Finding the perfect venue for your conference can seem a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If you think about your requirements from the offset and search accordingly, then you’ll be sure to find the perfect venue to suit the needs of both your association and your members.
Basics to consider
On a very top level, before you even begin searing for venues, you want to map out exactly what your conference objectives are, create an event budget spreadsheet, and estimate the number of attendees you anticipate will be joining you. These three factors will be a big influence over the venue you ultimately choose, so consider from the offset to ensure you find the perfect place to ‘wow’ your guests.
It goes without saying that it’s vital to choose a venue that is geographically central to your delegates, and is accessible with adequate transport links, parking and even on-site accommodation for a multi-day event. If you’re inviting members from across the UK, then Manchester is the new London, with this vibrant city an increasingly popular destination amongst event organisers. Read our blog to discover how the Northern Powerhouse has everything to offer, from being a leading industry specialist in several fields, highly accessible, with an abundance of entertainment, accommodation and most importantly offers unique event venues.
The main conference room will be at the forefront of your mind and is obviously the most important one to get right. You want a space that will work in synergy with the content of your conference and will impress your members by creating such a standout event it will leave them wanting more (and return for the next one!). But it's equally important to consider what other space is available and how this can work best for your agenda. Are there suitable breakout rooms for workshops and other sessions? Is there a separate area (perhaps a cafe or bar) for your guests to mingle and network? It’s important to consider the entire offering.
Does the venue offer adequate extras, additional to the event space itself, to ensure completely smooth running of your event? Venue facilities are often left as afterthoughts, the provision of which are assumed but are in fact, not guaranteed. Common oversights include catering, an on-site cafe or bar, free WiFi, technical support (for IT requirements such as a screen for presentations and a sound engineer), and provision of staff from the venue to help on the day. If you’re hosting a multi-day event, then it’s worth considering if there is accommodation available onsite to save your guests having to source a hotel.
Looking for the perfect event space? Try our handy Association Event Space Finder checklist...