Part 6 – Considerations When Selecting a Venue for Your Next Conference

So, this last installment to my six part blog, you’ve had to wait a wee while for…. but, hopefully it’s worth the wait. Last but not least, we consider the not always considered, yet very important, event catering and parking options for your event.

Event Catering Requirements

Look at the catering packages on offer for your group and ensure that there is a great mix-up of menu selections. It’s always nice to see ‘seasonal’, ‘local’ and ‘fresh’. Be very wary of ‘Chef Selection’ menus and ensure that the venue is capable of catering to the multitude of dietary requirements your group members may have.

Experience tells me that how good or bad the food is, can GREATLY affect delegates’ overall rating of their conference experience and how they perceive the value of their attendance. Even with an outstanding program of events, if you serve delegates poor food for 3 days, they will not be happy campers!

Parking for Delegates

Always check to see if the venue has parking and what the early bird, hourly and daily rates are. While most venues do have parking, it may cost a pretty penny over a number of days for the delegates attending your event. If you are lucky, the parking will be ample and free of charge, though this is not often the case. See if you can negotiate a cheap flat-rate for delegates staying at the hotel and decide if your delegates would be comfortable paying those fees on top of their registration.

On the flip side, there may be little or no parking at the venue, so check to see what street parking or undercover carparks are nearby for delegates to utilise.

In conclusion to my six-part blog ‘Considerations When Selecting a Venue for Your Next Conference’, I  hope this information was helpful to those looking to host their next big conference and acted as a simplified ‘checklist’ to ensure all the general bases are covered before signed on the dotted line.

Author: Michelle Glasson, GEMS Event Management

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