With so many event venues out there, finding the right one for your meeting can be a time consuming and daunting task. And for meeting professionals finding the right place every time requires a lot of dedication and persistence.
So where do you begin and how do you go about choosing the perfect venue? These are the processes and steps venue finding services and venue finding agencies will go through to find it.
The first place to start is always the location of your meeting. One of the most important factors when choosing a meeting venue. It goes without saying that you need to choose somewhere that’s convenient for all your attendees, with easy transport links or free parking.
You need to make the decision between choosing a location that is local to your attendees or if it’s more appropriate to take them away from their place of work. The benefit of choosing a location further afield can sometimes help towards brain stimulation, a new environment can get people minds working in a different way, therefore creating a more productive and successful meeting.
The second thing to consider when choosing the perfect venue is budget. Before getting carried away with your search it’s good to set yourself a price limit to stick too, this avoids being tempted by expensive venues and therefore won’t leave you expectations too high.
By the same token it’s also good to have in mind a bottom line when it comes to budgeting to avoid settling for a venue that may look budget friendly but could comprise on service and facilities. Having these limits in place will help to speed up the venue finding process and will encourage you to find the perfect venue within your budget, not the perfect venue out if budget.
Once you’ve got your location and your budget set, it’s time to start narrowing down that search for the perfect venue. This is where the facilities and service standards play an important part. You need to think about the key requirements that are essential at your venue. Getting the right size space is vital, therefore you must be realistic with expected numbers.
The obvious thing to look for is if the meeting rooms are too small, but what is sometimes missed is if the meeting rooms are too big. Just the same as people don’t want to feel cramped and crowded in a meeting, they also don’t want to feel drowned in a large room, it will make your meeting look empty when it could be fantastically busy.
You will want to know at this stage what the venue will be offering for your meeting. Every meeting will require an element of catering, and it’s what every delegate goes home remembering, were they fed and watered well. Make sure the venue can provide all of your guests with something substantial to keep them going throughout the day.
Think about the timings of your event and whether you will need breakfast and lunch included in your meeting package. It’s always a good idea to use the catering breaks as a good opportunity for delegates to stretch their legs and re energise, so it’s good to think about an additional catering space, perhaps even outdoor space might be the perfect solution for this.
The above may all seem pretty obvious steps in finding the perfect meetings venue, but there are a few additional things venue finding agencies will look out for. When making the initial enquiry it’s good to pay attention to how quickly the venue team respond. This can help to give a good idea of what the venue’s service and response times will be in the lead up and even on the day of your meeting. The perfect venue should not only look right, the booking process should be easy and efficient, and this should also be reflected in the service on the day.
Lastly, a site visit is key before contracting to a venue. It’s the perfect opportunity to look out for the small things that go a long way to ensuring the venue is perfect. This is your chance to check out the customer service from the onsite team, were you made to feel welcome and did the team look after you, this is after all what you are going to want for your delegates.
How clean and tidy is the venue, pictures can sometimes be deceiving, nothing beats seeing the venue in person to check it is up to your own standards. Furthermore, if possible, it’s a great idea to ask the venue team if it will be possible to sample and taste the food that you will be receiving at your meeting event. Like we mentioned earlier, food and beverage are always guaranteed to be a talking point amongst delegates post event.
There are a lot of things to think about when choosing the perfect venue for meeting professionals. By following the above steps gives you a very good starting point and helps to eliminate the venues that aren’t going to be right for your meeting.
Written by: Sarah Hill has been a professional content write for over 5 years. She has written extensively about event planning & conference management for Group7 Events Ltd, a well-known meeting planner in London, United Kingdom. Sarah has contributed to many reputed event & meeting blogs like Etouches, Boomset, meetingsnet, Bizzabo and many more. She is travel crazy, lover of wine and the queen of baking.