Planning for a conference is very crucial thing, as everything has to go right for its success. Choosing a proper conference venue will have the most impact on the flow of your conference. During the selecting process, it is quite common that you miss out certain critical points while focusing on the minor details. There is a major chance of this if your company is new to this conference world and you are not familiar with the venue sourcing. Before we start, check out these amazing conference venues on Sydney Harbour which tick all boxes
Whatever the case may be, it is always a better option to go according to a plan. So before interacting with the sales manager, you need to list down all the requirements. This will ensure that you ask right questions while visiting the venue.
For helping you with the selecting process, here I have listed 10 important questions you should ask before choosing a conference venue.
- If the place is available as per your dates?
Check if the dates are available as per your schedule. Once you find your date’s slot empty, check if the outer or other spaces are also available. Make sure that you ask the person if the time of your conference is the peak time for the locale. This will help in good amount of traffic in the common areas like pool or VIP lounges and serve as a chance for organic networking.
- Is the location accessible?
Your attendees should be able to reach the venue with as little fuss as possible. Check if the location is accessible from airport, highway, and public transit. If most of the delegates are supposed to travel by the airplane, then make sure that the venue is near airport. In addition, also check if they are providing shuttle services between the airport and the venue. Make sure that there is plenty of parking space or valet services for the attendees who are likely to drive.
If you are arranging multi-day conference or meeting at venue, then it is a good idea that you check if there are enough good cafes, bars, and restaurants nearby the venue. This will help the attendees to network pre and post conference.
- Are there accommodation facilities nearby?
Check if the venue is close to lodging facility too. If they do, then check which rooms are available and at what rates. It they don’t, then see if there are some good accommodation facility nearby. If you don’t find a good hotel nearby, then see if the venue will provide shuttle service for your attendees.
- What will be the cost?
This is the most important aspect while choosing a venue. Discuss thoroughly about the overall costs. Ask what will be included and what won’t be. Be prepared for negotiation. Also take a close look at the hidden charges like parking fees, outside suppliers, Wi-Fi costs, or extra charges for the equipment used.
- What will be the venue setup like?
Setup is often overlooked while choosing a venue. Talk about the acoustics and lightings, as it will have a great impact on the attendees’ experience. Ask whether there is a quite space around where attendees can have some downtime, and also know if it is okay to use breakout spaces.
Ask the manager if you can visit the venue when similar setup as per yours is taking place. This will help you in getting an idea of how your event will look like.
- Is the place large enough?
It is important to check this, as the attendees must have comfortable seating throughout the conference. You will also need some extra space for relaxation between the sessions.
- What incentives can the venue offer?
Talk about the incentives the place has to offer for you. See if they can provide some discounts or complimentary accommodation for the members. Also check if they will be willing to give some extra service if costs touch a certain amount. A free coffee or airport shuttles, such small perks can also add up to big savings. So talk your way out.
- What else will be going on?
Ask about other events, if any, going on during your scheduled dates. This will have an impact on how busy the common areas like pools and lounges will be. This information will also help in getting an idea of where you can display your conference branding and sponsors.
- What facilities will they offer?
Make a checklist of what al facilities you will be needing for your conference such as stages, AV, microphones, computers, etc. Talk to the venue manger if they can offer everything. Also check if they will be having a technician to help you throughout the conference.
- Does the venue cater?
If yes, then would they be able to accommodate vegan or any other dietary options? What if someone has last minute request? Discuss if they have a minimum food spend, and if they will be charging by what you order or by person. Also discuss in advance that what will be the criteria if the number of attendees change significantly.
These are the 10 questions according to me which you shouldn’t miss. So include these while noting down the topics for discussion with the sales manager of the desired venue. Check out Doltone House Conference venues in Sydney, which tick all the boxes, perfect for hosting a meeting or conference in Sydney.