With today’s teleconferencing technologies, you might think conference venues have become obsolete.
After all, what company would spend the money on facilities rental, catering, and lodging if the same goals can be achieved in-house?
But can they?
That’s what we’ll look at in this article: what conference venues and off-site conferences themselves have to offer attendees that staying in their workplace does not.
We’ll discuss ways to select some of the best and most memorable conferencing venues available—and guidelines for selecting them.
If arranging conferences is one of your responsibilities, read on to find out more.
First, we should talk about the goals of corporate meetings held in conference venues.
These will be the foundation for what we consider good venue selection.
Possible large goals of corporate conferences include:
Undoubtedly, conference organizers will plan more focused activities for accomplishing these sorts of goals.
However, you can see that each of those listed here shows a need for proximity not essential to most everyday business activities.
There are reasons why you might reserve a corporate meeting space where your business is headquartered, such as:
In these cases, you might find only some of the following recommendations apply to your needs.
Here, we’re focusing mainly on retreat-type corporate conferences.
When choosing corporate event space, you’ll need to strike some balances.
First, you’ll want a location where attendees can feel relaxed and ready to focus on the business at hand.
However, that place should not have distractions that cause people to skip important parts of the conference. For example, although Vegas is easy to get to from anywhere, it has too much going on to be a good conference location.
For retreat types of conferences, we like venues in beautiful, natural surroundings that have amazing on-site facilities such as golf courses, spas, and lake shores.
In other words, these should be places where people can congregate while relaxing. You want them to talk casually between sessions, and a room with a great view or a walking trail would do this well.
If you’re trying to stay within a reasonable budget, consider a venue a short distance outside a city.
Cities are busy, distracting, and expensive. Remote rural areas are fun for personal getaways, but not optimal corporate event spaces.
If the venue is far from home, it should be within a short drive of an airport.
If travel time is too great, people might not want to attend. Good airport transportation should be available.
In case anyone wants to drive, there should be sufficient parking.
A dedicated conference venue usually has good parking, but check anyway.
A good conference venue will have a variety of meeting rooms.
Larger venues will have a range from small meeting rooms to large ballrooms that can be separated into smaller spaces.
However, the smaller your group is, the more interesting spaces you’re likely to find.
In fact, you might discover some very unique and interesting spaces. Just be sure the venue you choose has synergy with your brand.
Having an excellent food provider is essential.
Food can make a corporate meeting memorable for great reasons—or some terrible ones. In a few months, will employees still be raving about the tiramisu or recalling food poisoning incidents?
If the venue you’re considering has a restaurant, there’s a good chance they also prepare meals for group events.
Be sure to find out, though. Also, be sure to sample the food when you visit the site.
If there is no on-site restaurant at your selected venue, or if you would prefer an alternative, you need to find a good caterer in the area.
The availability of a caterer near the venue could be a deciding factor in selecting the venue itself.
Most businesses and organizations want branding opportunities at their conference venues.
For some, this can even be a factor in selecting the venue.
Make sure the conferencing venue you choose has areas available to hang banners with your logo and conference theme, catchphrase, or slogan. Be sure your brand will be displayed throughout any parts of the facilities you’ll be using.
Branding is important for employee morale and enthusiasm, but also for passersby who might be interested in your business and its activities.
The best advice here is to start planning as early as possible.
You want to secure the best dates at the most reasonable costs. If there’s a preferred destination, you want to work around any major events that have been scheduled there.
And, if at all possible, an advance visit is a good idea.
You’ve done your homework, considered multiple conference venues, made inquiries, negotiated, and even visited the facility and tasted the food.
Now the countdown begins.
There is still work to do, but the hard decision-making and detail work are over for now. It’s time to make sure all the supplies you’ll need are packed and ready to ship and to send out reminders to attendees.
We hope you’ll consider our facilities for a future event, whether professional or personal.
We’ll be waiting to hear from you!