3 tips for choosing your next conference venue
Choosing a conference venue can be difficult but central to your decision should be what’s available in the location you’re choosing. Opting for a city location for your conference venue gives your clients and delegates a much larger scope for enjoying their time outside of business hours and having a better perception of your company or event as a whole.
Once you’ve chosen a city, you should ensure it has all the necessary facilities for your business clients.
Here’s a closer look at what I believe a conference venue location should offer for visitors.
Choosing a large city as a conference venue means it should offer a plethora of dining options. This is a good idea as you may find individuals with different tastes and of course those who have dietary requirements who can't eat certain things. If you choose a remote hotel location then you may find the menu doesn’t cater for certain clients, which will definitely effect their overall opinion of the event.
Being open-minded is essential when you’re catering for a large number of visitors or those you don’t know a great deal about. Making a good impression is of course essential so the more you can offer from your location the better.
Whether your clients are particularly interested in history and culture or not, it is always a bonus to invite them to a city which has a strong, cultural atmosphere. Whether you organize leisure events at the local galleries and museums or simply point them out as sites of interest, it will change your clients’ perception of you and your business, showing there’s more to you than simply what they see in the boardroom.
A city with a great cultural atmosphere will also have a wider range of leisure and dining facilities, so it all adds up when you’re trying to make a good impression.
Once again, you may find your clients all have different tastes so a large city environment should allow them all to enjoy something of what they like best. You may be able to point one client to the nearest golf course whilst another wants to enjoy a night at the theater.
As the organizer you can also set up some friendly, ice-breaker events, and a city with a large range of entertainment options means you should be able to pick something neutral and enjoyable to all. Organizing an optional schedule will help those who are not sure what to check out get involved but also allows those with their own social calendar can get on with what they want without feeling rude or complied to join in.
Entertaining your business clients involves organizing neutral events such as dinners, visits to well-known local attractions and galleries. Making all events optional will also remove the pressure from clients who may already have had their own plans and prefer to do things their own way. There will always be times during the conference to network and sell yourself to those individuals you are most interested in connecting with.
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About Ayesha Longley
Ayesha Longley works for a unique venue in Edinburgh, The Royal Scots Club, which provides luxury hotel accommodation, conference and wedding venue. Ayesha is a passionate event planner who has been working in the industry for 4 years after graduating from Queen Margaret’s University, Edinburgh. Her recent accomplishments include winning the Best Small Venue award at the Annual 2013 Scottish event awards on behalf of The Royal Scots Club.