While there are many components to planning a memorable conference, finding a venue that suits and meets your needs is an art form all on its own. It's all about the experience you're able to provide the attendees. This means a less-than-optimal venue will make your event feel half-baked, which will, in turn, impact the atmosphere of the conference as well as the agenda.
But, searching for that perfect venue can be tricky. You’ll know that you’ve found the right venue when you find a meeting space that provides:
Although these ingredients form a timeless recipe for successful event planning, real success is found in how the meeting center can adapt to uniquely meet your needs.
Successful conferences come in all flavors and sizes, and no two events are really ever alike. Ultimately, you want a meeting space that's versatile enough to provide you with the resources you'll need to deliver on your event goals. That's the secret sauce of event planning.
How To Choose The Right Conference Venue
Finding the perfect venue for your conference can make all the difference. You can hold a conference pretty much anywhere, including museums, theaters, libraries, and sports arenas. But don't be won by looks alone. A museum may have an inspiring atmosphere aplenty, but if it hasn't been adapted for accessibility, you'll be inconveniencing your delegates. The venue has to align with the event; otherwise, it will just be a distraction.
Ask the following three questions on your venue visits to ensure you lock down the right venue.
1. How's the location?
Choosing a convenient location is probably the best way to maximize attendance. Your delegates should be able to reach the location with as little hassle as possible, so make sure to consider the transportation options. Whether they're coming by air, rail, or car, the venue should be easy to reach.
A venue should set the stage for the conference to achieve its goals. If it’s a multi-day function, opt for a venue that’s a destination onto itself. What amenities and services does it offer? The key is to find a place that people will be glad to retreat to with ease. The last thing you want is for the conference to feel like just another work meeting.
2. What’s the venue set up like?
Now, here’s where capacity comes into play. Choose a venue that holds well over your anticipated attendee target. You don’t want your guests to feel uncomfortable in any way. They should have adequate freedom of movement in the conference area and breakout spaces as well.
Here’s a tip: Look for a venue that provides quiet spaces where your delegates can have some downtime. Put simply, does the venue provide different types of meeting spaces? Variety is the essence of versatility. The right space is equipped technologically and spatially to meet the specific needs of your event.
3. Does the venue’s branding match your event’s?
Successful events all come down to the ambiance. Not all venues can match the preferences of your attendees, so choose a place your delegates would love to go to. Pay special attention to the existing décor inside the venue and how the facility is marketed.
The more the environment matches the desired feeling of your event, the less decorating you’ll have to do to make up for it. Consider the tone and intention of the event you’re planning. From there, ensure everything including the activities to the food and beverages served reflect and reinforce the atmosphere you want to create.
Looking for the Perfect Meeting Space?
If you're worried about creating the perfect setting for your next big corporate event, contact the team at Wingspread. At Wingspread, we understand that convening is an art. Let us help you plan a conference that's engaging, productive, and inspiring.