One of the first steps to planning a conference is choosing the venue. Obviously you want the most impressive facility to set the tone for the day and reflect well on your business. With so many venues to choose from, here we outline 9 key considerations that will help you in selecting the perfect venue for your conference.
You should have a loose outline your conference activities before you come to selecting your venue. The reason for this is that some venues offer just a large empty room, while others have multiple rooms or levels, which can facilitate different conference activities. When searching for a venue, we recommend looking for a venue with lots of natural light or access to outdoor areas during breaks. If you are hosting multiple concurrent workshops or you have guest speakers, then you will need a venue with separate meeting and green rooms offering that capability. It is important that your venue choice offers the facilities required to host your type of event flawlessly. Think about your conference program and keep that in mind as you search for the perfect venue.
Ease of access is vital for promoting attendance at your business conference. You want to ensure your delegates can easily find the venue and travel to it. Choosing a venue located close to well known landmarks can be especially useful for out of town guests. You can market the conference as an opportunity for to explore the city and its attractions, restaurants, museums and shopping districts. For local conferences, consider a location with excellent transport links and parking facilities. Waterfront venues or venues with a view are good for engagement and ensuring your delegates don’t sneak off before the conclusion of the event.
Most venues have their own catering service, so it’s worth considering what’s on offer in the way of conference menus when selecting the perfect venue. It’s important to provide your delegates with a good selection of food, ranging from light and healthy options to more substantial meal items, in order to cater for all tastes. At the same time, you may want to consider at this stage whether or not your venue can cater for a range of international cuisines. Many delegates will look to eat what they are familiar with, so it can be good to cater to the tastes of your guest list. Live chef stations are a good way to add an interactive element to your conference as well.
Depending on your location, your delegates may choose to catch public transport to the venue or to drive and park. Some venues are more easily accessible than others, so you should consider how you expect most attendees to arrive at the venue. If it’s by public transport, you need to think about the travel time required by delegates and how many different links are available at your venue. If it’s by car, you need to think about how many parking spots there are in relation to your number of delegates. Some venues will be able to offer discounted rates to venue guests in local parking lots.
A good Internet connection is vital to the success of your conference. Some venues will offer free Wi-Fi, while others will charge for it. Whether you need a live video stream or connectivity for your delegates, you can save hundreds if you consider this before you book your venue. The same applies to AV services. Most venues will have in-house suppliers, but you should check what equipment is included or if you need to supply some of your own.
You want to choose a venue that embodies your event and reflects the image of your brand. Consider the venues reputation, location, atmosphere and decoration. Does the venue embody your event and reflect the image you want to display? Asking these questions will ensure the venue you choose will reflect the image you want to exhibit and is appropriate for your delegates. Some venues will be more flexible with branding opportunities so if you have a vision in mind, it’s worth asking your venue prior to booking.
Are you considering post-conference activities in your event program? Keep it simple and choose a venue that can facilitate all your activities to ensure a seamless experience for delegates. When planning back-to-back events, the key to a successful execution is a smooth transition between the two. Venues with outdoor areas like Darling Island and Jones Bay Wharf where guests can mingle while the conference room is redressed are great options. When doing your research ask your venue the kinds of post-conference activities they can facilitate. A cooking class or cheese and wine pairing masterclass are some unique ideas on offer at Doltone House, which can be scaled for large numbers.
Depending on your conference, some guests may be required to travel in order to attend. International and out-of-town delegates are going to need nearby accommodation. Consider your venues proximity to a range of hotels and boutique accommodation. Some venues will have partnerships with certain suppliers, so you should ask this question when booking your venue so that you can pass on the discounted rates to your delegates.
We’ve been hosting conferences across our Sydney venue collection for more than 20 years. What sets us apart from other conference venues in Sydney? Here are some of the top reasons our clients choose to host their conference events at Doltone House:
– Bespoke conference packages designed to requirements
– Convenient CBD locations
– Views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Hyde Park
– Designer interiors
– Excellent transport links
– Flexible conference menus with healthy options
– State-of-the-art tech facilities
– Green rooms and breakout meeting spaces available
– Capacity to host up to 4000 delegates
– Accommodation and parking discounts available
If you are interested in exploring options for your next event, speak to a Doltone House representative today by calling (02) 8571 0622 or by sending an online enquiry.