If you are booking a meeting venue for your conference or business get-together, cut down on unnecessary stress by thinking about your requirements in advance. Spending a little time making a list of wants and needs could save you hours of talk time. Get started with our list of top five things to consider.
When booking a venue, you’ll need to consider where delegates and attendees are coming from. Are they driving from afar within the UK or flying in from abroad? If the meeting is to include international visitors, then the meeting rooms Heathrow has to offer are within easy reach of both the airport and London, for example. Choosing a solution to suit all parties needn’t be difficult.
Does your conference or meeting have to take place on a certain date? Mondays and Fridays tend to be less busy for conference venues, so if you are flexible with dates you could open up a whole host of opportunities. Try to avoid times such as the summer holidays when many people will be unable to attend due to annual leave and other commitments. Ask the venue whether its rates differ from week to week.
Three: Special Requirements
Do any of your delegates have special dietary requirements? Or will they need access to particular rooms or equipment during the meeting or conference? If people are driving to the venue, is there adequate parking for everyone? And is audiovisual equipment supplied by the venue or will you have to bring in an outside contractor to help out? Write a list of your special requirements and make sure you quiz the venue about them upfront. You don’t want to get most of the way down the line of booking a place then find out it can’t deliver what you need.
Four: Size and Budget
How many people are you expecting at your business meeting or conference? And what is your budget for booking the venue? These issues will, above all, dictate which venue you choose. If you find a place but it’s too small or too expensive, then it simply isn’t going to work. Make sure you have your attendee figures to hand and know how much you have to spend before you begin to approach venues. Sharing your budget with venues in advance can also bring rewards — many are keen to secure a booking and will discount heavily just to get your business.
Five: The Small Print
Don’t forget to check the small print with the venue. Do they require a deposit or payment upfront? If so, how much is it? What if fewer people turn up for your event on the day, or more? It is usual for attendance numbers to end up at around ten per cent lower than the expected figure, so if you book for ten per cent fewer people than you expect you could save money. Agree a figure with the venue in case more people turn up. Finally, what if the worst happens and your meeting is postponed or cancelled? Check the venue’s policy so you don’t get caught out.