Searching for an event venue when planning your corporate meeting or conference can be challenging. Before rushing to find the closest meeting space near your office take a minute to consider these 5 things that can determine whether your meeting is a success or failure.
Venue Quality– It is important to make sure you meeting space is consistent with the image you want to give your clientele. I once booked a meeting at what seemed to be the perfect venue over the phone. It was a last minute change since our regular meeting place had double booked, so I didn’t have a chance to see it in person. It could accommodate a lot more people than we had coming to our event, and the tables, projector screen, and setup was all included in the cost. It was in the heart of downtown Nashville and had easy access to the interstate. However, when I arrived the next day to prepare for the event, the lighting was dull, the colors were dull, and there was a musty odor. Make sure to visit the property in person, and if you cannot, ask for photos of the property or meeting areas.
Size– Often, large conference centers use there grandness as a selling point. If you are holding a large conference this could be a good choice. However, consider how long the walk will be for you participants. Also, parking at convention centers can be a nightmare. An event venue that can scale to meet your needs is always a good choice.
3. Cost– Sticking to your budget is an important part of planning your meeting or event. Since the quality of the venue will set the tone for the event it is a good idea not to cut corners when it comes to choosing your venue. That said, it is a good idea to find out what the rental fees cover. Some venues may be all inclusive with your meeting needs, but that is very rare. Most often, the venue offers a menu of a la carte services. Things like catering, table set up, audio/visual can add up quickly when the venue doesn’t allow you to use your own vendors.
4. Catering– Catering options vary from venue to venue, but almost all venues require you to use their services. Occasionally you will find a venue that will allow you to bring in your own caterer and in even fewer cases you can bring in your own food and drink. If you find a quality venue that allows outside vendors it will be worth investing a little more in that event venue for the huge savings you’ll see in your catering costs.
5. Lodging Options– Obviously hotels have lodging on site, but if they are hosting more than one conference, will they have enough rooms available? Usually the answer is yes, but it would be wise to see if you can block off a set number of rooms for your guests. Sometimes the perfect event venue won’t have lodging on site. In that case there needs to be a suitable hotel within walking distance or a 5 minute cab ride.
We hope these tips will help you in your search for the best event venue to meet your needs.