Tagged: Venues

7 Signs You've Found the Perfect Conference Venue

- by Alyson Shane

Are you wondering how to find the perfect conference venue?

Choosing the perfect conference venue isn’t just booking a flashy space that wows attendees. 

Choosing the perfect conference venue means anticipating your speakers’ and attendees’ needs, and making sure they’re taken care of.

This ensures a positive experience for everyone, and will make your conference memorable for all the right reasons.

Below are seven signs you’ve found the perfect conference venue:

1. The venue is accessible and inclusive

One of the most important parts of ensuring a positive attendee experience is to choose a venue that is accessible and inclusive.

We love the tips outlined in the Council of Ontario Universities’ guide for choosing venues, which include:

  • The building entrance. Doors should be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter, and should have a power-assist button.
  • Meeting room size. Big rooms with lots of space are better-equipped to accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters. But, rooms that are too big could prevent vision or hearing-impaired attendees from engaging with speakers.
  • Washrooms. The most important factor to consider is the washroom proximity to all meeting and dining areas.

2. There’s lodging nearby for out-of-town attendees

If your event isn’t held in a hotel, then it’s important to consider the proximity of your location to nearby hotels for out-of -town attendees.

If your event isn’t close to any hotels, see if you can arrange a shuttle service. Otherwise you’ll need to factor in the expense of taxi services when pricing your tickets.

3. The venue has staff on-site to help

Depending on the size of your event, the venue should assign at least one person to be your dedicated point of contact both leading up to and during the event.

It’s important to only book a venue from people who are committed to addressing your concerns in a timely manner. Don’t book venues with people who take forever to get back to you, or who seem flippant about your questions or concerns.

4. The venue accommodates your needs

Make sure to clarify any audio/visual needs with your venue and determine what they have, and don’t have, before booking.

Make a list of all the technical equipment you’ll need for your event. For example, if your event features multiple speakers who may need to plug in laptops and use microphones, make sure that the right equipment is available before booking.

Other areas to clarify include:

  • Stage location and audio-visual setup
  • Seating arrangements and capacities
  • Sponsor areas
  • Whether or not you can bring in outside vendors
  • If any break-out spaces are available

5. The venue is sustainable

The venue you choose is a reflection of your event’s values - whether you want it to be or not.

As a result, it’s important that you take care in choosing venues that are close to public transit, or are committed to using compostable plates and cutlery.

6. The venue offers additional branding opportunities

Do you remember to ask about signage and branding opportunities when you book a venue?

Promoting your event doesn’t stop during the event, so make sure to ask about where you can place signage and banners throughout the facility, not just in the event space.

Get creative: ask about signage in elevators, in the lobby, and anywhere that catches your eye. We suggest doing a walkthrough of the space before booking to get a sense of where you can add some extra branding to raise awareness of your event.

7. The venue has flexible food and beverage options

Most venues provide onsite food and beverage, but it’s important to clarify the following areas before signing on the dotted line:

  • What kinds of food and beverage options are available?
  • Can they accommodate special diets or food allergies?
  • Are you allowed to bring in outside vendors?

Make sure to clarify whether the venue can manage additional requests from last-minute attendees, and whether attendees can order à la carte during the event as well.

7 signs you've found the perfect conference venue

Keep these seven elements in mind while booking your next event venue and rest easy knowing that one of the most important aspects of planning your event is taken care of.

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