When it comes to finding an amazing venue for your next meeting or event, the process can be pretty overwhelming, not to mention time consuming!
We have put together a few top tips to help you find the perfect meeting or event venue!
Consider the style of venue you want
There are lots of different venue styles to choose from and so it is good to have a rough idea of what you do and don’t like as this will narrow down your list of potential venues and hopefully make your choice a little easier!
Your choice might be based upon personal preference or it might be due to you wanting a venue that fits in with your company or the theme of your meeting or event.
If you are based in a busy City and want a relaxed venue then a country house hotel such as South Lodge could be a great choice. If on the other hand you are looking for a super modern meeting venue, you might want to consider something like ME London!
As you would expect there is more than just “country house” and “super modern” when it comes to styles – here are three great examples:
The Ampersand Hotel in London is a really quirky meeting venue and perfect for smaller meetings and events in the heart on the Capital.
If it’s a modern luxury meeting venue close to London that you are after, Coworth Park in Ascot could be the perfect choice.
Looking for a small unique venue for a board meeting? Look no further than the Tree Houses at Chewton Glen.
Choose a convenient location
Naturally you will want your chosen venue to be well located and easy for all of the attendees to get to on the day or your meeting or event.
Consider how delegates will be travelling and where they will be travelling from and makes sure that any potential venues you are considering are well connected whether it be by road, rail, or air (or even all three).
If you have a lot of people arrive by car it is important to look at the available parking at the various venues you are considering and whether this is included within your meeting package. Some City centre locations don’t offer any parking which can cause a real headache, not only for delegates but also for those organising the event, particularly when people start arriving late because they can find anywhere to park. Also consider the financial aspect of having to pay for delegate parking if it isn’t included in your package.
Carry out a site visit
Finding the time to visit your top contenders can be a bit of a challenge but is certainly worth the effort and will give you the information you need to make an informed decision.
Once you have a shortlist of your favourite venues, the next step is to carry out site visits so that you can get a proper feel for the venue as a whole and also the specific areas you will be using during your meeting or event. It will also help when you come on to the next stage of planning as you will have a much better understanding of the space you have been allocated, the layout of the venue and how that will work with your event.
If delegates are staying overnight, make sure you look at the bedrooms whilst you are on your site visit and make a point of viewing the room category people will be accommodated in (not just the superior rooms and suites).
It is easy for venues to paint a pretty picture on their website with good photography and clever layouts but this can often be misleading. By carrying out a site visit you will be able to see exactly what is on offer from each of your shortlisted venues and (hopefully) won’t be faced with any nasty surprises on the day of your event.
Make sure you know which meeting room has been allocated
You and your delegates are going to be spending a fair amount of time on the meeting room that is allocated to you for your event and so it is really important that it is going to be suitable.
The venue will of course allocate a room that is big enough to accommodate everyone attending based on your preferred meeting room layout/setup but there is more to think about! Consider some of the following:
Does the meeting room have natural daylight?
Is there access to outdoors from the meeting room (this is great for delegates to grab some fresh air during tea/coffee breaks)?
What AV (audio visual) equipment is in the room?
Is the shape of the room suitable for you? Long, thin meeting rooms can make it difficult for delegates at the back to see what is happening at the front and so may require additions screens or a stage.
Does the room provide easy access for any delegates with disabilities?
Understand what’s included in your rate or package
Once you have chosen the venue that is going to work brilliantly for your meeting, it’s time to sign the contract and confirm the event.
Before you do this, make sure you have a clear understanding of exactly what is and isn’t included within the rate or package that the venue has put together for you and ensure that you have everything you are going to need.
Usually if your chosen meeting venue has provided you with a Day Delegate Rate, all of your AV equipment, delegate stationary, tea/coffee breaks, and lunch with be included (as well as your main meeting room of course). If you have delegates staying overnight, a 24 Hour Delegate Rate will also include an evening meal, overnight accommodation, and breakfast the following morning, in addition to all of the items included in the Day Delegate Rate.
It is still important to check what AV (audio visual) equipment is included in the rate and also make sure that any syndicate rooms, private dining fees, or ground hire have also been accounted for in the rate/package.
Ask for “Value Adding” extras
Finally – If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Before you sign the contract it is always worth asking if there is anything the venue can include in to your package to add a little extra value. This will usually be dependent upon the size and value of the booking but venues can often provide added extras such as:
- Bedroom upgrades for the organiser or CEO
- Free drinks reception prior to dinner
- Bacon or egg rolls for guests upon arrival
- Complimentary ground hire for team building
- Private dining room for lunch/dinner
Finding an amazing meeting venue can be a time consuming (and frustrating) process, especially when there numerous other tasks that require your attention. If you simply don’t have the time to search for a venue for your event consider working with a venue finding agency who will be able to guide you along the way and suggest some great options for you to consider.
A good venue finding agency won’t charge for their services, will do all of the legwork for you, and save you a huge amount of time (and hassle).