Part 5 – Considerations When Selecting a Venue for Your Next Conference

It’s been a very busy few weeks and GEMS, so my blog articles had to wait. However, this week I will be addressing two new considerations. Happy reading!

Does the venue offer on-site accommodation? Or are there accommodation options nearby?

It is almost always preferable to book your delegate accommodation in the same place you are hosting your conference. With such a full schedule of events to attend, your delegates want to be able to pop up to their rooms to call into a work meeting, have a rest of freshen up before the next session or event. Ideally, you want the venue to be able to accommodate the majority of your conference group, perhaps with one other nearby hotel (within walking distance) as an alternative option for delegates.

Locking in accommodation blocks at the conference venue can often increase your ability to negotiate the terms of the contract fees. This could come in the form of, reduced or waived room hire fees, reduced day delegate package rates and reduced accommodation room rates. You also eliminate the need to arrange costly coach transfers to and from off-site accommodation and/or social event venues.

Where Should We Put the Exhibitors?

Have you considered where you will put your exhibitors? This is a big one and often gets overlooked.

Exhibitors are a huge factor in creating successful events and make considerable financial contributions, which can greatly affect the event’s bottom line.

A sure-fire way to put your exhibitors off-side, is to serve the conference catering in a separate room to where the exhibition is located. The catering breaks are where exhibitors will be able to get the most out of their investment, by spending one-on-one time with the delegates and being involved in the networking discussions to happen during this time. If they don’t receive this valued time, you can expect that they will not return in subsequent years.

So, when considering the exhibition component of your event, it is really important that you consider the exhibition area, not only filled with booths and delegates, but also large catering tables, coffee and tea stations, and potential lounge areas. Don’t get stuck in a venue that can’t possibly fit both.

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