How to find the perfect conference venue
Conferences and congresses nowadays tend to be quite popular, and there is one simple explanation to that. Be it a science-themed or business conference, it basically has one aim: to give away new and useful information for the participants in a way so that they feel it is exactly for them. And these events come with a great bonus, which is crucial in both the business and the science world. There is always time to socialize, to make new connections, to change ideas – and also business cards.
Today, the most trending conferences – besides the scientific ones – are the varied professional events, workshops, trainings, reatrainings and panel discussions. But it is not enough just to hold one event like this, it needs to be successful! Its success greatly depends on the organization, and of course, the conference venue itself. That is why you need to be very careful about our choices. So, here are some aspects that everyone planning a conference should count in, when choosing the place of their event.
Organizing a conference involves a lot of work, so it’s very important to plan everything in advance from the very first moment until the last guests leave. The success of the whole event depends on this – in which the conference venue plays a colossal role too. This is because the venue can fundamentally determine the atmosphere of an event and the possibilities it might have.
So it is not a question that the planning needs to start with choosing the conference venue. The most important thing is to always choose a conference center according to the purpose of the event. And there are many purposes to hold a conference.
Even though you work at one place, in most cases you only meet your immediate co-workers. Not to mention the past two years with all the online meetings and the full-time home office. So on-the-job training and team buildings are essential, especially for a larger company or multi. For these events choosing a location is not easy. First, it needs to be able to accommodate a relatively large number of people, and second, it needs to meet all your needs. It is important so that you can all really focus on your team building or training.
The needs are similar, when you not only have domestic, but also international partners at your work-related conference. However, in this case, it is especially important that the accommodation and the venue of the event are the same. This way, your guests, who have no local knowledge, do not have to spend their days traveling around.
Most conferences are usually some kind of professional event. These can be workshops, business conferences, professional consultations, medical conferences, international conferences, product presentations, congresses, or motivational training. For these types of events, conference centers with all the conditions – like technical equipment and catering – are essential to ensure the right standard. There are just a very few companies that have all of these provided, so you will probably need to look for a completely new venue for your conference.
Yes, conference venues are great places to host business or academic events. However, these can also be perfect for various balls and gala events, like charity gatherings, Christmas parties or even award ceremonies. On such events there is usually a large number of people, where in addition to parking, care must also be provided. Conference venues are ideal in this respect as well.
Last, but not least, it is worth mentioning that these venues can even be used for private purposes. The most classical example to that is a wedding. Everything has to be perfect for a wedding, and the venue is always key. You need catering, decoration, not to mention that very often guests arrive from another part of the country, so accommodation and parking needs to be arranged as well.
One of the most difficult projects when organizing an event is finding the right venue that meets all of your needs. For example, in the case of a corporate conference, the first impression is very important. So it does matter whether the visitors are greeted by a modern building inside and out, or by a less attractive building. But this is just one example that you need to count on when choosing a conference venue.
In addition to the atmosphere of the event, the venue also determines its success: that is why it is very important that you choose it prudently. There are several aspects to keep in mind. First, you need to pay attention to how many people a given conference center can accommodate. Second, it is necessary to make sure that it is easily accessible. Third, all the technical conditions have to be given. And if that wasn’t enough, the venue of a professional event should also fit our brand.
Why is it so important that the conference center represents your company well – besides representing the event? There is a simple explanation to that: attendees to the conference will identify the venue with your company and vice versa: your brand will be identified with the venue. So, if the two are not in perfect harmony, the venue is not in line with your company’s values – and that jeopardizes the success of the event. All in all, a good conference venue fits into the image of your company and adequately represents it, thereby encouraging the ones interested to attend that particular conference.
Choosing the location can be difficult for many reasons. One of those is the fact that you need to keep several aspects in mind.
1. Where do we want to settle?
You need to look for a conference venue that is easily accessible by car and by public transport as well. Those arriving by car should be able to park within striking distance of the venue – preferably for free. Accessibility fundamentally determines the intent to attend, since no one wants to sit in a traffic jam for hours, just for the sake of a single conference.
2. How much is the budget?
Let us cut to the chase right away: the venue will be one of the most expensive shares of your event. And that is why it is worth exploring the possibilities carefully. Make a budget before you start organizing, that way you will not forget how long you can stretch. Here is a good piece of advice: always be prepared for unexpected expenses. You should have at least an extra 15-20% above your estimated budget so that you do not get in an awkward position.
3. For how many people are we organizing?
It is a very important issue, as the location of the event depends primarily on whether the conference venue is able to accommodate as many participants as we plan for the conference. This should be on the top of your check-list.
4. What is the purpose of the conference? Are there any unique needs, characteristics of it?
No matter what kind of event you are planning, first you must determine its purpose. Who would you like to reach out to with it? What kind of event is it? After all, you need a completely different venue for a gala dinner, than a medical congress – just to make one example. So, that is why it is very important to clarify the purpose well in advance.
5. Technical possibilities
You need to, in all cases, inquire in advance about the technical possibilities. Is there projection and sound? If the conference is online, can they resolve broadcasting? Also: can they provide technical staff if needed? A lot depends on whether the venue is technically in order, so be aware, so you do not need a quick back-up plan on the spot.
6. How is the accommodation, the catering and other services?
In case your event requires catering, you need to know if this can be done at the chosen location. If so, do they have a partner or do you have to take care of it too?
7. What else do you need to ask before booking?
We know, there are already plenty of questions spinning around your mind. But in addition to the above, there are a few more aspects that definitely need to be clarified. Will there be another conference at the time booked? Will it be possible to place a trademark, for example, in the lobby or in the elevator? This is extremely important for brand building.
8. What are the Covid-regulations?
This issue is unavoidable in the present situation. Can you even book the conference venue at these times? How long in advance can you plan? Organizing a conference is a lot of time, so you probably need to book your venue months in advance. That is why you need to know what to expect in the event of austerity or restrictions. Also: what regulations do they have right now? You also need to make your guests feel safe.
We have only dealt with the venue aspect in this article, but it can already be clear to you that organizing a conference involves a ton of work. The organization of an event lasts not only until the beginning of the performances, but until the last minute of it. We need to inform you: even when the guests leave, everything has to go down smoothly. All in all: it is impossible to pay attention to everything at once. That is exactly why you should entrust the organization of the conference to a professional team like AKCongress!
You can count on the AKCongress team from the first minute till the last: from planning to conducting the conference. Experienced professionals and professional tools – that will greatly enhance the quality of your event – are at your service. Without professional cameras — especially essential for online conferencing — and a sound system, a congress is less effective. However, you probably do not have these tools, and buying them just for a single conference would raise your costs massively. Well, with a professional conference team, this is not necessary.
AKCongress has many years of experience in organizing and conducting any conference or corporate event. So when having your own event, you only have to pay attention to the presentations and the speakers – not the practical proceedings. You can trust us with everything else! Together with you, we will select the most ideal venue, book it, equip the room, arrange the necessary administration, and also take care of the catering so that you can organize a truly high-quality and memorable event.
Picture: AK Congress