking them how much they charge. Once you've called a few places, you'll have an idea of the rental costs of different types of venues. This will help you to better pinpoint your chosen venue.
Think About Location
Your budget might be the most important thing to consider. The second most important thing to consider, however, would be the venue's location.
If your venue is located far off the beaten path, you're going to have trouble getting people to attend your event. After all, wouldn't you rather attend an event at Madison Square Garden as opposed to an event at a bowling alley in a small town?
When considering the location of your venue, think about parking, public transportation, proximity to airports, and the like. Also, think about the mystique of the location. Atmosphere matters and your event is bound to have a much more inviting atmosphere in a popular and desirable area as opposed to a rarely-visited and culturally barren one
Another hugely important thing to consider is the amount of attendance your conference is going to see. After all, your venue will need to be big enough to accommodate everyone that attends your event.
And it's important to accommodate every attendant comfortably. Don't try to cram thousands of people into an event meant for hundreds. You want each attendant to have a comfortable and reasonably spacious seat.
That said, you don't want your venue to be half-empty either. This will cause your event to look unimpressive, even if turnout exceeded your expectations. In essence, it's bad optics.
Assess other events like yours and determine what their typical turnout is. Then, extend your marketing efforts so as to reach that number of people. With any luck, your venue will be the perfect size for your event.
Consider Venue Features
Your venue could just be a big room with seats set up. That's appropriate for some circumstances. However, in many situations, the venue needs to have additional features in order to accommodate the needs of the event.
For instance, maybe you'd like to have a room in which speakers can prepare before going on stage. Or, maybe you'd like to have a bar area at which event attendees can purchase drinks.
You can find venues with all types of special features. You just have to get out there and look. In truth, regardless of the type of event you're hoping to put on, you can probably find a venue that accommodates it perfectly.
Make Sure It Offers Appropriate Assistance
Some venues are rented out simply as venues. In other words, you pay money, get to set things up within the building for a designated period of time, and then have to tear everything down yourself, pack it up, and leave.
Other venues, on the other hand, offer assistance along with the rental price. They have employees that can assist you with setup, teardown, and everything in between. Some venues even come with the services of a trained event coordinator, ensuring that your responsibilities are kept to a minimum before, during, and after the event.
Depending on the size and requirements of your event, you could or could not need additional help. It's just something to keep in mind when you're making your final choice.
Ensure That Its Look Fits the Theme of Your Conference
The last component in choosing a conference center is ensuring that its look fits the theme of your conference. If your venue's appearance doesn't match up with the event's theme, it could leave many attendees unimpressed.
For instance, let's say you're putting on a tech conference. In this case, you're probably going to want to have it in a big and beautiful convention center-style venue. You're probably not going to want to have it in the side room of a bar.
However, if your conference revolves around beer and food, a bar might very well suit the event. In fact, many attendees might even be happy to attend the event in a bar.
This might not be the #1 priority but it's still important nonetheless. It can greatly contribute to or take away from your event's mystique.
Choosing a Conference Venue Correctly Is Vital
When it comes to putting on a conference or other such event, choosing the correct conference venue is vital. The above-reviewed tips will guide you through the venue choosing process, ensuring that you pick the perfect event venue for your purposes.
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