There are lots of things to consider when looking for a venue, including:
Get a clear brief
Establish the meeting objectives, who is attending and what the key criteria. This is particularly important if you are not the final decision-maker as a lot of your time could be wasted if the requirements change. Find out what the parameters are and what flexibility you have to manoeuvre.
Where are the attendees coming from and how are they travelling? Would the event be better held in a city or in the country? Will delegates travel by car and is there plenty of parking? Consider the access by rail, air and bus. Does the venue have any transfer coaches or are taxis required? You'll be off to a good start if everyone has an easy journey!
Style of Venue
There is a huge variety of venues available: hotels, conference centres, management training centres, castles, museums, racecourses. What would best suit your event? Is the venue the standard your attendees would expect? Do you need accommodation, if so onsite or nearby? Do you need outside space for team-building? If the meeting is held over several days, what additional facilities are available to
entertain the delegates?
Generally a daily or 24-hour delegate rate will offer better value than paying for room hire, catering and accommodation separately. Check the difference especially if you don't require everything that's included in the 24-hourÂ rate.Â Work out how much you have to spend and be clear how you're going to manage it.
Do you have a fixed date, as you may be able to negotiate a better deal on a less popular day of the week or time of the year?
Get your cost estimates in writing and create a spreadsheet to keep track of them. It is not only the venue costs to consider but promotional material, production equipment, speakers, transport, printing of documentation. Include a contingency budget , as something always pops up at the last minute.
Content provided by the Event Organisers' Guide by Trinity Conferences Ltd