Sourcing a conference venue is a challenging but exciting task. There are five generic but essential tips for choosing a conference venue, however for this illustration Bristol conference venues will be referenced.
It is absolutely essential to research different venues for your conference. The first internet search engine result for Bristol conference venues gives you nine different categories ranging from ‘unique’ venues to ‘green’ venues and 65 different venue options. Therefore you need to be absolutely certain what the aim of the conference is and who your audience are. Make a shortlist and narrow down from there.
Choosing the right location is imperative. Consider where your delegates are travelling from geographically as for example if most of your delegates are based in the North, a Bristol based conference would be costly and logistically challenging. Consider transport to your chosen location i.e. if there are a lot of delegates, is there adequate parking in the city centre, or would it be more appropriate to host the conference outside of the city centre where space is not so much of an issue.
Selecting the right size of venue is essential. Even if you are utilising one part of a venue e.g. 10 of the 21 meeting rooms at the Bristol Marriott Hotel, consider who is using the additional capacity. It could be occupied by a sports club or a wedding party which may negate from the conference that you are trying to deliver. Size of individual meeting rooms, car parking spaces and accommodation needs to be considered and must provide adequate space for all guests to feel comfortable.
You need to ensure that your chosen venue has all the facilities that you require. This can include disabled access, catering, audio-visual equipment, lifts to transport heavy marketing materials, flip charts, pens and anything that you may require on the day.
Last but by no means least, cost for hiring a venue plus the use of all the facilities must be carefully considered. Bare in mind that it is easy for costs to start escalating when additional requests are made e.g. amending accommodation details or requesting additional staff assistance. It is therefore essential to keep track of costs both on the run up to the event and on the actual day. Ask for all costs to be quoted in writing from the venue as this is common practise (often referred to as a Request for Proposal). Bristol conference venues offer many different solutions therefore you do not need to stretch the budget as there will always be a more appropriate solution to fit your needs.needs.