Conference Centres: 7 Things You Need to Look For

Conference Centres: 7 Things You Need to Look For

There are lots of places you can hold conferences today - cinemas, hotels, sports centres, even zoos. While it may be tempting to opt for somewhere unusual like this in a bid to ensure the conference sells out, there is no escaping the fact that conference centres offer the optimum environment for learning in a distraction-free zone. Unlike hotels and other such venues which offer ad hoc meeting spaces, dedicated conference venues such as Manchester conference centre, are entirely focused on hosting corporate conferences and meetings, and also training events. As well as no distractions, conference centres can offer you experienced staff and high-quality technology options. If you have never booked a conference centre before, and are not sure what to look for, here are 7 things you need to look for: #1 What is included in your booking? Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to make sure you are totally clear as to what is included in your booking. For example, many conference venues have different types of room layouts available and so you should think about exactly what it is you want to achieve from your conference or meeting. Perhaps you want your delegates to be able to split up into smaller groups to work together, or you may want to present some findings to a large gathering of employees. For the first scenario you would need lots of smaller rooms and for the second scenario you will need a theatre style room. It is also worth considering the quality of room you will have access to - it should be spacious, well presented, with plenty of ergonomic seating and lots of natural light. All of these things will ensure you provide your delegates with a comfortable and focused environment, and therefore get the most for your money. #2 Equipment Nothing ruins a conference faster than poor technology or even worse, no technology at all. So, you need to make sure that at minimum you are provided with: - A digital projector and projector screen - A wide screen tv - Video conferencing facilities Any conference centre worth its salt will also provide you with access to a printer and a photocopier, as well as things such as flip charts and stationery. #3 The Network Fast, free Wi-Fi is an essential these days and one thing that lays the foundation for a successful conference. More often than not, your conference venue will throw in free Wi-Fi as part of the package but hotels and other venues may charge for this, which will add to the overall price of your event. The other thing to check is what standard the Wi-Fi is, as it may not be up to scratch for a busy conference. #4 Exclusivity At some conferences it becomes necessary to discuss sensitive company information, and on such occasions as these you will be looking for both privacy and discretion. If you want to ensure complete privacy then you need to make sure that your chosen venue offers exclusive use or at the least has an individual building you can have. Dedicated conference facilities will be used to requests like this, but hotels and other places may not be able to help as they are of a public nature. Some conference centres can offer self-contained facilities such as break out rooms and dining areas so that your delegates can have the private conversations, they need to without worrying about being overheard. #5 Catering If you are going to run a conference that runs for a whole day or longer, then you need to find a conference centre with an on-site catering team as this will avoid you having to pay extortionate rates for food. Other venues may offer catering services, but the likelihood is that they will be serving the public as well and so will be much less flexible on what they can offer you and the timings of your food service. #6 Location One of the key factors when you are looking for a conference venue is accessibility, so make sure you check the location of local train stations, airports and car parks. While it is not essential that your venue is in the city centre, you should ensure your delegates can get to the venue with as little trouble as possible. #7 Good team The support of a good inhouse conference team is essential when it comes to being able to run a smooth and successful event. In reality, the team at a venue can be the make or break difference between a great conference and a dull one. You can check for evidence of how good the team are by looking at customer feedback and reviews online. If you keep these seven points in mind when choosing your next conference venue, then your event should be a success. Here at Conferences UK, we can help you find the right conference venue for your needs, from Derby conference centre to Glasgow conference centre, and everything in between.

Author: Gladys Requina

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