What Makes a Good Conference Venue?
Choosing the perfect venue for your conference or event is often a tricky decision, especially when it comes to striking a good first impression. If you’re an organisation looking to draw success, you should know that it’s very important to weigh up all of your options and ensure that your conference venue meets the requirements of your function.
With approximately 30,000 conference spaces to choose from across the UK, it’s safe to say that there is a wide range of alternatives to suit a variety of needs. Unfortunately, having that many options available only makes it harder to narrow down, meaning that you’ll be spending a lot of time doing research before deciding where to place your coins.
If you’re wondering what is important when choosing a conference venue, then you’re in luck. To help you achieve a great outcome for your big meeting, we’ve compiled a list of things to consider before making your final decision.
Wherever you book, make sure that it’s in close proximity to public transport, parking areas and accommodation. If you have delegates or spokespeople flying in or coming from afar, it’s probably best to hire a venue which is located centrally or has good transportation links to airports and train stations. On-site parking isn’t compulsory, but there should be enough alternatives for those who will be driving.
If your conference will be running for more than one day, then you also want to hire a venue that has plenty of eateries, shops and attractions nearby. Business conferences often tend to cover a number of matters over the course of a few days, so it’s best to ensure that you attendees have everything they need within the area.
Although the geographical location of the venue is very important, your delegates’ experience will equally be influenced by its physical location. There are lots of generic venues across the country, so you need to find a setting with a unique backstory, that differentiates itself from the others. Here’s some examples of what you need to find out:
- How does the venue look and feel?
- What is the atmosphere like?
- Are there any interesting stories that relate to it?
- Is it a site of important events?
- Is the venue architecturally unusual?
- Is it in an interesting neighbourhood?
By choosing a venue carefully, a venue with depth, your delegates are much more likely to feel special and come back to your event for the next year.
By now, you should have your list of confirmed attendees ready – this will enable you to work out how much room you need to fit everyone in comfortably. Whether you require a lecture theatre, training room or a larger space for additional business meetings, the size of your chosen space is always a prerequisite of successful event planning.
The last thing you want is to crowd your guests. This will disrupt the event with every movement and could very well impact the success of your conference. Overall, make sure that your conference venue is spacious enough for social interaction and networking.
Choosing a purpose-built venue hall will allow you to make the most of your conference, so make sure to inquire about what layouts are possible within your event venue. Depending on the purpose of your conference, you should ask yourself whether you need just a main hall or a variety of meeting rooms and private dining rooms for breakout sessions.
The venue manager will be able to assist you with ideas and show you a portfolio of different layouts from previous conferences. This is particularly useful when you don’t know how to set up a conference room, or what would actually work for your function.
Providing refreshments will make your attendees feel welcome and looked after. Most conference venues will include a catering service within the package, meaning that you probably won’t need to liaise with a third-party provider. Choose a menu that isn’t too heavy and check that there are plenty of high-quality options available, including free-from alternatives.
Essential on-site facilities should be up to scratch – this includes everything from washrooms, cloak rails and disabled access. For example, if your conference is quite large, you want to avoid crowding at the lavatories and ensure there are plenty of facilities available throughout the building.
Remember to ask the venue manager about furniture and technology:
- Is there any additional furniture and décor you need?
- Will you need a lectern for your keynote speaker?
- Is the available technical equipment suitable for your conference? This includes audio-visual equipment, large screens, a strong wifi connection and video projectors to name a few.
Conference Room Hire London
As one of London’s most prestigious historic buildings, Toynbee Hall offers an array of meeting rooms and conference halls for hire. Our event halls are used for a variety of functions, including training sessions, seminars, product launches, board meetings and more.
We provide state of the art services, including event production and catering and we’ll go above and beyond to accommodate your requirements.
If you’re looking for an established conference venue in London, get in touch with our team of experts today.